By Nadia Maria Smith

CS&T Staff Writer

The archdiocesan Office for Temporal Services has announced its first comprehensive business management program for all parish business managers.

“We want to ensure that everyone in the parish sees and understands that the role of the parish business manager is a distinct ministerial role,” said Anita Guzzardi, the deputy secretary for Temporal Services. “Sometimes they are overlooked because they are behind the scenes, but they make sure the parish has the money to fulfill the mission of the parish, which is to spread the Good News.”

The aim of the new program is to increase the effectiveness of this ministry by providing the right tools and training for business managers in their role in assisting the pastor.

“Our hope is that if a new pastor comes into a parish, the pastor will know if the business manager is certified it means he or she has already gone through a specific amount of training in the policies and procedures. And that he or she can follow the guidelines given by the Archdiocese that will assist him as pastor in the temporal realm,” Guzzardi said.

The program can be completed in three years or less, depending on the level of experience of each business manager. For those with years of experience, they can receive credit and opt out of certain basic classes; however for those starting out, the program will be an invaluable source of information from start to finish.

The program is a new certification process approved by auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Cistone, who oversees the Secretariat for Temporal Services, and requires nine courses and two electives as well as biyearly attendance to the annual archdiocesan Business Managers Session, Guzzardi said.

“What we are trying to do is increase the potential for effective ministry by advocating competency for the role of parish business manager,” she added. “We believe that the parish business manager has an integral role in supervising the temporal aspects of the Church’s mission under the guidance and direction of the pastor.”

To learn more about the program contact Anita Guzzardi at (215) 587-3943.

CS&T staff writer Nadia Maria Smith may be reached at or (215) 965-4614.