Parish Life Survey Summary Highlights
Blessed Trinity & St. Patrick;
September 16, 2019
In the Spring of 2019, the parishioners at Blessed Trinity & St. Patrick parishes were offered the opportunity to complete a Parish Life Survey. In total, 224 surveys were returned with 208 from current parishioners and 16 from past parishioners. This Summary Highlights is offered to the whole community and is meant to be a bridge for Fr. Galens and Fr. White in starting new relationships with the community.
General Aspects of the Parish
- Not having a pastor since 2014 has led to feelings of being neglected by the diocese.
- There is a great deal of anger towards the diocese in how Fr. Valenti’s removal was handled.
- As a rural, multi-site parish, there are many challenges in the creation of the sense of community.
- The parish has a diverse population in terms of “traditional” and “progressive” ecclesial preferences. This diversity can be a source of vitality and can also be a source of tension.
- There is not an understanding of what specifically is needed and what types of outreach are available.
- There is a hope for more two-way communication with the Pastor and the pastoral council.
- More communication with the Pastor & Parochial Vicar would help build trust as decisions are made.
- Following up is needed with people when they offer their help to volunteer.
It is important to reach out to those who have left. Past parishioners referenced dissatisfaction with a priest as part or all of their reason for leaving, as well as changes in staff, the Mass schedule, and seeking a place that was more spiritually fulfilling. There is much interest in ongoing adult faith formation.
Gifts of the Community and Outreach
There is a need for people to be invited to participate in outreach, to know the needs of the community, to have their own gifts identified, and to feel recognized and valued in their outreach.
Experience at Mass
Roughly equal numbers appreciate more traditional aspects of celebrating the Mass, compared with those who prefer more progressive aspects. Need for homilies that are connected to the Scripture and relate to everyday life. All agree that well-planned, sing-able, and uplifting music is vital to the celebration. Hospitality and the use of greeters is appreciated, with a warm, friendly environment. Coffee hours are consistent, positive social time. However, it is easy for friendliness to turn to perceived cliquishness.
Plan for the Future
There is a sense of decline, with sadness that it is occurring. Without a clear idea where things are going there is not much hope that needs will be addressed. A long-range plan is needed.
Note: This is an abridged version of the full Parish Life Survey Summary, created by Shannon Kilbridge, Associate Director, Dept. of Pastoral Services, Diocese of Rochester. In her role as an independent and neutral professional, Shannon created the Summary, which was approved by the Parish Life Committee.
Copies of the full Parish Life Survey Summary, as well as Summary graphs for each numeric survey question for your specific Church, are available in the back of each Church. Additional copies can be obtained by calling the Parish office @ 607-687-1068. Thank you.