SAINT ANNE PARISH. Parish Survey Results

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1 SAINT ANNE PARISH Parish Survey Results Stewardship Committee 3/1/2015

2 Executive Summary Survey Representation Based on counts made during the months of May and September, 2014, the average number of adults regularly attending mass weekly is 1,327. The 506 survey responses, returned during March and April 2014, represent 38 percent of the number of adults who attend mass each week. The responses represent the attitudes expressed by the 506 respondents. Whether these responses can be interpreted as representative of St. Anne Parish depends upon whether parishioners who did not respond would have responded similarly to the parishioners who did respond. No information is available to make this judgment, so caution must be exercised when generalizing the results of the survey to all members of St. Anne Parish. Results In general, the average score for each of the nine areas addressed by the survey indicate that parishioners are generally satisfied with all of the aspects of parish life addressed by the survey (an average score of 3 indicates general satisfaction by the respondents). Respondents rated Parish Facilities highest, followed in order by Religious Education, Parish Involvement, Religious Services, Parish Management, Parish Finances, Parish Outreach, Parish Diversity, and Parish Community. These results are overwhelmingly positive. Within each of the nine areas, of course, some items were rated lower than others. All items, even those rated lower, can best be characterized as having an overall rating of Agree. Areas of greatest satisfaction and areas of less satisfaction are noted below. Parish Facilities Religious Education Parish Involvement Religious Services Parish Management Parish Finances Parish Outreach Parish Diversity Parish Community Parish Religious Services All age groups of respondents agreed the Masses, homilies, liturgies, and services are spiritually moving, reverent and well-prepared. Everyone playing a role in the religious and spiritual services is demonstrating proper reverence and respect at Mass. Most parishioners feel they are invited by leadership to participate in liturgical ministries and are provided opportunities for spiritual growth outside of Mass. However, responses suggested some concern that the spiritual needs of single and separated/divorced adults in the parish were not being adequately met. Parish Community Respondents indicated that they strongly believe that our parish has a friendly, inviting atmosphere for new parishioners. They also believe that our parish leadership is available to parishioners. Interestingly, respondents also viewed the parish process for welcoming new members less favorably. Another area with 1

3 a slightly less favorable opinion concerned how well parish programs outside of the Mass meet the social needs of single, divorced, and separated adults. Religious Education Responses to the survey indicated very high satisfaction with the preparation for all of the sacraments. Our parish religious education programs are also viewed favorably, though not quite as highly as preparation for the sacraments. The parish groups that respondents felt were not as well accommodated for religious education were single, separated, and divorced adults. Respondents also expressed less satisfaction with the youth ministry program, suggesting that our youth programs are not giving our teens a sense of belonging to our parish community. (Since the survey, many changes have been made to the youth ministry program.) Parish Diversity Responses to the parish diversity items present an interesting dichotomy and quandary. Responses indicated strong satisfaction with the following areas of diversity: 1) we recognize and support different cultural traditions, 2) all parishioners feel their views are considered in creating a Parish Pastoral Plan, 3) parish outreach programs are made available to all, and 4) assistance is provided to all parishioners. However, despite these favorable responses, a strong opinion was expressed that our parish does not feel like one unified community. The apparent inconsistency in these responses suggests that the needs of each of the various groups (by culture, age, etc.) are being met separately, and that by meeting the needs of these groups our parish is meeting the needs of most parishioners. However, meeting the needs of parishioners by group differs from having a unified parish community. Parish Outreach Respondents agreed that we are supporting local and county outreach programs for the poor. Similarly, there is general agreement that our parish provides opportunities to support those who are disadvantaged in our parish. Respondents indicated that we do not as effectively reach out to non-practicing Catholics. Parish Involvement Respondents felt most strongly that they were encouraged to get involved in ministries and activities, although they provided the least favorable response to a question indicating that they were aware of the ministry needs of the parish. Although many agreed they were encouraged to get involved in the church ministries, many indicated they did not participate in a ministry. Respondents also expressed a strong sentiment that our parish social events help build our church family. When specifically asked about making a pledge of volunteering or participating in church ministries, a significant number of respondents said they would not be willing to make a pledge. Parish Facilities Survey responses indicated the highest level of satisfaction with parish facilities among all nine areas. To suggest that respondents indicate less satisfaction with any aspect of the parish facilities may be misleading, as all items were rated highly. The item with the lowest rating was that the facilities meet the needs of the parish. Parish Management Survey responses indicated general satisfaction with parish management. Respondents indicated greatest support for the parish master plan, and felt that they were informed about the parish s future plans. The lowest response was with respect to understanding of the role of parish leadership groups (i.e. Pastoral and Finance Councils) in parish management. The most frequently provided narrative comments concerned a desire that major undertakings be identified and congregation input obtained early on in the program 2

