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How the Scheduler Assigns Ministries

A schedule contains all the masses that are celebrated during a given date range. The scheduler determines who can be assigned to masses based on the mass information and minister preferences.

Figure 1. Mass Information
Primary Information window of an example Mass, showing the related ministries
Figure 2. Minister Preferences
Mass Preferences window and Date Restrictions window of an example minister

To comply with requirements and preferences, the scheduler first sorts ministers by Last Served date, then creates a list of ministers with direct assignments for the current week. Ministers with direct assignments are processed before those with the oldest Last Served dates. If the first minister on the list has a preferred mass, the Mass List is resorted with the Preferred Mass listed as the first of the possible masses to be assigned this minister.

When the assignment process begins, the minister records are checked to confirm that:
  • The mass isn't on a Cannot Serve day or during a Cannot Serve week.
  • The mass doesn't occur during an away period for the minister.
  • The mass isn't one of three least preferred events.
  • The mass type to be assigned is permitted.
  • The minister's class is included in the class definitions for the mass.
  • A minister with the same family ID isn't already scheduled for another mass the same week.
  • The minister is commissioned for an available ministry at the mass.
  • There is no violation of other scheduling rules involving consecutive weeks or odd/even weeks.

If the above criteria are met, the minister is assigned the mass. For each minister, the masses in the minister's Preferred Mass list are tested in order. If any one of the tests fails and the minister is flagged as adamant about these preferred masses, no other assignments are attempted for the minister, and he or she is removed from the available pool of ministers for the week. If not, they are not flagged as adamant about serving at his or her preferred masses, and the next mass on the list is tested as above. The process continues either until the minister receives an assignment, or until all the available masses have been tested.

If a minister doesn't indicate a mass preference, the Mass List is not sorted in preference order, and the masses are tested in order of the mass still requiring the most ministers. The scheduler uses the minister's Last Served Date to determine the order for granting assignments, so changing the information there can affect the outcome of the schedule.
Note: Typically, Last Served dates should not be later than the period you're scheduling. If one or more ministers you're scheduling has a later Last Served date, you can change the Last Served date. This option doesn't display when creating schedules in test mode, only when creating actual schedules.