FALL RIVER – To help in its efforts for improved ministry and effective pastoral planning, the Fall River Diocese has posted an online parishioner survey through which area Catholics are urged to offer their perspective on the health of parish life.
The survey may be accessed at www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2682037/Diocese-of-Fall-River-Parishioner-Survey . A link is provided on the diocesan website www.fallriverdiocese.org as well as on many parish websites.
The survey is available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish; simple instructions are included on the survey landing page; and all responses are confidential. It should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Hard copies of the survey are available by request at parishes for those without Internet access.
Responses to the survey must be submitted by May 31, 2016.
Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha has asked pastors to publicize the survey through any and all means, and to encourage the participation of parishioners.
Diocesan Director of Pastoral Planning and Parish Pastoral Task Force member Deacon Joe Regali underscores the need for a strong parishioner response so that survey results provide an accurate picture.
“The Parish Pastoral Task Force believes it is critical to gather feedback from parishioners,” he said.
“Task Force members understand how important it is for them to have from parishioners an evaluation of their parish, its strengths and weaknesses, in order to map out the best way forward for renewal.”
Survey participants are asked to respond to questions organized around five aspects of parish life; sacramental life; Catholic faith formation; community; serving those in need; and effective administration. Some questions require an answer, others are optional.
Results of the survey will be included with other data gathered by the Parish Pastoral Task Force to assist them in their work to determine how diocesan priests, parishes and other entities can better serve the needs of the diocesan church in the future. It is anticipated that survey results will be shared in the fall after careful analysis of them, Regali explained.
The Parish Pastoral Task Force of priests, deacons, and laity was created last spring by Bishop da Cunha to study diocesan parishes and to establish goals for their renewal. It is his intention, the bishop said, “to help move them from maintenance mode to mission mode.” (A parallel Task Force on Schools was also established.)
The Parish Pastoral Task Force used the services of TDC, a Boston-area non-profit consulting firm, to design the parishioner survey in order to have a tool to assess the current status of parishes and to identify their greatest needs.
In addition to the parishioner survey, the Task Force and TDC have also created a second, more-detailed survey, the Parish Evaluation of Criteria for Planning, which is to be completed jointly by each pastor and a team of representative parish leaders after a process of reflection and discussion. It also has a completion deadline of May 31.
Anyone with questions or encountering difficulty in accessing the survey should contact Deacon Regali at the Pastoral Planning Office by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 508-675-1311.