4 formulation and decision processes. The parish master plan and the decision to add a high school were cited as examples of major undertakings with little or no early input from the general congregation. Parish Finances Survey responses indicated general satisfaction with parish finances. The items with the most favorable response indicate that respondents are aware of the weekly parish financial information in the bulletin, and that the parish practices responsible financial management. Items with lower ratings are the items that deal with respondent awareness of how financial gifts are spent in the parish and knowledge of the financial needs of the parish. When specifically asked about making a financial pledge, a significant number of respondents said they would not be willing to make a financial pledge. 3

5 Introduction St. Anne Parish currently has 2,128 families enrolled, with a total of 7,028 parishioners with 5,314 parishioners 14 years old and above. A total of 506 survey responses were obtained between March and April, These surveys represent 9.5 percent of parishioners 14 years old and above. Based on information obtained from the months of May and September, 2014, the average number of adults attending mass each week was 1,327. The 506 survey responses obtained represent 38 percent of the number of adults who attend mass each week. The responses represent faithfully the attitudes and beliefs of the 506 respondents. Whether these responses can be interpreted as representative of St. Anne Parish depends upon whether parishioners who did not respond would have responded similarly to the parishioners who did respond. No information is available to make this judgment, so caution must be exercised when generalizing the results of the survey to all members of St. Anne Parish. The characteristics of respondents to the survey are presented in Tables 1 and 2. Table 1 provides the demographic makeup of the survey respondents. Table 2 presents summary information of the parish involvement of the survey respondents. Table 1. Survey Demographics Number of Responses Percent of the Sample Marital Status Divorced 19 4 Single Married Outside Church Married in the Church Widowed 31 6 Not Specified 31 6 Race / Ethnicity African American 4 1 Hispanic / Latino Vietnamese 14 3 White Age Over Years in Parish or more 20 9 With respect to marital status, the majority of the respondents (52%) were married in the church, and the second largest group is single adults (20%). Twelve percent of respondents were married outside of the church. Ten percent of respondents indicated that they were either divorced or widowed. With respect to race/ethnicity, the largest percentage of respondents were white (72%), followed by Hispanic (24%). Only 3 percent of the respondents indicated that they were Vietnamese. The largest group 4

6 of respondents by age was parishioners who are 61 or older (41%); the percentages for all other age groups were similar. The largest group of respondents, by years in the parish, was individuals who have been in the parish 10 years or less (54%), with decreasing percentages of respondents as the number of years in the parish increased. Responses to the questionnaire were examined with respect to racial/ethnic group, not including African- American Respondents because there were too few. Caution was taken not to over-interpret the responses of Vietnamese respondents, because they comprised a relatively small portion of the respondents, also. Analyses were also performed by age group, where age groups were collapsed into three groups: Young (14-40) Middle-age (41-60), and Senior (over 60). These categories made the number of respondents in each group as similar as possible, with enough respondents in each group to provide stable information for interpretation. Table 2. Parish Involvement Parish Involvement Number of Percent of Responses Responses Mass Attendance Less than once a week 32 7 Weekly Do not attend Mass at St. Anne 6 1 Visitor 1 0 Involvement in Parish Ministry Regularly involved in one or more Not presently involved Want to be more involved 42 9 Financial Contribution Frequency Weekly Monthly Do not make contributions 32 7 Ninety-two percent of respondents indicated that they attend mass weekly, and 7 individuals indicated that they do not attend Mass at St. Anne s or were a visitor. Fifty-three (53) percent of respondents indicated that they were regularly involved in one or more church ministry. Analyses were also performed that provided separate results for respondents who participated in church ministries and those who did not participate in church ministries. Differences were not observed between these groups of respondents, and are therefore not discussed in this summary. The similarity in the opinions of respondents by their parish ministry involvement is important to note, however, it is one characteristic that does not define differences in opinion. Only 7percent of respondents indicated that they do not make regular contributions to the parish, which provides evidence that results of the survey may be representative of persons who contribute to the parish on a regular basis. In sum, analyses were performed on the survey with respect to a number of respondent characteristics including race/ethnicity, age, and parish involvement. Differences were not observed by parish involvement, so are not present in the following discussion. Although caution must be exercised regarding whether the results of this survey can be generalized to all parishioners, evidence is present that it may be representative of parishioners who make regular contributions to the parish. 5

