5 Skills to Help You Get a Catholic Parish Job


Unfortunately, in today’s world, parish jobs are often seen as simple, walk-in-the-park vocations. People often imagine that they are for individuals interested in doing something that is a little more challenging than a hobby, but not as intense as a corporate position. But the truth is, to be able to get a parish job and be successful in meeting all its demands, you need a rich set of skills. Let’s look at five indispensable skills you need to get a Catholic parish job and do it well.

Understanding the Stakes

A parish is not the same as an NGO, a secular non-profit, or community organization. It is in the business of saving souls. Rather than think of a parish as a low-stakes way to do some vague good, you need to understand that it is more like working as an EMS or as a doctor in the ER.

To work in a parish is to go to work every day trying to save souls for Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important than the salvation of souls, and parishes are charged with taking care of the day in and day out tasks that make that happen.

When you interview for a Catholic parish job, you will likely be interviewing with the Pastor of the parish. He will be acutely aware of the weight of parish responsibilities. The ability to clearly articulate and embrace the stakes of parish work will be a huge aid. It will also allow you to be better prepared for taking on the challenges of parish ministry with zeal if you do get the position.

Living the Spiritual Life

There is no better way to get a Catholic parish job than to be living a vibrant spiritual life. Working in a parish is all about leading others to encounter Jesus Christ and helping them to form a deep relationship with Him. If you don’t regularly encounter Him or if You do not have a deep relationship with Him, then you won’t be able to give this.

So, evaluate your prayer life. Do you receive the sacraments regularly, especially Confession and the Eucharist? Do you daily have one-on-one conversations with the Lord? Do you try hard to pursue Him every day the

best you can and run to Him when you fail?

It’s very easy to tell the difference between someone who truly knows Jesus, and someone who is faking it! A true, living relationship with our Lord speaks for itself and will be one of the best aids in helping you to get a Catholic parish job. Plus, it will help you avoid ministry burnout!

Understanding the Spiritual Life

For the person who wants to work in a parish, it isn’t enough to just live the spiritual life. It’s also important to understand the ins and outs of having a relationship with Jesus. This doesn’t mean that you need to have a PhD in Spiritual Theology! It just means that you need to understand the different challenges and joys that come with following Christ. A great place to begin understanding the spiritual life is to pursue a living knowledge of self and of God.

Remember, getting a Catholic parish job is about showing that you can help the Pastor save souls. And this requires a working understanding of how to love the Lord in the good and tough times—that is, how to respond to His different promptings and invitations.


In order to get a Catholic parish job, good communication skills are a must. Every job seems to demand this, but it is especially important in the parish context. We have discussed living and understanding the spiritual life, but if you can’t communicate these things to others, then it will be very difficult to find success in a parish job.

Being able to communicate well in a parish demands a unique ability. It requires the skill to take deep, sometimes complicated truths and simplify them in a way that anyone can understand. This is a craft that takes time to hone. As part of your preparation for interviewing, be sure to take time to think through how you can talk about and teach the most relevant mysteries of the Faith in a way that anyone can understand. This will give you a big leg-up in getting a Catholic parish job.


Ministry is hard. And, the truth is, you will probably fail … a lot! But that’s okay. Remember, many people walked away from Jesus, so we should expect that we will often be met with failure. The important thing is to be at peace, knowing that every failure is an opportunity for two things. First, it is a chance for growth. By humbly going to the Lord in times of weakness and failure, He will help you discover how to grow. Becoming more humble will be a true aid in your pursuit for a Catholic parish job.

Second, it will allow you to become more dependent on God. Jesus told us that without Him we can do nothing (Jn. 15:5). The more we learn to rely on Him and the less we think it is all up to us, the more prepared we will be for ministry.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Knowing and meditating on your limitations, weaknesses, and inevitable failure will sober your heart, bring you closer to God, and show to anyone interviewing you that you have a realistic, Christ-centered mindset in ministry. People hiring for ministry positions are often on the lookout for naive individuals who think they can save the world. By embracing humility, you will set yourself apart, and, most importantly, draw closer to Jesus Christ.


If the Lord is calling you to a Catholic parish job, then it is incredibly important to follow that call and find Catholic professional work. Knowing these five skills will be a crucial help in getting a Catholic parish job. Plus, it will help you be successful in that job. Remember, if you understand the stakes, authentically live the spiritual life, understand the spiritual life, can communicate well, and strive for humility, then you will set yourself up well for getting a Catholic parish job.


Search here for Catholic job postings, or Catholic Professionals you can hire.