Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Workshop To Help Parishes Launch Jobs Ministries

By STEPHEN O’KANE, Staff Writer | Published April 16, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta
Training Parish Leaders To Start a Career Ministry, Sponsored by Catholic Charities Atlanta
Limited Space Register for Workshop; Two Volunteers per Parish
Contact: Caroline Hansen at or (770) 794-6651 to register

Caroline McCoy-Hansen first began a career ministry nearly six years ago at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Kennesaw, before the brunt of the current economic crisis was felt throughout the nation.

“Even prior to the current economic situation with over 8 percent unemployment here in Georgia, there is an unprecedented need in our community to aid those without work,” commented Hansen, who will help facilitate an upcoming workshop so more parishes can start such ministries.

The Career Ministry Workshop, sponsored by Catholic Charities Atlanta, will be held May 7 at the Cathedral of Christ the King from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Along with Hansen, who now leads the ministry at Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta, John Marotto, one of the leaders of Career Quest at St. Ann Church in Marietta, will share his experience and knowledge.

This workshop is a response to growing numbers of people looking for work—and practical and spiritual support in tough times—and to calls by many parishes to Hansen for advice on starting a career ministry. The overwhelming feedback led Hansen to explore options with the archdiocese on how to provide guidance to parishes in a coordinated way.

“Our archdiocese already has several parish-network career ministry organizations ongoing, but with the unprecedented number of people out of work in our area more help now is critically needed,” said Joe Krygiel, CEO of Catholic Charities Atlanta.

“It is natural for Catholic Charities to be involved and take a leadership role in this important effort,” he said. “This is an example of bringing together those who are interested in beginning a career ministry in their parish and help them—through best practices—successfully make it happen. It is a ‘Train the Trainer’ for how to help people get a job network started, facilitated by experts in that area.”

The workshop is open to all parishes in the archdiocese. They are asked to send two volunteers to attend the workshop, which will provide valuable information on how to start a career ministry effort at the parish level to address the many needs of the parish unemployed.

“This workshop brings leaders from two successful ministries who will present the basic first steps that must be considered when creating a job ministry,” Hansen said. “We will speak about the issues that must be considered, and talk about some of the hurdles that each of us has encountered, in an effort to help the attendee avoid any pitfalls.”

The workshop also will feature a structure and design discussion, starting with examples of what the two ministries have done, each one serving the same unemployed person, yet in different ways, Hansen said.

One will be focused on connecting attendees with employers of choice, in a job fair format, while the other centers on the delivery of workshops that help develop the skills required to land jobs. Both draw upon the value of community, offering resume reviews and time to network with others. Career Quest has over 23 years of experience in this ministry.

“The opportunity to connect job-seekers with other job-seekers is a huge benefit,” Hansen said. “At home, loved ones, relatives and friends cannot help/coach/aid the unemployed person. It takes meeting and networking with other people who are in the same situation. This power to help one another can then be served and the job-seeker will gain a competitive advantage in their search.”

“I have believed, for some time, that all Catholic parishes needed to find a way to help those people who are earnestly seeking employment in order to support their families,” said Hansen.

“It has been proven to me, time and again, that when people recognize that the church will support them in their desire to work, and not assume they need charity, they return that help by helping others. Their faith is restored, and their families are made whole,” she added.

For more information and to register for the workshop, contact Caroline Hansen at or (770) 794-6651. Catholic Charities Atlanta also provides employment services, job referral information and housing counseling and foreclosure prevention services to help those who have lost their jobs and are trying to keep their homes and may be reached at (404) 881-6571.