Our Pastors, Staff and Leadership Team

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me? “He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” John 21:16




Our Pastoral Staff

Fr Don Farnan


Don Farnan was born on August 17, 1959, near Richmond, Missouri, the seventh
of eleven children born to C. A. and Helen (Spire) Farnan. He graduated from
Rockhurst College, Kansas City, in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Psychology and Secondary Education and received a Master of Divinity degree
from The University of Saint Mary of the Lake—Mundelein Seminary, Chicago,
and Master of Christian Spirituality degree from Creighton University, Omaha. He
was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1987, for the Diocese of Kansas City-
Saint Joseph. He served as parochial vicar at Visitation Parish (1987-92), pastor of
Saint Therese Little Flower and Saint Louis Parishes (1992-2001), Saint John
Lalande (2001-2006), Saint Thomas More (2006-2016), and Saint Charles
Borromeo (2016-2022). He is currently part of the Rockhurst University Mission
and Ministry team while taking a pastoral role at Saint James and Little Flower
Parishes in the heart of Kansas City.

He has also served in diocesan positions:
Director of Vocations (1991-96), Director of Priest Personnel (2005-2013), and the
College of Consultors (2004-2014). In the mid-90s he established The Upper
Room, a nondenominational inner city literacy program for youth and their
families; and he has served on the board of directors of numerous educational
and service institutions in and around the Kansas City area.

His writings include
At the Crossroads of Hope: A priest’s inner (city) journey, This Bold Prayer: A
collection of spiritual essays, and A Parish for All Seasons: A year in the life of
Saint Thomas More School.

Fr. Garry Richmeier CPPS


“Serving as sacramental minister at St. James for the last 20 years has been a great joy for me, and I am proud to call St. James my parish home.”

Fr. Garry Richmeier CPPS has been a member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood since joining the religious order in 1982 and being ordained in 1983. Fr. Garry served as Associate Pastor in various parishes in the Midwest, until becoming Director of Formation for the Order’s college seminarians in Kansas City in 1991. Fr. Garry’s close relationship with St. James goes back more than 20 years. Most recently, in May of 2019, his religious community elected Fr. Garry their Provincial (i.e., leader).  He has been practicing for 25 years as a Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor.


Our Parish Staff


Please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to send a message to those that do not have direct contact links under their profile. 

Ben Babaran

Ben Babaran, Parish Administrator

Ben came to this country in 1988 as a Filipino immigrant, and became a citizen five years later.  Ben describes his experience:  “The opportunities afforded by my adopted country were numerous for an immigrant from a third world country.”  Those opportunities  led Ben to hold roles in the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph as business manager, Faith Formation Director, Director of R.C.I.A and/or Director of Generations of Faith.  When asked about his role at St. James, where he has been Parish Administrator since 2015, Ben declares, “It is a great honor and privilege to serve St. James Kansas City, her parishioners, and those she serves in Midtown KC.  St. James, by celebrating the Sacraments and acting on her mission as One Family, reminds me of my home and family in the Philippines where all are welcome!”

Contact Ben


Robert Basolo, Music Minister 

Robert has been making music at St. James since 1989, when he started as an accompanist, and is now Director of Music Ministry.  He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music where he studied piano performance with the late Richard Cass. Robert is a proud supporter of the Music on Troost series, and enjoys a wide variety of musical genres. He proclaims music to be the “ultimate therapy.”


Chris Dewberry, Youth Minister

Christine (Chris) Dewberry became a parishioner at St. James in 1992, and has served as the Youth Minister for the past 10 years.   Since joining St. James, Chris has held various volunteer positions, and is one of the founders of the St. James Garden Gang.  Chris has been involved with children and youth for a lifetime, beginning when her children were young and continuing as a Girl Scout Leader and as an educator in the public school system. Her favorite thing about St. James?  The teenagers, of course!!


Beaurina Olter, Bookkeeper/Secretary

Beaurina and her beautiful family came to St. James as the result of a close relationship with Deacon Ross Beaudoin, whom she describes as “…my good friend and a father figure to me.”  She, her husband Cooper, and their six children (4 boys and 2 girls) have been parishioners since 2010.  Beaurina loves the sense of community she feels at St. James (“St. James is my second home and family.”), and she is honored to be the bridge between St. James and her Micronesian community.



Our Leadership Team

The Leadership Team represents the people of the parish and provides the framework for collaborative, transparent, and inclusive participation for all parish areas of interest.

