Villanova, PA, March 4, 2014 – The Villanova School of Business (VSB) hosted a day-long conference titled “Catholic Parish in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities.” The event was hosted in collaboration with Georgetown University to commemorate the 10th anniversary of VSB’s Center for Church Management & Business Ethics (CCMBE) as well as the 50th anniversary of Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostle.
The focus of the conference was on data that indicates trends in Catholic parishes, and the idea that parishes can use that data as action points. The main topics for the conference were schools and sacraments, parish finances, diversity and demographics, and parish leadership.
Despite inclement weather, over twice the expected number of attendees turned out to participate in the event. According to James Gallo, director of the CCMBE and coordinator of the conference, the high attendance rate is evidence that, “there is a real need in the Church for these kinds of studies, and people who work in the Church want to do more to help their parishes remain solvent and better serve their parishioners.”
The keynote speaker was Father Michael J. White, Pastor, Church of the Nativity, co-author of Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter. Other speakers included Mark Gray PhD, director of CARA Catholic Polls; Reverend Thomas Grant, SJ, executive director of Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate; and Villanova’s own Charles Zech PhD, faculty director of the Center of Church Management & Business Ethics.
Attendees included the Chancellors of the Dioceses of Trenton, Camden and Allentown, as well as Fr. Anthony Genovese, OSA, Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, and Fr. Bill Byron, former president of the University of Scranton.
For more information about the Center for Church Management & Business Ethics, visit http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/business/centers/churchmanagement.html.