While each Christian denomination has slightly different needs, Catholic churches have unique needs that are unique to their faith and require their own specific church software to adequately handle and ‘speak’ the language of Catholicism well. Over the years, several Catholic-focused church software solutions have emerged to serve this branch of Christianity specifically.

Parish Data System

Parish Data System (PDS) has been the leading developer of Catholic and Orthodox church software solutions since 1978, meeting the needs of over 8,000+ parishes, schools, and dioceses worldwide. PDS is owned by church software company, ACS Technologies, a privately-held, owner-operated company dedicated to the faith-based market.

Parish Data System is a comprehensive set of software products that work together to provide your staff with a full picture of what’s going on in your parish. Churches turn to PDS to help organize and coordinate all of their operational, activity, and family information.

Solutions for the Catholic market need to solve problems for Diocese and Archdiocese, not just churches and missions. At the parish level there are also specialized needs regarding sacramental tracking, certificate printing and inter-parish communications. Tracking catechist certification levels is another unique aspect. Safe Environment tracking is also very important. Parishes must be able to easily share demographic and financial data between churches and the diocese,” comments Johnny Stoupenos, PDS product division.

The company also offers a cloud-based option, PDS OnDemand, that means users can access their software from virtually anywhere.

Stoupenos adds, “Users can tell right away if they’re using a system designed for a Catholic church.  If the wording isn’t right or key features are missing then a solution won’t be broadly adopted by the Catholic market.   Users will feel more at ease working in a system that is designed to exactly meet their needs.  For example, PDS was founded by a Catholic  priest in 1978 to create software specifically for churches.  They continue to evolve their software to meet the changing needs in the church.

Currently, PDS is offering a special promotion – if churches move to PDS OnDemand by May 13, 2016, they’ll add FREE online giving (plus free setup, first three months are free).

ACS Technologies has also developed private school management software, HeadMaster, which is currently used by 60 Catholic schools.

ParishSoft

ParishSOFT is laser-focused on serving the specific needs of the Catholic Church. Its products, from their first desktop programs to their web-based ConnectNow Family Suite, have been built from the ground up to be inherently Catholic and to speak the language of Catholicism, which offers many advantages.Over the years,

Over the years, ParishSoft has acquired the following Catholic software companies as their owners did not want to invest in the next generation of software: Catholic Software Company, Cornerstone, JS Paluch, PCS Omnidata, and Logos. Most recently, ParishSoft was acquired by Ministry Brands in order to better support their dedication to the Catholic church market.

Parishes that work with us appreciate that they don’t have to explain the ins and outs of what they do and how the Church operates. We get it! If they’re innovating, we’re here to listen, learn, and serve as their technology partner, states Michael Cusick, vice president of sales for ParishSoft.

The New Evangelization, or the re-evangelizing of Catholics to build intentional disciples, is the primary focus of the Catholic Church today according to Cusick. He shares that ParishSOFT is uniquely poised to assist the Church in her mission of the New Evangelization.

Our products provide the infrastructure parishes need to really know the heart of each member and the tools to take that knowledge to the next level: reaching out to members in beautiful and meaningful ways, helping them to develop personal relationships with Christ, and connecting them with opportunities to live as disciples through love and mission-minded service, Cusick adds.

ParishSoft is designed to manage the record keeping of families, individual members, and Catholic sacraments as well as the management of faith formation, stewardship, small groups, finances, and communications. Catholic parishes that put ParishSOFT’s web-based products to work for their ministries get a total picture of where they stand today, so they can plan for tomorrow and the future with solid information that truly serves their mission.

From parishes to dioceses, at the end of the day, Catholic churches have many of the same software needs that Protestant churches have. There are, however, slight differences that make it necessary to use Catholic-focused church software to track everything from families to sacraments making church-specific software a must.