Out of the ashes of disasters comes a birth of a new beginning
- The Diocese of Calgary embarked on a research project in an attempt to standardize the software being used in the parishes throughout the diocese. The main concern was finding a product that served the specific needs in a Catholic Parish’s administration office. These needs included sacramental tracking, certificates creation and generation of tax reciepts. A survey of the market showed that none of the products found provided the functionally the Diosese was looking for and that the best solution might be to create a custom program that would serve all the specific needs they were trying to address.
- At the same time, a hard drive crashed in one of the local parishes just before Christmas. A solution was needed before the tax receipts could be issued in February. The owners of Sitescapers Contracting were parishioners and offered their skills and time to create a program to allow the quick entry of donations to produce tax receipts.
- Through a diocesan-wide survey to uncover the tools being used in different parishes, the diocese discovered the program built by Sitecapers Contracting. Sitescapers Contracting met with a committee at the Diocese with the common goal of creating a diocese-wide application that would allow for quick data entry of donations, sacraments, creation of certificates and the generation of tax receipts. Some of the immediate technical concerns were for the ability to have multiple parishes (missions) in one installation as many parishes were merging their administrative offices, access to the database of multiple computers across a network and be Y2K compliant. There was also a focus on creating a user-friendly interface to increase compliance and use across the Diocese.
- During the design phase of the software in the fall of 1998, three information sessions were conducted with members of the clergy & parishes to get feedback on several different aspects of the application.
- The first installations of Parish Friendly Solutions occurred in December 1998, when a small group of parishes volunteered to be involved in beta testing of the software.
- By June 1999, 25 to 30 parishes in the diocese of Calgary were using Parish Friendly Solutions.
- In the summer of 2000, Parish Friendly Solutions was showcased in a finance administratiors conference in San Antonio, Texas.
- Over the next decade, Parish Friendly Solutions expanded into 23 different dioceses in Canada, United States, and Trinidad.
- Parish Friendly Solutions is operational in over 600 parishes world wide and continues to grow.
- Now in Version 6, Parish Friendly Solutions goes beyond the original functionality to provide a complete toolkit for the Parish administration. For a complete list of modules and features, click here.