Service Description - Parish Administrator's Perspective

The parish administrator is responsible for preparing periodic ministry schedules that deliver well-trained ministers to assist at the celebration of the Mass. provides a console for the administrator to simplify the publication of these schedules.

Gone are the days when the administrator needed to spend hours entering the required updates for all of the ministers before running a schedule. The tools provided with this service allow that work to be distributed so that the administrator is not burdened with time consuming data collection and entry. Ministers use their personal console to enter their preferences and scheduling constraints. Ministry leaders maintain the roster for their ministers and assure that only properly trained ministers are included on the active roster using the features available through the ministry leader's console. Producing the periodic schedule thus becomes a fast, simple process. Best of all, the schedule produced is based on the constraints that the ministers have placed on their availability. By matching scheduled assignments to the needs of the ministers, the likelihood that ministers will be able to serve at their assigned times is maximized.

The sections below describe some key features available through the administrator's console.

Scheduler Account

Administrator's account provides an administrative account with features for defining the parish scheduled mass calendar, ministries to be scheduled and the ministry leader for each, running the schedule and auditing the results produced.

Once satisfied with a schedule run, the administrator can release the results to the ministry leaders for their review and modification. After the review is complete, the administrator can publish the new schedule.

Parish Calendar

Parish calendar
The "Parish Calendar" feature enables the administrator to completely manage the parish liturgical calendar. Using the controls provided, the administrator can add, remove or edit dates in any defined year. In addition, new years can be added to the parish calendar using the feature's automated Liturgical Year Creator which is accessed by clicking the "Add Year" button.


Defining masses to be scheduled
The administrator can define and manage the list of masses to be scheduled each cycle. Masses can be added, removed or modified. Start dates and/or end dates can be defined for masses which are being introduced or ended within a scheduling period.

Masses can be defined to be scheduled only once or periodically. For periodically scheduled masses, the frequency can be set to weekly, biweekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.


Defining ministries
The administrator can define and manage the list of ministries to be scheduled each cycle. Ministries can be added, removed or modified.

When the administrator defines a new ministry he/she specifies the leader for the ministry. This person is given administrative rights for the ministry and has all of the features of the service offered to ministry leaders (see Ministry Leader Console). The administrator can change the Ministry Leader at any time by selecting and editing the ministry.

The administrator may also designate the ministry as "Positioned." The scheduler distributes ministers in a "positioned" ministry as equally as possible in each of the ministry positions on the schedule. For example, in the case shown here, the Reader ministry is positioned because the parish desires that Readers have the opportunity to read the first and second readings on an equal basis. The reader listed first on the schedule will read the first reading and the reader listed second will read the second reading. To the extent possible, the scheduler will list each assigned minister in this ministry an equal number of times first and second on the list of scheduled ministers.


Managing the parish minister registrations Managing the parish minister list
The parish administrator can manage the list of ministers registered in the parish. The "Registrants" table list ministers who have completed the steps to register to join the list of ministers. The administrator can accept a registrant by selecting the associated check box and clicking the "Accept Selected" button. Registrants who are not accepted can be removed by selecting the associated check box and clicking the "Remove Selected" button.

Once a minister has been registered, he/she can be removed by selecting the minister and then clicking the "Remove Selected" button.

The administrator can also designate a minister as "Special." Special ministers are scheduled for their first preference mass any time that they do not have the date blocked on their personal calendars. For example, a Deacon may be designated as a "Special" minister so that he can be scheduled to serve as a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion any time he attends a mass.

Define Schedule

Define schedule parameters
When it is time to create a new liturgical schedule, the administrator begins by defining the period to be scheduled. The start and end dates for the scheduling interval are set, which will automatically configure the service to select all dates listed on the parish calendar within this period. All masses which have been set to be active in this period will be selected for scheduling.

For periods where the first date to be scheduled has a vigil mass, it will automatically be included in the schedule, even though it will fall on a day outside the defined period. Also, vigil masses falling on the last date in the period will be excluded from the schedule, since the day for which it is a vigil is outside the scheduling period.

