Author Archives: webadmin

Getting Started: The Basics

Are you a new Pastoral Priority Point Person? First visit to our website? Need a refresher on the basics of Harvesting Gifts or Pastoral Priorities? This section addresses basic questions about: the role of the Pastoral Priority Point Person; new deanery assignments; Plan-Do-Check and the Key Factors of Successful Implementation; what parish toolkits are (the purpose of this website); and getting started in pastoral planning.

What is the role of the Pastoral Priority Point Person?

The Pastoral Priority Point Person is someone who will work very closely with the Pastor and assist him in implementing the parish’s plans.  This does not require hiring another staff member; but that the Pastor enlist the assistance of someone who is especially dedicated to the people he ministers to in the parish.

What qualifications would be helpful?
o It is crucial that the Pastoral Priority Point Person have access to his/her own email account and is comfortable using the internet.
o Has excellent communication skills – can keep in touch with the diocesan staffs and with the parishioners
o Is already a recognized leader in some capacity in the parish and has the capacity to be a leader of leaders in the parish
o Is able to mobilize committees and facilitate small groups
o Understands the importance of prayer and the six pastoral priorities
o Is future oriented and has some ability to plan pastorally
o Is generous with their time and talent and shares in the diocesan vision and the parish’s mission.

What deanery is my parish in?

Why parish toolkits?

Getting Started in Pastoral Planning

What Deanery Are You In?

Bishop Galante has announced a reorganization of the deaneries. You can find the full article in the Catholic Star Herald, January 19, 2011. This map and list show you what the new structure looks like. There are now only 9 deaneries, and they are configured a bit differently than they were in the past. Later this week, the newly named deans will meet to learn more about the new way deaneries are organized. Parish leaders may want to familiarize themselves with who their deanery neighbors are. So, what deanery are you in?








Deanery 1: Parish of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden; St. Josephine Bakhita, Camden; St. Joseph (Polish), Camden; Sacred Heart, Camden; Immaculate Heart of Mary/Transfiguration, West Collingswood (which will merge to become Most Precious Blood); Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Collingswood; St. Aloysius/St. Vincent Pallotti, Haddon Township (which will merge to become St. Joseph the Worker); Emmaus Catholic Community, Mt. Ephraim; St. Mary, Gloucester City; Annunciation/St. Maurice/St. Anne, Bellmawr (which will merge to become St. Joachim); Holy Angels, Woodbury; Infant Jesus, Woodbury Heights.

Deanery 2: St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, Camden; St. Anthony of Padua, Camden; Mary, Queen of All Saints, Pennsauken; St. Peter, Merchantville; St. Stephen, Pennsauken; Catholic Community of Christ Our Light, Cherry Hill; Christ the King, Haddonfield; Holy Eucharist, Cherry Hill; St. Mary, Cherry Hill; St. Thomas More, Cherry Hill.

Deanery 3: St. Rose of Lima, Haddon Heights; St. Rita, Bellmawr, Holy Child, Runnemede; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lindenwold; St. Andrew the Apostle, Gibbsboro; St. Simon Stock, Berlin; and Mater Ecclesiae Mission, Berlin.

Deanery 4: Our Lady of Hope, Blackwood; Holy Family, Sewell; Our Lady of Lourdes/Our Lady Queen of Peace, Glassboro (which will merge to become Mary, Mother of Mercy); Saints Peter and Paul, Turnersville; St. Charles Borromeo, Sicklerville; St. Bridget, Glassboro; St. Michael the Archangel, Franklinville.

Deanery 5: St. Clare of Assisi, Gibbstown; Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, Mullica Hill; St. Gabriel the Archangel, Carneys Point; Incarnation, Mantua.

Deanery 6: Christ the Redeemer, Atco; Our Lady of Peace, Williamstown; Our Lady of the Lakes, Collings Lakes; St. Mary of Mt. Carmel, Hammonton.

Deanery 7: Queen of Angels/St. Rose of Lima/St. Mary, Newfield (which will merge to become Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament); St. Padre Pio, Vineland; Divine Mercy, Vineland; Sacred Heart/St. Isidore, Vineland (which will merge to become Christ, the Good Shepherd); Holy Cross, Bridgeton; All Saints, Millville.

Deanery 8: Our Lady Star of the Sea, Cape May; St. John Neumann, North Cape May; Notre Dame de la Mer, Wildwood; Our Lady of the Angels, Cape May Court House; St. Brendan the Navigator, Avalon; St. Joseph, Sea Isle City; Resurrection/St. Casimir, Marmora (which will merge to become St. Maximillan Kolbe); St. Augustine/St. Frances Cabrini/Our Lady of Good Counsel, Ocean City (which will merge to become St. Damien).

