Facing reality: Pastoral Planning Information and Data

The following information and data sets must be considered part of the reality addressed by all who are engaged in planning for the renewal of the diocese.  Executing the pastoral plan in parishes and the diocese will need to positively impact these trends and conditions. Some trends and conditions need to be immediately impacted, others can only be impacted over time. The pastoral plan must impact every mission-related metric.

Average Weekend Attendance

Over the past 8 years attendance at mass has dropped by 41%

Participation in sacraments is also showing steep declines

Sadly, the statistic that shows the smallest decline is the rate of Deaths at 18%. Baptisms and Marriages have declined over 30%.

Catholic School Enrollment is down by 24% over the past decade

Diocesan and Parish subsidies to Catholic Schools cannot be sustained.

Population statistics in our region provide
a grim backdrop as deaths outpace births

Parish finances have remained mostly flat despite
19% inflation over the past decade

In 2019 the costs of running the parishes outpaced their revenues.

Most critically…..

The number of ordained religious available to provide the required ecclesiastical leadership is dwindling.

Priests Active in the Diocese

Diocesan Trends call out the need for change… we must chart a Road to Renewal to walk in the footsteps of Christ.

We must reverse the negative trend in morale driven by a shameful history of abuse and its cover-up and subsequent bankruptcy

1. We must be transparent and collaborative.
2. We must judiciously use the special talents of our dwindling number of clergy for ministry and leadership.
3. We must engage our laity in new and expansive involvement in the leadership and ministry of our parishes.
4. We must invigorate our youth and explore new ways to educate and form them as Christians within our means.
5. We must live within our means and use our treasure wisely to support parish life and outreach to those in need.

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