administration This important aspect of the parish includes all the physical and financial resources of the parish that makes all the other ministries, liturgies and projects possible. Without administration all the other important parts of the parish would fall apart. Some of the areas administration covers include:
  • The budgeting and financial responsibilities
  • Buildings and grounds, upkeep and plans for expansion
  • Census update and data entry
  • Communications and publicity
  • Stewardship of treasure and contributions
Many parishes have an administration commission that oversees this aspect of parish life. The Finance Council would continue to meet as a subgroup of this commission, working out the budget and making reports to the parish on a regular basis. Other subgroups associated with this commission might be a buildings and grounds committee, a long-range planning committee for future development and expansion, a communications committee and a financial stewardship committee. As parishes grow larger, the difficulty of keeping track of the membership becomes more difficult. What is needed is a yearly update of the census. Each year a simple form is filled out by each family during the Masses. This information is compared with the parish data system. Those who did not fill out an update card are contacted by phone or with a personal visit. Volunteers are mobilized for this effort. Once the parish census data is completed, the information is easily retrieved by staff and leaders to be used in contacting people or seeking volunteers. Communication has many facets, including visibility and image, vehicles for getting the word out, and sensitivity to feedback and two-way communication. Some parishes have television monitors set up in the gathering space following all the Masses with information about the parish scrolling across the screen. Others parishes have a special communication committee that investigates options for keeping lines of communication open in the parish. Its task is to keep parishioners informed, especially newcomers and those not always "in the loop." People need to be challenged to raise their financial contributions as a way of returning to God a portion of the material gifts they have received. This is part of what it means to be a Christian. Ideally, parishioners make a yearly pledge that covers all the finance requirements of the parish. They could be offered the alternative of either using their weekly envelopes or mailing in their donation or having their contribution automatically sent to the parish from their bank or credit union. The parish itself would tithe a percent of its income to a worthy cause as an example for others to do the same.  For more information about Stewardship and other areas related to Administration, see Keeping the Covenant (Thomas Sweetser, SJ, Crossroads, 2007), pp. 161-169 and pp. 230-242.   A sample of PEP Newsletters related to Administration: The Parish Finance Council A Change Of Pastors It's All About Finding The Right People If You Build A Committee, They Will Come