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Career Story: Office Manager For A Catholic Church

Office Manager For A Catholic Church

Job Title: Evening Office Manager

Type of Company: I work for a Catholic church in Eastern Massachusetts.

Education: BA, Sociology

Previous Experience: I worked for a Catholic church one summer between completing college and doing a year of volunteer work. I have also been involved in many church-based organizations.

Job Tasks: I maintain the church office in the evenings. This involves answering phones and receiving visitors. I also maintain the church's record books for baptisms and weddings and handle requests for sacramental certificates. I design and edit the weekly church bulletin, which involves the use of the Internet, Publisher and Microsoft Word. I also design and edit the church's quarterly newsletter, which is delivered to all of our 1400 or more parish families. I serve as the baptism coordinator, handling requests from parents to have their children baptized at our church. I manage all the paperwork and make arrangements for the actual baptism. I handle the paperwork for the weddings being celebrated at the church, too, and maintain a database of current weddings and rehearsal dates.

Because I work in the evenings only, I tend to handle a lot of the smaller tasks that arise, such as making copies, proofreading documents, shredding, filling out Mass cards and booking memorial Masses in the church calendar. I plan for and run a children's Bible play group and I also run the Marriage Preparation program with the help of my husband. I utilize much of my time in the office doing research and planning for these two groups. The office manager basically handles anything thrown his or her way.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is being able to work for the Catholic church and have my faith and my job intertwined. I love dealing with people and am happy when I can see people through their engagements, weddings and the baptisms of their children. It makes for lifelong connections. I am an organized person by nature, and like doing smaller jobs that add up for the greater good. I also like working in the evenings so that I can be home for my three small children during the day.

The worst part of the job is that many of the tasks that could be completed by others are often left for me, as if the fact that I work in the evenings means I should get the less important or menial tasks. But still, that only happens occasionally.

Job Tips: I would say to pursue studies in sociology and theology. Working for a church, even though it's just as a secretary of sorts, I am still asked many questions, doctrinal questions, about the Catholic faith.

It is easier to become involved with a parish office if you are a member of that parish. It helps with the intricacies of the job, putting faces to names and helps make connections.

People skills are always a must. Never think it is a waste to work on interpersonal relations. Also, you sometimes have to start at the bottom, but do so with a willing heart and you will work your way up quickly.

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