The Office of Mission Advancement exists to address the growing needs of the archdiocese as a result of its growth and desire for further development. We aim to address challenges inherent in growing organizations and turn those challenges into opportunities for improvement and advancement.

Office of Mission Advancement Staff standing before a statue of our lady outside the chancery.

Office of Mission Advancement Staff: (left to right) Julieta Sanchez, Tracy Zelczak, Nancy Stoehr, Deacon Rick Medina, Laurie Morse, Melissa Bassett

The Archdiocese of Atlanta is blessed to be one of the faster-growing dioceses in the country. The number of parishioners has grown to nearly 1.3 million. We thank God for the opportunity to serve the increasing population of the archdiocese. However, the increased population of worshippers comes with challenges. People of different ethnic backgrounds, languages, races and age groups must be accommodated and served in various ways unique to them. Therefore, we need more priests and religious, as well as dedicated lay people to support our parishes and ministries. In addition, we need to train and increase the number of catechists, youth leaders, campus ministers and directors of religious education (DREs). We may need to construct new parishes while upgrading existing places of worship to accommodate more parishioners. Our Catholic schools will require more teachers who are paid competitively compared to other schools, private and public. There is increased demand and pressure to provide many corporal works of mercy to serve the poor and marginalized through ministries such as Catholic Charities of Atlanta. Finally, additional training, materials and different types of resources, including financial, are necessary for all people involved in evangelizing and educating our growing population.

Our priests and ministry leaders are busier than ever, supporting the work of the Church to make disciples and save as many souls as possible. Our parishes need help providing excellent care to the many needs of our existing parishioners of all ages. At the same time, we must actively seek and welcome those still outside the Church.

Fortunately, the challenges present opportunities if identified and appropriately addressed. Our department seeks to provide the appropriate infrastructure, processes and resources to foster greater collaboration among parishes and ministries and to support the many needs, including financial, of our chancery, parishes and ministries. Our department will direct development and stewardship activities, including the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, advise parishes and schools on their fundraising plans and increase commitment to GRACE Scholars to support our Catholic schools. We will also support the

fundraising and development efforts of critical Catholic organizations, including the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, Catholic Charities Atlanta and related entities serving those in need. The Office of Mission Advancement wants to provide the good people of the archdiocese with more opportunities to know, participate, shape and support the many life-changing works of the archdiocese.

We look forward in faith to a bright and hopeful future were we could serve our priests, ministry leaders and all involved in advancing the mission of the Church in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. For suggestions and collaboration, please contact Deacon Rick Medina at 404-920-7615.

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