A Pastor's Toolbox Sparknotes

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In this paper, I will be exploring the key ideas that Father Paul Holmes highlights in his book A Pastor’s Toolbox. Father Holmes divides his book into fifteen chapters that examine a variety of topics that a newly ordained priest will need to know something about, especially when he begins his pastoral ministry. Unfortunately, these issues are not subjects that a seminarian is trained to deal with before his ordination to the priesthood. In this book, Father Holmes identifies five areas that are essential in leading a parish’s administration: 1.) “Initiating strategic planning;” 2.) “Overseeing the implementation of… [that] strategic plan;” 3.) “Leading the parish’s pastoral and financial councils;” 4.) “Animating ministries, apostolates, …show more content…

According to Father Holmes, the priest’s role of managing a parish is linked to his threefold “munus” (i.e. task) of being a priest, prophet, and king. As a parish administrator, a pastor must know how to do long range planning; how to successfully implement that plan, how to consult with other people both in and outside of the parish, how to animate and guide his parishioners, and how to be a good financial steward of the resources that he is entrusted with. Each of these five components of parish administration, according to Father Holmes, are linked to two particular virtues that correspond to the threefold munus of the priesthood. The pastor, as a priest at the altar, needs to be holy and grateful; as a prophet in the pulpit, he should be truthful and faithful in his preaching and teaching; and finally, as a king or governor in the confessional, he must demonstrate forgiveness and good judgment. Father Holmes concludes this chapter by pointing out that these six virtues should be “the cornerstones of… [a priest’s] management …show more content…

Maria Mendoza, who is both a parish business manager and the author of this section, points out that there are two major areas that a priest should focus on at the beginning of his pastorate: “human resources and financial accountability.” Regarding human resources, Mendoza recommends that a new pastor should meet with each staff member and ask them to share their personal “qualifications, work experience, and educational background.” Mendoza also thinks that it is necessarya for a new pastor to meet with the heads of each ministry within the parish. The reason why Mendoza thinks that this is important is because it allows the priest to get a better sense of the roles that each ministry head plays, as well as the goals that they have set for their ministries. This information will help the pastor to structure future meetings and to evaluate progress within the parish. As for financial accountability, Mendoza suggests that a new pastor should sit down with either his accountant or a member of the parish finance council to review all of the parish’s financial numbers. She also urges new pastors to initiate an audit of the parish by either an external person or company. This kind of audit will protect the pastor from possible accusations of financial mismanagement, and it will also provide a fair assessment of the parishes finances. Mendoza also believes that the pastor and

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