Deanery 9: Our Lady Star of the Sea, St. Michael, and St. Monica, Atlantic City; Holy Trinity, Margate; St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Atlantic City; St. Thomas, Brigantine; St. Vincent de Paul, Mays Landing; St. Katharine Drexel, Egg Harbor Twp.; St. Joseph, Somers Point; Our Lady of Sorrows, Linwood; St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Northfield; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Absecon; Assumption/St. Nicholas, Galloway (which will merge to become Our Lady of Perpetual Help).



Printable List of Deaneries and Deans

Unsure About How To Get Started?

Is your Parish Pastoral Council formed and functioning but you are looking for some direction?   Would you like them to engage in a conversation that may provide your council with some pre-planning insights?

Contact the Pastoral Planning Office.  We will come for a 45 minute portion of your meeting and help you focus on any of these aspects to support your pastoral planning for the pastoral priorities.

    Exploratory meeting:

  • How familiar the Council is with the efforts to meet the challenges facing us as Catholics?
    • Through stronger parishes
    • Better understanding of our baptismal calling
  • How ready is this Council to undertake development of a pastoral plan?
  • What is the process of pastoral planning?
  • What might the next steps be for us?
  • What about the Pastoral Priorities?
  • How can Harvesting Gifts help us?

Why Parish Toolkits?

The 4th Key Factor for Successful Implementation of the Pastoral Priorities is the availability of resources that parishes may use to facilitate their pastoral plan for a particular priority. The diocesan offices, whose ministry is to be of service to parishes, have designed a collection of Parish Toolkits for this purpose.

How can I access a Parish Toolkit?

Since the diocese began the Harvesting Gifts phase of Pastoral Planning on September 18, 2010, a workplace on the diocesan website has been dedicated to parishes to assist them as they plan their approach to the Pastoral Priorities. These parish Toolkits may be accessed by clicking onto the name of the Pastoral Priority, such as Priestly Vocations, or other listed resource locations, and by searching for a Parish Toolkit that will address the need.


What is in a Parish Toolkit?

A Parish Toolkit is a suggested process that may be used to enhance parish life. There are some Toolkits that may be downloaded directly from the site; others may recommend the assistance of a diocesan leader; and some that may be listed on the site, but will require scheduling a visit with the diocesan leader listed there. Some are simply directions, others are worksheets, and some are programs in the form of power point presentations which may be either downloaded or requested.


Can I expect additional help?

Periodically, new Parish Toolkits will be added to Harvesting Gifts. Parishes are invited to contact the persons listed there to request toolkits that are not yet constructed or posted, and to clarify, to adapt, or to invite assistance in using a Parish Toolkit.

A Model for Discerning New Parish Pastoral Council Members

Since the publication of Parish Pastoral Council Guidelines (November, 2010), many of our newly merged parishes have convoked new parish pastoral councils that incorporated membership from each of the merging parishes. Many of these new councils have been in existence for a few years and it may be time to look for new members as terms are concluded.

The diocesan Guidelines have a section, Membership Types, (see page 10) which determines the timing for the addition of new members to the PPC. It states that:

  1. A steering committee for recruitment of members is most helpful to the process.
  2. Each member is asked to serve for a three year term, which may be renewed once.
  3. The terms of office for council members should be staggered in order to assure sufficient stability and continuity.

The section that follows, Recruitment of New Council Members (see page 11) indicates a preference for the Discernment Method as the way to provide for a communal changeover in this leadership ministry.

This Toolkit offers some clarification on the meaning of Discernment and the spiritual nature of the process of consensus that yields new members suited to the pastoral needs of the parish. A timeline for this activity is sketched, as well as a format for arriving at and executing a DISCERNMENT NIGHT.

Included as several attachments:

  • optional bulletin announcements,
  • a sample “in-pew” form for nominating candidates,
  • and a worship aid template which needs to be personalized locally for the DISCERNMENT NIGHT.

The Pastor works with a small steering committee who will organize the local timeline and discernment process. The Parish Pastoral Council takes an active role in the discernment process. The parish as a whole is refreshed on the pastoral planning role of the Council and the qualities expected of those who serve in this ministry.

It is recommended that a facilitator be engaged who will function as a spiritual leader and a moderator who gathers input from the candidates and helps them to move to consensus with the rest of the Council.

