New Diocese of Salt Lake City DDD/stewardship director brings extensive experience to the post
Friday, Oct. 10, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY — John Kaloudis has seen firsthand how Christian outreach can help those in need.
While working for International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), an international humanitarian aid organization, from 2001 to 2006, he traveled to Eastern Europe and the West Bank to see the effects of the microloans the organization dispersed.
In the Bosnian countryside, he met an older Christian woman who, through a translator, told how members of the Muslim militia forced their way into her home, repeatedly raped her daughter, then killed her son-in-law and daughter, all in front of her grandchildren. They also burned down the house. With the microloan, the woman was able to rebuild her home, continue farming the land, and receive counseling services to deal with the trauma.
“That’s one of the most graphic illustrations that I remember of what IOCC is doing,” said Kaloudis, whose job was to solicit financial support for the IOCC programs from individuals and groups at parishes in the United States.
In the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, “there are different stories here. They may not be as dramatic as that one, but there are immigrants to help, there are homeless people to help, there are handicapped people to help,” said Kaloudis, who was appointed Director of Stewardship and Development in September. “There are different stories, but they are real stories, and the DDD [Diocesan Development Drive] does make a difference. I’ve seen that in the short period of time that I’ve been here.”
The DDD is the annual fundraising appeal for diocesan services such as the education of seminarians, religious education for children and adults, Catholic Community Services and Utah Catholic Schools, among many others.
It has been less than a month since Kaloudis was appointed to his position. His predecessor, Karin Hurley, moved out of state when her husband was transferred for his work.
As he works to understand the intricacies of his new job, Kaloudis believes that stewardship and the DDD are “inextricably woven together. Once people have a greater understanding of Christian stewardship as being a way of life, then that becomes a motivation to give to DDD,” he said. “From my perspective, people have divorced the whole idea of their finances from their Christian life, where I think they’re woven together. Jesus spoke more about money than he did about prayer, so what we do with our money is a very spiritual thing, but people tend to not think that way.”
That perspective was formed in part by his early education and training: He holds a Master’s of Divinity from Holy Cross Seminary in Boston, and he served as a priest of Salt Lake City’s Greek Orthodox Community from 1985 to 2001, during which time he oversaw the spiritual, administrative, educational and fundraising activities of the community, which included a $3 million classroom expansion and gymnasium.
More recently, Kaloudis served as Director of Development for the University of Utah’s College of Mining Engineering and Earth Sciences, coordinating fundraising activities that included a $13 million donation to build the Sutton Building and endowing two chairs.
“To me it’s always very gratifying to know that I’m helping people and really making a difference in people’s lives,” Kaloudis said, adding that he sees education as a part of his job. “We need to connect the Christian concept of stewardship, the [Diocesan Development] Drive, then the outcome of helping people. If we have a commitment to Christ, and a commitment for Roman Catholics to the Church, then stewardship is a natural outgrowth of that commitment.”
Kaloudis, who is married and has grown children, enjoys playing tennis, conversing with people who have diverse views, and reading; he recently began a biography of the German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He prefers non-fiction works, he said, because “there’s just so much I don’t know.”