December 10, 2017
Dear Parishioners: I have asked the parish council to work with me on developing a pastoral plan for our parish in order 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. In order to plan for the future, we have to understand where we are right now, so that is the purpose of the first survey we gave in October. In the upcoming months we will roll out other surveys. I ask your assistance in filling them out, because the more responses we collect, the more accurate our picture of our parish today.
The survey indicates that our parishioners are well-educated. 57% of the respondents have at least a 4-year college degree, and 22% have advanced or professional degrees. This compares with 30.4% in the general Eagle Rock population who have a four-year degree or more. The percentage of those with less than a high school diploma includes the elementary and high school students who took our survey! Still, this is less than the 21% of adults in Eagle Rock as a whole who do not have a high school diploma.
In the month of October, the Parish Pastoral Council administered the first of these surveys to gather some information about our demographics and parishioner involvement. Over 450 responses were gathered – just over 21% of our Sunday Mass attendance. We are blessed with a population that, because of their education, have a lot to offer the larger community in terms of the ability to analyze and respond to problems we find in our neighborhoods and challenges we face as a parish community.
The survey allowed respondents to give several reasons why they chose to start attending St. Dominic’s. Below are the most common responses. The most common reasons reflect convenience, connections and culture, with some aspects of our liturgy, as well. We might all make an effort to welcome people we do not recognize. You never know when someone is returning to Mass for the first time in a long time, or attending their first Mass ever.
I am sharing these summaries in the interest of transparency. The parish council believes that the data we will gather in this and future surveys will be useful in planning and using the resources we have. In the coming months we will be rolling out more surveys for the parish, and we hope that you will help us collect the data we need to better serve you and the rest of the community. Next week I will share our third and final data sets.