In 1879, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church (OLG) was established in Hoboken, NJ. It is now a neighborhood architectural and spiritual icon that ministers to the needs of 1200 parishioners in an eclectic water front mix of old established families and young urban professionals. However, communicating (marketing) to this large disparate group is a constant challenge. Communicating internally among the pastoral staff and volunteers is also a challenge. The parish has nine computers (five or more years old) running Windows XP and Office 2003 with file sharing being limited to external drives and a variety of public internal tools. Email, calendar and file sharing was limited while Internet access and graphic-intensive documents are slowed because of the age of the computers and lack of significant RAM. The parish needs to find ways of leveraging most or all of its existing computers and infrastructure to maximize performance and minimize costs.
eMazzanti provided on-going technical support—eCare Network Management, removed spyware that slowed computer performance, standardized computer configurations for maximum efficiency, created a wireless network so church staff could more easily communicate, installed wide-screen monitors that helped increase productivity and provided a simple, but reliable backup system for parish files.
eCare Network Management is one of the most important IT solutions eMazzanti provides the parish which is basic 24×7 network support for a fixed, monthly fee. With convenient remote problem diagnosis, the parish gets IT issues resolved rapidly, often without the wait associated with an onsite service call.
“We have two buildings that are part of our parish. Having access to round the clock IT solutions is exactly what we needed,” said Rev. Alexander M. Santora, pastor, Our Lady of Grace.
eCare Provides Affordable 24×7 Network Solutions
eCare Network Solutions provides around the clock network problem solving for an “all-you-can-eat” price. This kind of approach is particularly helpful for organizations that must tightly manage limited budgets.
“Our Lady of Grace exists to minister to the spiritual needs of our parishioners, but it also must function well temporally, being fiscally responsible,” said Santora. “eMazzanti eCare was the perfect solution for us.”
Wireless Network Improves Internal and External Communications
Parish staff and volunteers now have a simple way to share email, files and printers. This kind of collaboration is particularly helpful in managing the weekly needs of the church and special events. For example, annual activities such as the Fun Fest at the nearby water front park utilizes 150-200 volunteers. Without a wireless network, it was difficult to coordinate electronic communications that were uniform, consistent and easy to use.
“Having basic computer and network capabilities not only helps streamline communications for everyone,” said Santora. “It builds parishioner confidence in the church organization itself.”
Electronic Sign Improves Parishioner Communications
Because of the eclectic, diverse nature of the parish neighborhood, keeping everyone informed of what’s going on is a costly challenge. Mailings and printed materials can grow to be very expensive over a year’s period of time. A partial solution came in the form of a large screen electronic billboard outside the church. As the parish considered the idea, it knew it required a computer to drive the device.
“eMazzanti came to the rescue again. They helped us with the specifications and made sure the laptop computer we used to input messages was up to the task and set up correctly, said Santora.
“This new approach to keeping our members informed helped us greatly and makes us look like we’re taking advantage of the latest tools—sort of technology hip from a spiritual point-of-view,” mused Santora.
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