For Your Organization: How To Transfer To Remote Catholic Work

For Your Organization: How To Transfer To Remote Catholic Work

It’s not hyperbole when I say that soon enough, “remote work” will just be called “work.” There is an estimate out there that 70% of the US workforce will be remote in some capacity by 2025. Sure, some jobs can never go remote. However, mission-based organizations can still transition to remote Catholic work. In fact, it can (and should) be looked at as an opportunity for Catholic organizations and not a cause for concern.

The transition to remote work can definitely be a tough one. You will expect an initial drop in productivity, and communication will take some fine-tuning. That being said, there are still plenty of opportunities for growth in Catholic organizations that embrace remote work.

Why Would I Even Want To?

At the risk of engaging in stereotypes, Catholic organizations can often be guilty of opting for generalists instead of specialists. Maybe you have a parish secretary who’s effectively doing two or three jobs. You’ve got a youth minister taking on extra responsibilities outside of his purview. Sound familiar? Sure, maybe it’s not your organization, but it’s not that much of a stretch of the imagination.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? No, please don’t follow that advice at the mission level. You don’t need to overhaul your entire staff, but bringing in a remote worker or freelancer will breathe new life into your workplace at a minimum.

Where Do I Start with Remote Catholic Work?

Great, so remote workers are the answer. How do I even go about that, though? If you don’t have an HR manager versed in the value of remote work or freelancer, there are some primary areas you can test the waters.

Business Development

A consultant or remote worker can take a lot of the stress off of your pastor, parish financial counsel, or any financial workers your organization employs. Bringing in a specialist here of all places is key. No, you don’t want to be the organization that brings in a full consulting team for an overhaul that accomplishes nothing. You know what I’m talking about. If you go smaller scale on this, you can avoid the massive waste of money that can be.

Web Design

Web design is one of the simplest places you can go to start remote Catholic work. Whether you hire a remote web guru or go freelance is up to you, but there’s no reason you need to have them in-house. I’ve worked with organizations in the past that have been partially remote. With the technology at our disposal, our web developer was in a different time zone but had no issues keeping up with our needs.


Does your organization have a podcast? Does your parish livestream Mass or record it? Quality is key if you do anything that requires audio or video production. Ever listened to a poorly produced podcast? It’s torture. It makes you not want to listen, no matter how good the content is. Having a remote worker, even just part-time, to do audio and video production is vital. This and web design are the area most suited to a freelancer instead of a full or part-time remote worker.

If you’re just getting into live streaming Mass or other consistent events, having a consultant come in and show you all the basics will go a long way.

Social Media and Content

Like it or not, a social media presence is an important part of evangelization in the modern world. If you have an abysmal (or no) social media presence, it makes you less likely to entice people to show up and makes you nearly impossible to find.

The world is teeming with recent grads with marketing degrees capable of handling all social media and content needs. Having a remote worker, even on a part-time basis, to curate your social media presence is a bigger deal than most Catholic organizations are willing to admit. Unless you have a really talented generalist, this is a job best left to the specialists.

How Does Remote Catholic Work Benefit the Mission?

Much like a priest ideally administers the sacraments and guides his flock, you want everyone doing as much of their job as possible and as little of other jobs. Yes, sometimes you have to work outside of your field. Priests manage parish budgets. Secretaries run social media accounts. Business managers do seemingly everything else.

Your mission is only enhanced when you put people in the best place for success. Adopting a more specialized approach to remote hiring will open your possibilities up significantly. You don’t need to hire someone in the same area, much less time zone, necessarily. If they can keep up with your needs and grasp your mission, that’s all you need. You want to use all the tools at your disposal, and remote hiring is a major one.

How to Effectively Transition to Remote Catholic Work

Start Small

You don’t have to change everything overnight. You may never be fully remote as a Catholic organization. That’s perfectly fine. Hire a part-time web designer. Contract a freelancer to write blog posts for your site. Rome wasn’t built in a day (nor was Byzantium for our Eastern Rite friends). Take a small step to start and adjust from there.


There’s a fine line between good communication and micromanaging. One of the benefits of a remote team is that you don’t get micromanaged (ideally). Trust your team to get the job done. You may want to err on the side of overcommunication to start but dial back as things get settled.

Trust the Process

If this is good for your ministry, things will fall into place. They may not be pretty nor easy, but they will work. As with all things in Catholic workplaces, start and end with prayer. Throwing it in the middle is probably helpful too.

What if We Just Can’t Go Remote?

That’s fair. Not all ministries are set up for remote work. Have you considered hybrid work? Maybe you can get away with two or three days a week in the office and the remainder at home. Hybrid work can boost employee morale while not losing any effectiveness.

If nothing else, outsourcing some projects to a freelancer will give you a specialist’s talent without having to add a new member to the team.

Okay, But Where Do I Find These Remote Catholic Workers?

Glad you asked! Well, our Catholic Freelancers list is a great place to start. Beyond that, sites like CatholicJobs, ZipRecruiter, and other popular hiring sites are perfect places to look. You can also use those sites in conjunction with gig work sites like Upwork or Fiverr.

Remote work can be a scary transition, especially for a 2,000-year-old institution that isn’t always quick to change. However, if you start small and find little ways to implement remote Catholic work, you can test the waters before committing to any major changes.


About the Author:

Joe Coleman is a freelance writer, editor, and audio production consultant. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Loyola Marymount University (and actually uses it from time to time). A former fellow at KNOM Catholic Radio in Western Alaska, he got his start as an on-air host, producer, and news writer. Currently, you can find him in Southern California writing about national parks, outdoor gear, and the role of Catholics in the business world.


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