PACE Conference Returns to Charleston

By Colleen Rowan CHARLESTON—The fourth installment of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s PACE (Parish Administration & Collaborative Education) will be held Oct. 17-18 at St. John XXIII Pastoral Center in Charleston. Chad Carter, chancellor of the diocese, who organizes the conference said that participants will have a variety of educational sessions from which to choose and will have an opportunity to network with fellow Catholics from around the diocese. This year’s conference will also feature singer and Grammy Award nominated songwriter Sarah Hart, who has performed for Pope Francis. The conference’s breakout sessions will cover: ParishSOFT; online tools organizing every day office tasks; Becoming A Youth Friendly Parish; surpassing Catholic Sharing Appeal goal; dealing with issues with buildings and grounds; social media sites that can be used to reach parishioners; composer Sarah Hart—an up close and personal presentation; diocesan Human Resources Office will distribute a generic HR manual that can be adapted for parishes or schools; Effective Marketing for All Situations; Online Marketing; Liturgy Committee Basics; Growing in holiness; bulletin options from content to layout; Microsoft Excel uses; Pope Francis and Art that Evangelizes; West Virginia Catholic Foundation Membership Meeting; cash handling for fundraisers and social concern accounts; Safe Environment; Instructional Methodologies for Elementary & Middle School; and Common problems in Church and School Accounting. The conference, Carter said, continues to see many returning participants, as well as first-time conference attendees. “I think it’s a benefit to all to see that the diocese is willing to reach out in terms of central administration and support the work that is going on in our parishes to help the administrative work, the work in formation, in catechesis, that they have resources here within the diocesan staff to help them,” Carter said. “I think they enjoy being with others who are engaged in the same work they are engaged in; they see collaboration possibilities with others.” That is especially important for smaller parishes in the diocese, he said, who sometimes feel isolated and may not have resources that other places do. They now have individuals they have come to know who can reach out and help them via phone or e-mail, provide new ideas, new ways of doing things. “People also enjoy the prayer experiences,” Carter continued, “getting to come together with people from across the diocese, beyond just their parish or their vicariate—to pray together, to worship together, to make music together—that has been a real hallmark of our PACE conferences.” Registration is $60 per person and includes meals. Travel and lodging costs are the responsibility of attendees. Registration may be completed online at