7 Results Scoring of Survey Responses In scoring survey responses we have assigned 4 points to Strongly Agree responses, 3 points to responses of Agree, 2 points to Disagree responses and 1 point to Strongly Disagree responses. Scoring the responses to each survey question allows us to calculate the average score for each question. An average score of 3.00 or more for the responses to a question indicates broad agreement with the survey statement and a score of less than 3.00 is indicative of some disagreement. The overall finding is the great majority of questions had mean scores of 3.00 or higher, indicating that for most of the areas addressed in the survey, respondents had a favorable view of the parish. The compilation of the survey responses and the 4 point scale scoring for each survey question are included as an attachment to this report. Organization of Analysis Analysis of the survey responses is organized into nine categories as follows: Parish Religious Services (survey questions 1 through 11) Parish Community (survey questions 12 through 18) Religious Education (survey questions 19 through 23) Parish Diversity (survey questions 24 through 30) Parish Outreach (survey questions 31 through 34) Parish Involvement (survey questions 45 through 48, 55 and 56) Parish Facilities (survey questions 35 through 38) Parish Management (survey questions 39, 40, 41, 43, & 44) Parish Finances (survey questions 42 & 49 through 54) Parish Religious Services All age groups of respondents agreed the Masses, homilies, liturgies, and services are spiritually moving, reverent and well-prepared. Everyone playing a role in the religious and spiritual services is demonstrating proper reverence and respect at Mass. Most respondents indicated they feel they are invited by leadership to participate in liturgical ministries and are provided opportunities for spiritual growth outside of Mass. However, responses indicated a view that the spiritual needs of separated/divorced adults in the parish were not being adequately met, with seniors expressing the least amount of satisfaction, and the same sentiment being expressed regardless of ethnicity or parish involvement. The mean responses for all but 2 items were 3.00 or higher for all respondents, with the only exceptions being values of approximately 2.92 for meeting the needs of single adults, and 2.75 for meeting the needs of divorced/separated adults. The highest two ratings were approximately 3.47 for reverent behavior of ministers at Mass, and 3.43 regarding liturgical preparation. Narrative responses suggested a desire to enhance the sense of connection within the parish community. A significant number of comments suggested consolidating the Masses as opposed to having specific Masses targeted to separate groups and finding ways to strengthen the connection among our members and to bring the congregation together as a whole. Parish Community Among the general questions, all except one had mean responses that indicated respondents were satisfied with the parish community. The one area in which a less favorable view was communicated was with respect to the new member welcoming process. Seniors expressed opinions that they were less satisfied with the aspects of parish community presented in the survey. This dissatisfaction was not expressed by Hispanic and Vietnamese respondents. 6

