Support Days offer parish, school staffers training, opportunity to meet other employees

Nancy Hunold, parish secretary at St. John Parish in Houghton and St. James Parish in St. Paul, left, and Jo Ann Adam, parish bookkeeper at St. Mary Parish in Fairfield, listen to a presentation on parish bookkeeping. Parish staff from across the diocese attended sessions offered by the Diocese of Davenport during Diocesan Support Days May 24 and 25 in Davenport.

By Anne Marie Amacher

DAVENPORT – Staff and volunteers from parishes and schools throughout the Davenport Diocese were invited to learn more about bookkeeping, Microsoft Office programs, technology, vocations and more during Diocesan Support Days.

Around 100 people in total attended the events May 24 and 25 at diocesan headquarters in Davenport.

Both mornings began with a welcome and introduction of diocesan and Catholic Messenger staffers. Morning prayer followed in the chapel with a general session scheduled afterwards in the third-floor large conference room. A host of classes were offered throughout the day. Participants also were able to take tours of the newly remodeled building, which is also known as the chancery.


A two-part bookkeeping class addressed topics such as payroll, Mass stipends, internal controls, 1099 tax forms and other related issues. Microsoft workshops covered Word, Publisher, Excel and Access – all in the 2007 version the diocese requires parishes to use. Tips, tricks and basic information on how to use each were offered during various sessions. A class on QuickBooks also was offered.

The technology workshop explained the reason for the “diodav” email system and addressed social networking websites (such as Facebook and Twitter). Rob Butterworth, the diocese’s technology director, answered questions about technology safety and security among other issues.

Additional workshops covered vocations, social action, human resources, faith formation and youth ministry, safe environment program and more.

“This year was as totally rewarding as have been the previous times I have taken the classes,” said Maureen Peck, secretary at St. Mary Parish in Tipton. She attended the support day on May 24.

She took bookkeeping, Microsoft Publisher, a computer Q&A class and accounting. “It is wonderful to get to meet and personally interact with members of the diocesan staff. I visited (by phone and email) with all of those instructors throughout the year and it is so very nice to actually meet them.

“I attend because it is such a fun day. It is also marvelous to have the opportunity to meet staff from other parishes in the diocese.”

Peck said it was beneficial to hear others in her position throughout the diocese share problems, questions and concerns during bookkeeping and accounting classes with diocesan staffer Nancy Karn.

“They reassure me that I am on track with my thoughts and concerns,” Peck said. Some questions were answered that I didn’t even realize I had until another bookkeeper from another parish raised a question.”

In Publisher class with diocesan staffer Laurie Hoefling, Peck learned a number of tips and ideas.

Technology class with Butterworth was “amazing.” She could ask question after question and get each one answered.

Diocesan Support Days were funded by the Annual Diocesan Appeal.

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