Skip to content
Home » St. Columbkille Parish: Enabling Pastoral Care with MinistryPlatform

St. Columbkille Parish: Enabling Pastoral Care with MinistryPlatform

Building Personal Relationships

MinistryPlatform is key to building personal relationships between clergy and parishioners, even in a parish with 6,000 members.

At St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Parma, Ohio, they use MinistryPlatform to sign up for any parish or school program. “We can connect with parishioners through the tools in MinistryPlatform and care for their spiritual needs,” said Father Anthony Suso.

Father Anthony also believes MinistryPlatform will help him to build relationships with “streamers.” Those 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. They 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 meet individually with the parents of each First Communion child. They ask how the parish can help them raise their child to love Jesus. The answers are then put 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

The end result, Father Anthony said, “is a spiritual care story for that family, that we can go back and reference and that any member of our team can see.”

MinistryPlatform alerts clergy and staff to parish activities to which family members should be invited. It also alerts clergy 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 It paints a picture of how someone is growing in the faith.”

He believes that more people will come to the parish. That they’ll want to get involved when they hear parishioners say, “‘Hey, Father reached out to me here and here and here. I felt cared for.’” 

Learn more about MinistryPlatform Here.

To learn more about St. Columbkille Parish, click Here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.