8 Slightly less favorable opinions regarding how well the parish community meets the social needs of specific groups. Specifically less favorable responses were provided regarding how the parish meets the needs of single, divorced, and separated adults. This sentiment is expressed most strongly by middle aged and white respondents. For the questions that addressed the satisfaction with parish community of all parishioners, the mean scores for all but one item were very near 3.10, with little variability. The one item with a mean score below 3.1 was for the new member welcoming process (approximately 2.89). The mean scores for the social needs of specific groups scored between 2.70 for divorced and separated adults and 3.09 for families. The next lowest score is 2.85 for single adults. There were many narrative comments expressing the desire to have our Priests become more active and involved in our community and be more accessible for parishioner needs outside the church hours (e.g. hospital visits, family emergencies, etc.). Also to improve the communication of ministry needs to the parishioners (e.g. what is needed, and following-up on offers to volunteer), and to offer more senior activities. Concerns were also expressed that we are not a unified Parish community. Religious Education Our analysis of the survey responses related to religious education indicated broad agreement with the survey statements regarding religious education and satisfaction with the parish religious education programs. Overall, respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the sacramental preparation that is provided, especially for elementary and middle school students. Among the sacraments, the least favorable attitudes were expressed regarding preparation for confirmation and marriage. Among the questions presented regarding religious education, least favorable responses were given regarding the programs that serve the single adults of our parish. All ages were in general agreement that our parish was meeting our religious education needs. However, responses by middle-aged respondents indicated that they did not feel that the needs of teens and single adults were being adequately met. Seniors also expressed the opinion that their needs were not being adequately met. Based on the 4 point scoring scale, religious education had an overall score of 3.24 out The scores for the individual religious education question responses ranged from 2.85 to The only area that scored below 3.00 was religious education programs for single adults and for separated / divorced adults, with values of 2.96 and 2.85 respectively. Respondents also expressed less satisfaction with the youth ministry program, suggesting that our youth programs are not giving our teens a sense of belonging to our parish community. (Since the survey, many changes have been made to the youth ministry program.) Narrative comments indicated a desire for improvements in youth programs, more Bible study opportunities and retreats. Additional comments suggested that sacramental preparation programs should foster greater engagement by students and families. Parish Diversity Responses to the parish diversity items present an interesting dichotomy and quandary. Responses indicated strong satisfaction with the following areas of diversity: 1) we recognize and support different cultural traditions, 2) all parishioners feel their views are considered in creating a Parish Pastoral Plan, 3) parish outreach programs are made available to all, and 4) assistance is provided to all parishioners. However, despite these favorable responses, a strong opinion was expressed that our parish does not feel like one unified community. This sentiment was strongest among senior and white respondents. Vietnamese and Hispanic respondents answered more favorably to the statement that our parish feels like one unified community. The inconsistency in these responses suggests that the needs of each of the various 7

9 groups (by culture, age, etc.) are being met separately, and that by meeting the needs of these groups our parish is meeting the needs of most parishioners. The responses of senior and white respondents indicate a belief that our parish groups do not interact enough. The mean response for the parish feeling like a single unified community was For seniors the mean was below 2.50 and for white respondents the mean was just above 2.50, for Hispanic respondents the mean was 3.20, and for Vietnamese respondents the mean was For all other items, the mean responses ranged from 3.10 to 3.30, and were typically lower by.1 or.2 points for seniors. Hispanic respondents provided the most favorable responses to most items, with the highest responses near 3.5. Hispanics felt that parishioners welcome and support people of different backgrounds and that parish organizations exist to provide assistance to all parishioners. Parish Outreach Respondents agreed that we are supporting local and county outreach programs for the poor. This sentiment is expressed regardless of age or ethnicity. Similarly, there is general agreement that our parish provides opportunities to support those who are disadvantaged in our parish. Responses of all age and ethnic groups indicated that we do not as effectively reach out to non-practicing Catholics. Respondents generally agree that we partner with other churches and faiths. Reponses for this item were not as favorable as responses regarding our support of local or county outreach programs to the poor. The highest mean score was 3.40 for our support of local and county outreach programs to the poor, followed by our parish opportunities to support disadvantaged parishioners (3.29), partnering with other churches and faiths in like causes (3.03), and outreach to non-practicing Catholics had the lowest mean score (2.84). Narrative comments frequently mentioned a need to do more to outreach to non-practicing Catholics, other faiths, and those who cannot attend Mass. Parish Involvement For all items regarding parish involvement, the mean responses indicate that respondents agree or strongly agree with each aspect of parish involvement. Respondents felt most strongly that they were encouraged to get involved in ministries and activities, although they provided the least favorable response to a question indicating that they were aware of the ministry needs of the parish. Differences were not observed by age of the respondent. For two items (opportunities for youth involvement, and knowledge of parish ministry needs) larger differences were observed between Hispanic and White respondents, with Hispanic respondents having more favorable responses. The mean score for all items was again above 3.00, with the highest mean score (3.38) for encouragement to be involved in ministries and activities, and the lowest mean score (3.09) for the knowledge of parish ministry needs. Despite the positive responses to general questions regarding parish involvement, when specifically asked about making a financial pledge or participation in church ministries, a significant number of respondents said they would not be willing to make a financial pledge (45%), or make a ministry or volunteer pledge (42%). Also, although many agreed they were encouraged to get involved in the church ministries, many indicated they did not participate in a ministry (42%). Narrative comments expressed a desire for improved communications about ministry needs for involvement, more activities for youth, seniors, singles and divorced parishioners, and improved access and availability to priests in needed situations. 8

