“ It is up to the bishop with the help of the priests, deacons, religious, and lay people to implement a coordinated pastoral plan which is systematic and participatory involving all members of the church and awakening in them a missionary consciousness.”
(Ecclesia in America, 36)
The Office serves the needs of Parishes within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by providing pastors and staff with the support and information they need to manage their parish operations. The individuals within this Office work closely with parish staff and financial representatives to offer guidance on financial and pastoral planning, budgeting, accounting and financial reporting as well as providing information to help familiarize parishes and other entities with Archdiocesan policies, procedures, and best practices. The Office supports and facilitates, through information, research and education, pastoral planners at every level within the Archdiocese.
In practice, the Archdiocesan Office for Parish Service and Support is characterized by a holistic concern with the total mission of the Church within the Archdiocese. It is the purpose of the office to promote shared responsibility, and to implement the mobilization of human resources for fulfillment of the mission of the Church. This involves a faith centered approach stressing the role of prayer and spirituality in planning, and the development of shared goals and assumptions about the future.
Planning is a cyclical process. Information is gathered, plans are made and actions taken. The results of the actions are assessed, the information is updated, plans are revised and new actions are taken which, in turn, are assessed. This ongoing planning cycle is an indication of a vital healthy parish.