For the people of Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, observing Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament is a core part of practicing their faith.
“Adoration had been held on Fridays from 9:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Although only seven hours needed to be filled, the task was difficult and daunting to say the least,” shared Mary Ann Gurliaccio, Eucharistic Adoration Coordinator. “In this ministry, it is imperative that people are present. So, if an adorer can not attend, a substitute is needed. However, if I couldn’t be reached, the hour would remain unattended — and that was unacceptable. Thankfully, with Volunteer Scheduler Pro, the option exists for an adorer to request a sub, so that problem has been solved.”
When the pastor approached her about expanding Eucharistic Adoration to 85 hours a week — from 7 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday — she knew she had to find a better way to schedule Adoration. Saint Bede was using Ministry Scheduler Pro (MSP) for liturgical ministry scheduling, which gave Mary Ann an idea. “I asked my pastor if we could have a program like the Eucharistic Ministers had because it worked so well for scheduling. He agreed to it!”
After connecting with MSP, the ministry team learned that Volunteer Scheduler Pro (VSP) is ideal for Adoration scheduling, so they purchased it and never looked back. “Volunteer Scheduler Pro is so simple. I can coordinate the whole ministry myself.”
One unexpected benefit that emerged after implementing VSP for scheduling was a stronger sense of community among the 218 adorers. Mary Ann often chats with schedulers who worry that technology will take away the personal touch of ministry, but she’s quick to assure them that this hasn’t been her experience. “For me, it’s made it more personal. For example, someone just put in for a sub. Now I can give her a call and say, ‘Are you okay?’ I want volunteers to feel like they’re part of the ministry and that we care about them, and we’re praying for them.”
When schedulers worry about the challenge of learning and incorporating a new technology, Mary Ann tells them, “If I can do it, anybody can do it. VSP is very easy to navigate.” Between the unlimited support that comes with each VSP subscription and the online resource center, she’s been able to quickly resolve all her questions.
What’s more, Mary Ann realized that it’s easier to get people involved and fill 85 hours a week now than it was trying to fill 8 hours when Adoration began. “It’s because VSP gives adorers control over their schedules. They love VSP!”
Mary Ann is excited to let other schedulers know about all they have to gain by trying Volunteer Scheduler Pro for Adoration scheduling. “I would love to share this program with the world. I love Adoration, and I love doing it, but it was so complex for me to schedule before. I just want other people to have the joy of seeing how easy it can be!”