Villa Vianney is a beautiful independent living residence for senior priests surrounded by serene Tennessee woodlands.

Because the residents are former pastors, décor in common areas depicts sheep and pastoral themes. Colors are warm and tranquil and furniture is overstuffed.

In private living areas, rooms are spacious with extra wide doors to accommodate wheelchair access. Because all apartments have a living room, kitchen, study, bedroom and bath, allowing priests the flexibility to prepare meals and live independently.

The chapel on the Villa Vianney campus allows the priests to celebrate daily Mass on a rotating schedule. During Mass, the priests petition for the needs of former parishioners, for special intentions brought to their attention, and for the well-being of the world at large. Because all of the priests have been pastors, they are well aware that the needs of the faithful who live in the broader world community are supported by their prayers. Their continued concern for spiritual and temporal needs of others serves as a poignant reminder of the permanent nature of a priestly vocation. Retirement may change their daily routine, but the vocation remains after retirement.


Appreciation of the love and friendship of the late Msgr. Louis J. Kemphues and a concern for the well-being of our aging priests led Jim and Bernice Jarboe to respond to the dictum “from those who have much, much will be required.” As land owners, they did what was within their power to improve the quality of life of our elder diocesan priests. They donated a parcel of land and launched a campaign to construct Villa Vianney with the express purpose of establishing a comfortable residence for retired priests. The senior priests’ residence was named after the patron of pastors, St. John Vianney.


On June 19, 2009, Pope Benedict XIV affirmed St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, Curé of Ars, as the patron of all priests. The date marks the 150th anniversary of St. John Vianney’s death. St. John Vianney was born at Dardilly, near Lyons, France, on 8 May, 1786 to Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze. He was not known as a particularly strong student and almost flunked out of seminary because he could not master Latin. With extreme effort and commitment, he finally passed his courses and was ordained on August 13, 1815.

St. John Vianney respected and loved his role as priest and pastor. He understood the tremendous influence of a priest and stated, “A good shepherd, a pastor after God’s heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy.” While serving his parish, he spent much as 18 hours per day in the confessional. Not only did lay people come to him for advice and spiritual direction, but other clergy also sought his wisdom. By 1855, as many as 20,000 people per year traveled from throughout Europe to talk with St. John Vianney. He died at Ars on August 4, 1859.


The Diocese of Memphis allocates funds from the Annual Catholic Appeal toward caring for retired priests.

Donations may also applied directly to Villa Vianney either electronically or by mailing a contribution to :

The Catholic Center
5825 Shelby Oaks Drive
Memphis, TN 38134-7316


A special collection taken up at Christmas also benefits Villa Vianney.

Open House events scheduled throughout the year are a time for contributors to visit our retired priests and to see how their funding helps.

Volunteer support is also welcome.

To volunteer, contact Fr. Rick Mickey at 901-373-1200.

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