Building Personal Relationships
MinistryPlatform is key to building personal relationships between clergy and parishioners, even in a parish with 6,000 members.
Father Anthony believes MinistryPlatform will help him to build relationships with “streamers,” who show up by the hundreds for St. Columbkille’s online weekend Masses.
“We have no idea how to engage with them (parishioners), so that’s another functionality that MinistryPlatform can help us with. We want to be able to interact with them. That isn’t going away, you know. And these people are just as valid as the people in our pews, so we want to be able to care for them, too.” – Father Anthony Suso, Pastor
His use of MinistryPlatform is built on the belief that everyone who engages with the parish – no matter how tenuously – is seeking a relationship with God through the Church. Father Anthony said, “to care for people is ultimately what makes Catholicism credible. It’s how tangible we are, how incarnational we are.”
Pastoral Care is Improving
Although its pastoral care functions will take time to build to full capacity, the staff is already experiencing a vast improvement over the index cards on which basic information – such as sacraments or home Communion calls – were recorded until recently. MinistryPlatform can do for pastoral care what electronic medical records are intended to do for physical care – keep track of a person’s well-being, problems, remedies received and anticipated needs.
“MinistryPlatform can help us to make sure that people don’t fall through the cracks, this reminds us of who has gotten care, who continues to need care, and allows us to create milestones to celebrate in people’s lives.” – Father Anthony Suso, Pastor
This year, Father Anthony will use the database to make First Communion at St. Columbkille Catholic Church an opportunity to build relationships with parish families. Priests will meet individually with the parents of each First Communion child to ask how the parish can help them raise their child to love Jesus – and enter their answers in the database. “How can we help to serve you as parents, in your role as the first educators of these kids in the faith?” he said, envisioning the conversations.
“Do you want to be part of a small group? Maybe you need some spiritual care or some self-care. And we have a place in MinistryPlatform where we can record that data and follow up with different people on the staff to say, ‘This family needs counseling’ or ‘This person has an elderly relative who wants a hospital visit.’” – Father Anthony Suso, Pastor
Creating a Spiritual Care Story
MinistryPlatform alerts clergy and staff to parish activities to which family members should be invited, and also to difficulties or traumas that the family has endured. Parish representatives can then go into any encounter aware of histories to which they should be sensitive. “Over the course of someone’s life we’ll be able to see a snapshot of care and of spiritual moments that paints a picture of how someone is growing in the faith.”
Learn more about MinistryPlatform Here.
To learn more about St. Columbkille Parish, click Here.