10 Parish Facilities Survey responses indicated the highest level of satisfaction with parish facilities among all nine areas. To suggest that respondents indicate less satisfaction with any aspect of the parish facilities may be misleading, as all items were rated highly. The item with the lowest rating was that the facilities meet the needs of the parish. The overall score for satisfaction with parish facilities is The mean scores for the individual parish facilities question responses were all above 3.20, ranging from a low of 3.20 to a high of Only minor differences were observed by age or ethnicity. Specific comments identified interest in having a crying or quiet room available for parents with small children, cleaning carpeting and upholstered seating more frequently, repairing kneelers, providing increased parking, and improving the sound system. Parish Management Survey responses indicated general satisfaction with parish management. Respondents indicated greatest support for the parish master plan, and felt that they were informed about the parish s future plans. The lowest response was with respect to understanding of the role of parish leadership groups (i.e. Pastoral and Finance Councils) in parish management. The overall score for responses related to satisfaction with parish management is The scores for the individual parish management question responses ranged from a low of 2.99 to a high of The lowest response (2.99) was with respect to understanding of the role of parish leadership groups (i.e. Pastoral and Finance Councils) in parish management. For this item senior respondents provided the lowest mean response (2.80). For all items with regard to parish management, the mean score for Hispanic respondents was very near Two items addressed providing information to parishioners, both of which received high ratings from all respondents. The most frequently provided narrative comments concerned a desire that major undertakings be identified to the congregation early on in the program formulation stage and that an opportunity be provided for congregation input in the program development and decision processes. The parish master plan and the decision to add a high school were cited as examples of major undertakings with little or no early input from the general congregation. Parish Finances Survey responses indicated general satisfaction with parish finances, the responses to all items indicated that most respondents agree or strongly agree. The item with the most favorable response indicates that respondents are aware of the weekly parish financial information in the bulletin (score of 3.47), and the items with the lowest rating are the items that deal with respondent awareness of how financial gifts are spent in the parish and knowledge of the financial needs of the parish (scores of 2.97 and 3.04 respectively). When specifically asked about making a financial pledge a significant percent of respondents (45%) said they would not be willing to make a financial pledge. Narrative responses most frequently mentioned were that too many are not contributing financially, and that the congregation should be provided with more information about the parish s financial needs and the use of its financial resources. 9

11 ATTACHMENT Scoring of Survey Responses ATTATCHMENT Q# Satisfaction Agree Disagree 504 Satisfaction 4 Point Total NO S %Agree % Disagree Score 1 Our parish offers Masses which are spiritually moving and reverent % 10% The homilies help me apply the Scriptures and Church teachings to my daily life % 13% The liturgies are well-prepared % 9% The worship services at St. Anne meet the needs of every age group % 21% At Mass, there are songs that I know and can sing % 15% The church interior creates an environment suitable for prayer and worship % 10% At Mass, lectors, servers, ushers and communion ministers act reverently % 8% There are sufficient opportunities to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation % 19% St. Anne offers high quality prayer service and spirituality programs outside of Mass to meet the spiritual needs of: 9a Children % 19% b Young Adults % 21% c Single Adults % 31% d Engaged Couples % 21% e Married Couples % 19% f Families % 17% g Divorced/Sep % 37% h Widows (ers) % 39% i Seniors % 23% Leadership invites parishioners to participate in liturgical ministries % 11% Our parish has high-quality programs for spiritual growth outside of Mass (retreats, Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Benediction, reflection days, etc.) % 13% Our parish fosters a strong sense of community % 22% Our parish maintains a friendly, inviting atmosphere for new parishioners % 20% Our new member welcoming process made me feel a part of the parish % 32% Our parish maintains a friendly, inviting atmosphere for existing parishioners % 18% Current parish leadership is available to parishioners % 19% Current leadership welcomes feedback and dialogue with parishioners % 21% St. Anne offers high quality programs outside of Mass to meet the social needs of the following groups: 18a Young Adults % 21% b Single Adults % 34% c Engaged Couples % 26% d Married Couples % 28% e Families % 20% f Divorced/Sep % 41% g Seniors % 26% 2.96

