Parish purchases

How does a local parish go about purchasing the physical items required for the operation of a church; e.g., vestments, furniture, candles, chalices, hosts, etc? Does every parish decide (and pay) separately? Does the bishop decide? Is there a central catalog or store from which all parishes in a diocese are required to shop?

the pastor or his delegate orders whatever they need from one of several supply houses that cater to church needs. I don’t understand the question.

Each parish is independent. There is no obligation to shop at the same place or for the same things. Each priest decides what he needs/wants and orders it for his parish.

are you starting your own parish?

I think the Diocese of Pittsburgh has a “purchasing club” (for lack of a better name) which gives discounts on large purchases of office supplies and such.

I don’t know if anyone is required to buy through them, however.

Our diocese is looking into something like that as well. I don’t think it will be mandated that you purchase from them but just that it is available for those parishes that want to do it that way. They more you buy in bulk the cheaper it is so why not pool the purchases. The thing I am concerned about is things like delivery time and quality and such like that. We get our office supplies from Staples. They have given us the cheapest prices we have found and they deliver the next day and give us bonus gifts as well (sometimes those big jugs of pretzels or candies, sometimes discontinued desk items, or light bulbs, or coffee, steno pads, things like that.

Each parish is independent.

For the most part what you say here is true unless as seen in smaller Dioceses or Archdioceses where some parishes have been grouped together as parish units where the “needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few”. No Star Trek pun intended.

With the last Priest I worked with as a sacristan, he did the majority of the ordering for any Church furnishings and religious supplies. He left the Church secretaries with the job of ordering office supplies from competitive office business suppliers. He left me with the task of ordering Church candles, Mass wine in his preference, Unconsecrated hosts from the Trappist monks, and janitorial supplies for the Church.

Today however; it is much different as more and more lay ministries take over most operations from the liturgy and financial prospective as even the Priest has to go before Parish council committees to seek requests for purchases from all facets of Church operation.

In Canada Broughton’s is the largest Catholic Religious Church Article Supplier and Books. In my neck of the woods this company serves most Catholic Churches in the Maritime provinces.

On a last note; just because there are Catholic Business Suppliers that retail Church furniture, vestments, chalices, ciborium etc, etc, etc. Don’t think for a moment that any Catholic Parish will find an excellent buy. These Church suppliers make massive profits like any secular business retailer. Costs go through the roof. Any wonder why there are less and less magnificantly architectured grandiose Catholic Churches being built today.

That’s why our local provincial liquor outlet brings in our sacramental wine. It’s much cheaper than going through Broughton’s or RD MacLean. For the rest, well, there isn’t much choice.

Or they turn it over to the committee responsible for that type of thing who inturn research and order.

Interesting; I was not aware that Sacramental Alter Mass Wine could be purchased through the provincial liquor commission. Must be under special order I assume.

In my Archdiocese most parishes in both the English and French deanery use (“Cribari”) Red or White California Light Mass Wine in cases of 12 one liter bottles or by the case of four 4 liter jugs. The jugs are always cheaper. In the past I always got the Mass wine through my Candle man representative from Quebec which was cheaper than going to the local RD MacLeans Catholic Supply store.

The follow shows a good selection of Mass Wines from Cribari

Burgundy dry - sec 0 rouge/red 12% 110.00 11.50
Chablis dry - sec 1 white/blanc 12% 110.00 11.50
Haut Sauterne semi-dry/mi-sec 3 straw/jaunâtre 11% 110.00 11.50
Light Muscat demi-doux / med-Sweet 4-5 white/blanc 12% 110.00 11.50
Light Red demi-doux / med-Sweet 3-4 red/rouge 12% 110.00 11.50
Tokay doux- sweet 4-5 ambre - foncé 18% 110.00 11.50
White Rosato doux- sweet 6-7 white/blanc 11% 110.00 11.50
Pink Rosato rosé doux- sweet 6-7 pink/rosé 12% 110.00 11.50
Muscatel doux- sweet 7 ambre 18% 110.00 11.50
Port doux- sweet 7 ruby/rouge 18% 110.00 11.50
Golden Angelica doux- sweet 7-8 ambre 18% 110.00 11.50
(cs 4 jug x 4L = 16L)
Golden Angelica
doux- sweet 7-8 ambre 18% 140.00
4cruches 41.50
Light Red demi-doux / med-Sweet 3-4 red/rouge 12% 140.00
4cruches 41.50
Haut Sauterne

Yeah, we use Cribari too. It’s about $20/case cheaper to get it through the liquor store than through BB or RD. I don’t even have to think about ordering it, they just call me twice a year and say, “How much do you need?” and they then deliver it to my door.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit