December 3, 2017
Dear Parishioners: I have asked the parish council to work with me on developing a pastoral plan for our parish. A pastoral plan helps us to prioritize our time and resources and give us a roadmap for the next few years in light of the universal Church’s mission, and the mission of our pastoral region in the Archdiocese. This planning has to be data informed, meaning that it is based on reality – not how our parish used to be, but how it is today, really.
We decided that to understand our parish today, we need to get some information from you, and one way to do that would be through a series of surveys that would look at different aspects of who we are, what we believe, and what are our struggles, hopes, gifts and needs. As we offer these surveys, I humbly ask that you take a few minutes to complete them. They will all be online, and we may also provide paper surveys for those who are unfamiliar with computers.
In the month of October, the Parish Pastoral Council administered the first of these surveys to gather some background information about the parish. This survey looked at our demographics and involvement. Overall, 471 people took our survey, which represents 21.2% of our Sunday Mass attendance! Below are some of the results, some of which have fewer than 471 responses because not everyone answered the question.
How long have you been attending St. Dominic’s? (n=458)
Our parish is a roughly equal mix of people who have been here more than 21 years, those who have been attending 6-20 years, and those who have been here five years or less. One in seven have been in the parish less than one year. We have no plan in place at this time to welcome them, and this is a problem!
How would you describe your marital status? (n=462)
The majority of our respondents, 42%, are married in the church, while 26% have never been married. Thirteen percent of our respondents are in a Civil Marriage. This indicates that we need to help those couples married outside the Church to prepare to have their marriages convalidated simply and at little or no expense. Also, 50% of adults 18 and older in the US are not married, so our data could reflect the fact that young adults are leaving the parish and Church. We only recently started a young adult outreach and need to do more to minister to them and our youth.
With what ethnicity do you identify? (n=456)
The city of Eagle Rock, according to the most recent census, is 40% Latino, 24% Asian (the majority of which I presume are Filipino, though that ethnicity was not a response given on the census) and 30% white. Our results reflect a concentration of Filipinos in our parish - which is pretty obvious when you look and listen on Sunday! Our Latino presence is greater than I had imagined. I’ll share more results next week!