Bishop McManus has invited parish input in a wide-ranging review of diocesan programs.
“We are always very grateful for the support of so many people across our diocese for our departments, programs and services. We want to solicit the opinions of those who support and use our diocesan services so we can use wisely the resources entrusted to us and plan prudently for the future,” the bishop said.
The survey followed a series of listening sessions the bishop held with the priests across the diocese last fall. More than 80 of the 120 priests in active ministry attended. Bishop McManus said that a number of important ideas surfaced in these meetings including the deepening of the spiritual lives of our priests and parishioners, the pressing need for evangelization and the costs for the care of our retired priests.
“The survey,” Bishop McManus said, “will allow us to prioritize and plan for the future.”
The 31-page survey was sent to all pastors in late December with the request that associate pastors, deacons, staff, parish councils and finance committees be consulted to formulate a single response for each parish. The survey asks each parish to indicate the frequency of use and the helpfulness of each program provided by diocesan departments or ministries, including those supported by Partners in Charity. It also asks if there are services not provided that they would like to see.
Among those included in the survey are questions regarding a parish’s use of the offices of Marriage and Family, Religious Education, Fiscal Affairs and Communications; Hispanic and Haitian apostolates; African and Campus ministries; the diocesan Tribunal, Catholic Charities and others.
Comments are also solicited as well as a general rating of diocesan services and a ranking of the programs each parish considered most or least essential.
To date, 52 completed surveys have been returned, representing about half of the parishes. The deadline is June 1.
Bishop McManus thanked those parishes that have returned the survey and expressed the hope that the remaining parishes might complete it soon.
“This consultation is a chance for a broad-based input into the decisions that I must ultimately make regarding diocesan planning and budgeting for future programs and services. I am grateful to all who have taken the time to give their input. Obviously, the more parishes we hear from, the more valuable the input,” he said.
After the surveys are completed, the results will be shared with the Diocesan Finance Council, the Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Office of Fiscal Affairs as Bishop McManus establishes priorities and budgets for future years.