12 ATTACHMENT Scoring of Survey Responses ATTATCHMENT Q# Satisfaction Agree Disagree 504 Satisfaction 4 Point Total NO S %Agree % Disagree Score 19 Youth ministry programs meet the needs of our teens (6th thru 12th Grades) % 22% Youth programs give our teens a sense of belonging to our parish community % 23% Religious Education classes are offered at convenient times % 18% St. Anne offers high-quality religious education for the following groups: 22a Elementary % 10% b Middle % 13% c High School % 17% d Young Adults % 22% e Single Adults % 27% f Married Couples % 21% g Families % 21% h Divorced/Sep % 32% i Seniors % 20% St. Anne offers effective preparation for the following sacraments: 23a Baptism % 7% b First Communion % 8% c Reconciliation % 9% d Confirmation (Y) % 14% e Confirmation (A) % 11% f RCIA % 8% g Marriage % 12% Our parish feels like one unified community % 39% Our parish recognizes different cultural traditions as part of our one community % 14% All parishioners are considered in Parish Pastoral plans % 28% Parish outreach programs are made available to all groups and organizations % 15% Information on parish programs is available to all parishioners % 14% Parishioners welcome and support people of different backgrounds % 15% Parish groups and organizations exist to provide assistance to all parishioners % 14% Our parish supports local or county outreach programs to the poor % 8% Our parish provides opportunities to support disadvantaged parishioners % 13% Our parish has programs to reach out to non-practicing Catholics % 34% Our parish partners with other churches and faiths in like-causes % 23% Buildings are well maintained % 11% Grounds are well maintained % 11% 3.30

13 ATTACHMENT Scoring of Survey Responses ATTATCHMENT Q# Satisfaction Agree Disagree 504 Satisfaction 4 Point Total NO S %Agree % Disagree Score 37 Parish facilities meet the needs of the parish outside of Mass (e.g. education, social, ministerial activities, meetings) % 18% 3.20 Our parish offers a safe environment for my children % 8% 3.53 In dealing with parish staff my needs have been satisfactorily addressed % 14% 3.27 The role that parish leadership groups (i.e. Pastoral and Finance Council, etc.) play in the management of the parish is clear % 28% 2.99 Parish leaders keep parishioners well informed of parish activities and needs % 18% 3.17 Our Parish practices responsible financial management % 10% 3.34 Parishioners have been informed about the parish's future plans % 13% 3.30 I support the first phase of the Parish's Master Plan % 15% 3.32 Parish social events help build our church family % 12% 3.32 Parishioners are encouraged and invited to get involved in ministries and activities % 12% 3.38 Our parish offers opportunities for our youth to be involved % 13% 3.27 Our parish helps me to live as a Christian steward % 12% 3.29 Our parish demonstrates a spiritual understanding and responsibility to tithing % 21% 3.06 Our parish leadership encourages financial tithing % 20% 3.14 My tithe is making a difference in our parish % 16% 3.20 I am aware of the weekly parish financial information in the bulletin % 7% 3.47 I know how our financial gifts are being spent in our parish % 29% 2.97 I know the financial needs of our parish % 25% 3.04 I know the ministry needs of the parish % 23% 3.09 Stewardship contributions of time, talent and treasure are recognized and appreciated by parish leadership % 15% 3.25

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