International News

Detroit Polls Parishioners

The school community of Pope John Paul II Family Academy will go its separate ways.
The school community of Pope John Paul II Family Academy will go its separate ways.

DETROIT (CNS) – Parishioners generally like their parish and their pastor and for the most part think the Archdiocese of Detroit is fulfilling its mission but could be doing more in a few key areas, according to the results of a widely distributed survey.

A report containing the results from the “Perceptions of the Faithful” survey was taken by the Archdiocese of Detroit in November, 2013.

Of the survey respondents, most of whom were parishioners within the archdiocese, 11,656 people filled out the paper survey, and 29,522 took the survey online.

The archdiocese sought parishioners’ thoughts on topics concerning the state of parish life and how the church in Detroit is fulfilling its mission, explained Julie Cprek, survey and research assistant with the archdiocesan Department of Parish Life and Services.

Cprek said a few particular points stood out, such as that “most people really like their parish,” with 65 percent giving high grades overall.

The second piece was that survey respondents’ overarching concerns involved growth, that is, “the future of the church.”

When it came to Catholic schools, Cprek said, 72 percent of parishioners reported that “maintaining a Catholic identity was something that they were doing fairly well in.” The largest concerns were over the schools’ financial viability and affordable tuition, she said.

Survey respondents also rated evangelization and catechesis efforts highly, “especially, explicitly proclaiming the Gospel – that was the No. 1 objective overall,” Cprek said, with 81 percent giving their parish a grade of “good” or better. But respondents also said a greater emphasis on reaching out to non-Catholics and inactive Catholics was needed, she added.

When it comes to vocations, survey respondents say parishes could be a doing a better job, Cprek said.

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