Please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to send a message to those that do not have direct contact links under their profile. 

Tony Wurth

Toni Pennisi Wurth, Leadership Team Chair

A member of St. James by marriage, Toni has been on the Leadership Team since 2013. As an avid gardener, she enjoys helping in the St. James Communal Garden.  Since she retired from a career in Human Resources, Toni works together with her husband Chuck, managing donations at Troost39 Thrift Store (right next door to St. James).  Her favorite tradition at St. James:  Wade in the Water!

Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson

Together with his wife Connie, Bob joined St. James at the encouragement of friends, and has been on the Leadership Team since 2019. Bob became interested in the Church’s liturgy in high school and has continued to read and learn about it throughout his adult life. Bob is retired from a 43-year career in teaching, having spent the major portion of his time working with gifted  students. Bob and Connie have been married for 48 years and have 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and 7 grandchildren. His favorite thing about St. James is “the joyful participation of the community in our worship.”

Connie Anderson

Connie Anderson

After a fulfilling career in teaching and administration, Connie has found that retirement has its own rewards. She is currently involved in helping undocumented immigrants and refugees obtain their green cards and citizenship, volunteering at Keeler Women’s Center, helping to coordinate outreach programs for the Social Justice Committee at St. James, and writing grants to fund all these activities. In her free time she and her husband Bob like to spend time with their family of 14 – 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 7 grandchildren ages 10-21.


Joy Eke

Joy Eke became a member of St. James in November of 1990, immediately after relocating to the United States from Nigeria. Joy and her husband Gabriel were married under Nigerian Native Law and Custom Marriage in 1988,  and on February 9th, 1991, they fulfilled their Christian rite of marriage at St James Church.  Joy and Gabriel have 3 sons and 1 daughter who were all brought up in the St. James community. Gabriel, who has been a member of St. James since 1992, accompanies the St. James choir on the African drum. Joy has a long history of stewardship at St. James, having served as co-chair of the capital campaign committee in 2005, and as a Eucharistic minister for over 15 years.  She has played a role as liaison between St. James and the local African Catholic community.  Her favorite part about St. James is the diversity of Nations that bring so much richness to the parish community.



Albertine Kangni-Soukpe

 Albertine and her family have been parishioners at St. James since 2005.  Albertine serves as special liaison to our Togo community.

Mary Vincent

Mary Pickett Vincent

Mary is a fourth generation member of St. James. She has served on the Leadership Team since 2014 as Fundraising Chair. After a career in Education, Mary now spends time  volunteering.  She also co-ordinates Bus Stop Ministry and its companion, the Knitting and Crocheting Group. One of the many aspects Mary loves about St. James is the enduring beauty of the stained glass windows. 

Mike Waldek

Mike Waldeck 

A friend introduced Mike and his wife, Susan, to Mass at St. James. For the past five years he has been Chairman of the Finance Committee. Since retiring from a career as a trial lawyer, Mike has become involved in the restoration of the Oglesby Hotel – adjacent to St James & Troost39 Thrift Store – which will provide affordable housing for needy families. Mike also spends time down at his ranch in Kansas. His favorite thing about St James is the diversity of the parishioners worshiping together. 

Chuck Wurth

Chuck Wurth 

Chuck came to St. James when the average number of people attending Mass was around 70. The Church has grown as a parish in many ways since then, and Chuck finds it an honor to be a part of that growth. Chuck spent his career as an educator and nursing home administrator.  Currently he is co-chair of the St. James Parish Growth Committee and a member of the Finance Committee. During the day, Chuck  works with his wife Toni at Troost39 Thrift Store, an outreach ministry of St. James parish. 

Chris Zaroor

Chris Zaroor 

When you’re dealing with a building that’s over 100 years old, it helps to have a licensed contractor/architectural engineer on your leadership team.  As a long-time parishioner at St. James, Chris is those things and so much more. As the chair of the Buildings and Grounds committee, he advises the parish on all issues related to our physical plant.  Among Chris’s many contributions, and one thing he really enjoys at St. James, is organizing and supervising the work teams from surrounding schools and universities who volunteer with us each spring and fall. 

Send a Message to a Member of the Team. Select "General" from the drop down menu if you are not sure which team you wish to contact and add the person's name to the message.

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St. James Catholic Church

3909 Harrison
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

PO Box 30388
Kansas City, MO  64112

Office Hours

9:00 - 3:00
Monday - Friday

Thanks to Chris Dewberry for providing photos on the website.