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Parishioner Data Management and Privacy

Like all archdiocesan initiatives, our mission is to lead souls to heaven through Jesus Christ, and the use of technology as a means is no exception. By maintaining a centralized database, we know who the faithful are; where they are on their faith journey; understand their charisms and active ministry participation; can facilitate parish operations and financial record keeping; and communicate with parishioners.

The ParishSOFT platform assists parishes in keeping track of parish membership, sacramental records, religious education classes and giving for contribution statements. It also allows for a closer relationship between Central Services and parishes by sharing commonly used reports, such as parish demographics, involvement and giving trends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have a single, centralized database?

A centralized database allows the Archdiocese and its parishes to know who people are and where they are on their faith journey to better meet their needs. For example, sacramental record tracking is often requested. We can understand member charisms, facilitate parish operations and connect people with resources. Importantly, it provides a means to track both parish and diocesan giving. Centrally, we also can run NCOA (National Change of Address) and address standardization across the database at no expense to the parish, which eases parish maintenance burdens.

Why use ParishSOFT Family Suite?

ParishSOFT is currently the only software that truly supports a diocesan model. It allows staff to easily manage multiple parishes, and for parishes to collaborate with each other on a single shared platform. The software is used in over 80 U.S. dioceses.

Maintaining accurate staff assignments in ParishSOFT reduces routine requests from Central Services for staff contact lists from parishes. It allows a family’s demographic information to be shared among multiple parishes. For example, parishes that are clustered or who share a single bookkeeper or business manager can easily manage multiple locations through a single user interface, and only have access to the parishes and information authorized by the respective parishes. Overall, by using ParishSOFT, we are able to standardize on a single platform and be good stewards of data.

Why use a Parish Management System?

A parish management system keeps track of parish membership, tracks giving and contribution statements, provides tools to manage religious education classes, and facilitates group lists, ministry management and communications.

It also allows Central Services and parishes to create and share commonly used reports on parish demographics, giving trends, parishioner involvement and more. Priest assignments also can be easily tracked with the tool.

How does the Archdiocese of Detroit and its parishes protect personal data?

There are several safety measures that provide secure access to users. While family demographic data is shared, parish giving, religious education and ministry data is secured local to the parish. Central Services has established strict acceptable use policies to respect the privacy of parish data.

Is the information contained in ParishSOFT sold for advertising purposes?

No. Parishioner data is never sold for advertising purposes. The archdiocese and our parishes protect and respect parishioner data. Occasionally the archdiocese or parishes will use the lists to email or mail important information. For example, pledge cards are created for Catholic Services Appeal donors. Donors also receive annual donor statements or other important announcements through the census data stored in ParishSOFT.


Posted: December 2018