Environment suggestions as well as materials needed (flip charts, worship aids, etc.) are described in this Toolkit.

A Model for Discerning New Parish Pastoral Council Members

Sample Bulletin Announcements

In Pew Form

The Discernment Night


Confirming the Baptized Adult

Baptized Adults Seeking Confirmation

Occasionally, parish staff encounters a baptized adult who would like to be confirmed. These adults should not be placed in the parish RCIA process. Instead, these adults should be engaged in conversation and their needs assessed. The results of the assessment will be used to determine the preparation needed for confirmation. 

The following toolkit offers suggestions to pastoral staffs that are responsible for preparing adults for various stages of initiation in addition to RCIA. This toolkit specifically addresses the adult(s) who has been previously baptized and received First Eucharist. 

This toolkit includes:

  • Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, ( FAQ)
  • Suggestions for creating a parish process that will meet individual needs
  • A sample planning chart
  • Resources for Adult Confirmation

If you have questions or need assistance with this toolkit, please contact:
Sr. Kathleen Burton, ssj
Co-director for Faith & Family Life Formation
Office of Lifelong Faith Formation

{phocadownload view=file|id=68|text=Adult Confirmation FAQs|target=s}

{phocadownload view=file|id=67|text=Adult Confirmation Assessment Chart|target=s}

{phocadownload view=file|id=70|text=Adult Confirmation Sample Planning Chart|target=s}

{phocadownload view=file|id=69|text=Adult Confirmation Resources|target=s}

Rainbows for All God’s Children

Rainbows is an international, non-profit organization that fosters emotional healing among children and teens who have experienced significant loss such as death of a loved one, separation or divorce of their parents, or myriads of other life altering changes.

Nearly 69% of children in the United States live in “non-traditional” families coping with some type of loss. Each year Rainbows provides training and curricula for 32,000 volunteers offering grief support services. Since Rainbows inception, nearly one million children and their families in 49 states and 17 countries have benefited. Youth and their families receive these services in churches, synagogues, schools and social service agencies regardless of age or religious affiliation.

This guide will help you get started: Rainbows: How to Get Started

Isaiah 43

In a recent letter from Bishop Galante to all of the pastors of the Diocese, Bishop Galante spoke of “a comprehensive evangelization effort throughout the diocese that will strive to renew the baptismal spirit of parishioners while engaging in various outreach actions”. This effort, the Isaiah 43 Project, requires that some preparation happen in the parishes in the coming months. To help parish staff and leaders easily find the materials they need we have created the Isaiah 43 section of the website. 

The first part of this preparation is the Hospitality and Welcoming Assessment, which Bishop Galante has directed all pastors to complete. The toolkit is available in English and Spanish. There are a number of additional resources available as well.

We also highly recommend that you clean up your ParishSoft census data prior to starting the Isaiah 43 Project. This Census Validation Toolkit will give you a clear method for updating your ParishSoft census data to provide the most current and accurate information about your parishioners.


Census Validation Toolkit

Business Solutions Parish Toolkit # 1:
Validating Census Data 

Definition:  It is important in our parish communities to know who our people are in order to plan for services to meet their needs. ParishSoft has been selected as the standard parish information management system for all of the parishes in the Diocese of Camden. This software, however, is merely a tool to be used in managing the information. Keeping the information as current and accurate as possible is a process that should be addressed periodically in every parish. 

Approach to Implementation:  Production of family registration forms, distribution of forms for verification, distribution of blank forms for non-registered families, and accurate recording of information into the database are all key steps in this process. Standards for Family Groups, Workgroups and Member Status should be implemented in order to consistently record data in useable groupings. 

Roles and Responsibilities:  A parish census coordinator should be identified and will be the key coordinator for this process. While the parish census coordinator is key in this process, the pastor will need to express the importance of gathering such information to the congregation and various volunteers will be needed to distribute registration forms after mass. You may also want to recruit and train volunteers to update the data in the ParishSoft database. These volunteers will need to have some computer and data entry skills. 

Training:  The parish census coordinator should be a trained user of the ParishSoft system. If volunteers are used for data entry, they should be trained in adding and editing family and member records. 

Expected Resources:  Paper, postage, volunteers and time are the key resources required to make this process happen.

If you need more information or assistance with Census Validation, please contact:
Marianne Linka
Director of Business Solutions

{phocadownload view=file|id=29|text=Census Validation Toolkit (pdf)|target=s}