Perspectives From Parish Leaders: U.S. Parish Life and Ministry

By Mark M Gray

In 2009, the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership project, a Lilly Endowment Inc. funded collaboration of five Catholic national ministerial organizations, commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University to conduct a series of surveys in parishes nationwide. The first of these was a single informant survey sent to parishes to develop a portrait of parish life in the United States today. This survey was in the field from March 2010 to December 2010 and included a total of 846 parishes (margin of sampling error for the survey is ±3.3 percentage points). The second survey, the focus of this report, includes responses from 532 parish leaders (i.e., parish staff, finance and pastoral council members, other parish leaders; paid and volunteer; those in pastoral ministry and those with other duties) in 246 of the parishes from the first survey (margin of sampling error of ±4.2 percentage points). This survey was in the field from May 2011 to April 2012.

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