Detail Schedule

Specifying schedule details
To view the specific dates and masses to be included in the schedule, the administrator clicks the "Specify Details" button. A mass or date can be excluded from the schedule by unchecking it on the details screen.

Once the schedule details are acceptable, clicking the "Accept These Details" button configures the service to schedule all of the dates and masses which are checked.

Run Schedule

Running the schedule
When the administrator clicks the "Run Schedule" button the service's multi-pass scheduler is launched to fill the defined assignments with available trained volunteer ministers taking into account the preferences and availability of each minister. A draft schedule is returned within a few moments. This schedule is organized by date, mass and ministry and shows the assigned ministers. If there are any assignments that cannot be filled, they are designated as "unassigned".

In addition to the draft schedule, information that depicts how the new schedule impacts each liturgical minister is available to allow the administrator to audit the schedule produced.

Audit Schedule

Auditing the draft schedule Auditing assignments by minister preferences
The administrator can review each minister's schedule using the "Proposed Minister Assignments" table. These data can be used in conjunction with the "Assignment Audit" table to verify the schedule results. If anything suspicious is detected, the administrator can verify the parish data to assure that it is accurate before releasing the schedule for ministry leader review. The administrator is granted all of the access that ministry leaders have (see Ministry Leader Features) for the ministries of the parish. This access enables the administrator to verify the parish data and to support ministry leaders as required.

The "Proposed Assignments Audit" table presents the percentage of times that each minister is scheduled for his/her preferences. It also shows the percentage of times that the minister had a scheduled date blocked on his/her calendar and the percentage of times that the minister is unassigned.

Once the administrator is satisfied with the draft schedule, he/she can release it for ministry leader review.

Release Schedule

Releasing the schedule for ministry leader review
When the administrator is satisfied with the draft schedule, he/she can release it to the ministry leaders for their review by clicking the "Save Proposed Schedule" button and then clicking the "Save Changes" button. During the review ministry leaders can adjust the schedule to remedy any issues that they uncover. To make the adjustments, the ministry leader uses the service's "Proposed Schedule" features (see Ministry Leader Features).

Publish Schedule

Publishing schedule to ministers
Once the ministry leaders have completed their review of the proposed schedule and made any necessary adjustments, the administrator can publish the schedule. The service provides three standard formats for paper distribution of published schedules:
  1. Ministry Roster - This output provides an alphabetical listing of trained ministers grouped by ministry. If a minister serves in multiple ministries, he/she will be listed for each. Included on the roster is the minister's telephone number and mass preferences.
  2. Liturgical Schedule - A group of tables which summarize all of the ministry assignments for the scheduling period. The tables are organized by date, mass, and ministry.
  3. Post Cards - This output organizes the assignments for each minister in a format suitable for creating a 4in. by 6in. post card. The minister's mailing address is positioned appropriately for mailing, so that the only additional action required is adding postage.

Each of these outputs is provided in the form of a download file suitable for opening in a web browser and can be created with the click of a button.

If a custom formatted output is desired, the administrator can create it using the service's download of the schedule file. This file can be used with the administrator's favorite database, spread sheet, or word processor software to create the custom formatted document.

The administrator clicks the "Set New Schedule" button to load the proposed schedule assignments into the published schedule. Once this is done and the changes saved, ministers will be able to access their new assignments using the calendar in their accounts (see Minister Features).


When a parish uses to schedule liturgical ministers, it reduces the effort required of its administrator by providing easy to use tools for managing the parish's liturgical calendar, scheduled ministries, and scheduled masses. Creation of periodic liturgical schedules is accomplished with ease using the service's multi-pass automated scheduler. The service's scheduler matches the ministry needs with the preferences and availability of the trained volunteer ministers as they have indicated through their on-line accounts. Audit and review features are provided to assure that the schedule produced meets the needs of ministers and ministry leaders before the schedule is published.

Publication and distribution of the periodic schedule is facilitated by the service's internal electronic publication capabilities as well as standard reports for paper distribution. Custom reports can be generated using the service's schedule export feature which produces a file that can be used with database, spread sheet and word processor applications.