Parish Survey and Listening Session Results

PRAISE

-Priests, Deacons, Missionary Priests, Sisters, Staff

-Welcoming, Friendly, Sharing, Faith-Filled Parish Family

-Active Church, Opportunity for involvement

-Adoration Availability

-Convenient Mass Times

-E-mail and bulletin communication

-Support of Catholic Faith

-Readings and homilies bring us closer to God

-Our Catholic School

-Various styles of music for different ages and tastes

-Love and appreciate RCIA/PREP/VBS/IHS/Religious programs (Pre-Covid)

-No debt!

-Proud to bring family and friends to parish activities

CONCERNS

-Confessions- not enough opportunities available

-Poor inclusion: non-school families, disabled, elderly

-No opportunity to use missals outside the church

-Cantors reading announcements while the bells are ringing

-Missing prayer guides for converts, young, non-Catholics or returning parishioners

-Missing inspirational devotional materials in Adoration Chapel

-Low pay for teachers

-Lack of religious education opportunities for younger/pre-communion children and adults

-Lack of support/direction for PREP students by parents

-Lack of PREP/School/Church connection

-Teachers who don't practice the Faith

-Many changes and renovations without input or information

-Lack of advertising for needed positions in the parish (principal, teachers, secretary, music director)

SUGGESTIONS

PRIESTS

  1. Have at least 2 Priests for every Confession time

  2. Encourage parishioners to do more good and then acknowledge the positive response

  3. Be more involved/ more present in all parish life

  4. Catechize-catechize-catechize from the pulpit (teach and preach!)

  5. Call us to be Saints!

  6. Morally challenge us

  7. Make us feel valuable, affirmed, recognized (once x month all with that month’s birthdays stand and be blessed, different weekend per month, all anniversaries stand and be blessed, etc)

MUSIC

  1. Change to Adoramus Hymnals/ more reverential/Catholic choices

  2. Create a substitute list for organist/pianist/cantor

  3. Hire/pay a musical director

 

MASS/CHURCH​

  1. Better training for Altar servers- who should be participating in the Mass/Funerals

  2. Ushers should be more pro-active: stop parishioners from returning to seats DURING Consecration and send parishioners to Parish Center for Easter and Christmas BEFORE Church is overcrowded

 

ORGANIZATIONS/ACTIVITIES

  1. More social rather than fund-raising events

  2. More evening activities/programs for working people

  3. More activities for seniors, singles, young families, mothers (with support/child care)

  4. More outreach to home bound, lonely, nursing homes, shelters

 

PARISH CENTER

  1. Successful Flea Market could allocate a percentage of proceeds for supplemental salaries or for a music director

  2. Profit disbursement information could be shared with parishioners

 

FINANCES

  1. Transparency in expenditures and income could be more regularly shared

 

EDUCATION​​

  1. Better Bible orientation in CCD- especially for older students

  2. Catechesis from pulpit or some other time about: True Presence, Adoration, Confession, receiving Communion with reverence and grace, Satan, hell, temptation, prayer, thanksgiving, daily life with love and surrender, sacrifice, fasting, devotions

  3. Offer more hybrid formation for homebound, fearful, won’t drive in dark, etc., so they can participate

  4. Catechize parents of Prep students so they understand the commitment they are making

  5. Speak to Prep and School children every day (during announcements?) short messages of hope, formation

  6. Teach good apologetics to all

  7. Remind Confirmation Mothers (and others) about appropriate attire for the Church

  8. Update/instruct Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Ushers, Altar Servers

  9. Keep all parishioners in loop of updates to stop rumors

  10. Invite WHOLE parish to volunteer -and the opportunities to do so

 

IN GENERAL

  1. Provide programs: art exhibit, live music series from around the world, religious speakers, personal faith journeys, conversion experiences, etc

  2. Provide more space for FAMILY opportunities

  3. Invite dynamic speakers: Fr. Michael Gaitley,Dr Edward Sri, Jeff Cavins, Fr Michael Schmidt, Matthew Kelly

PRAISES FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AT LARGE

-Roman Catholic Church = our Treasure, our Home            

-Universal            

-Many Resources  

-Church established by Jesus Christ          

-Brings me closer to Jesus        

-The Sacraments      

-Maintains Rituals and Traditions    

-Convert- new meaning to life, happy, holy, no regrets    

-Always been Catholic and proud of it        

-Great alternative to public education    

-New seminarians are conservative and well trained in tradition  

-Love and respect Bishop Schlert and priests  

-Open and accountable for scandals    

 

CONCERNS FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AT LARGE

-Disappointed in Pope and Bishops    

-Liberal/worldly/political - acceptance of sinful leaders  

-Lack of unity and communication = confusion    

-Lack of support for traditional Catholic values - under attack

-Leadership failure - weak, not role models, not trustworthy, silence

  • Bishops living lavishly  

  • Too focused on finances rather than spirituality  

  • Sex scandals and handling (and response of Diocese)

  • Unwilling to sacrifice 

 

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH?      

-Losing members, low numbers of young families  

-Lack of reverence for the Eucharist  

-No attention to civil problems (hunger, poverty, handicapped, homelessness)

-No corrections from the Vatican  

-Lack of priests 

-Too many rules, too strict (annulments ,marriage prep, godparent criteria)  

-Non inclusive:  gays, handicapped  

-Priests not allowed to marry  

-Women not holding positions of leadership  

-Don’t tell me how to vote! (more issues than pro-life)  

-Support for illegal immigrants  

-Catholic Education- just the same as public ed.  

-Covid decisions - closing churches, silence on use of aborted tissue in vaccines, lack of support for non vaccinated

-Too much singing  

-Too much criticism of the Pope  

-RCC is not open-minded  

 

SUGGESTIONS FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AT LARGE

-Church needs more structure  

-Church should be more inclusive of other denominations  

-Church should build trust  

-Church should be more pro-active for pro-life  

-Church should recognize ALL marriages  

-Lay people should not be Eucharistic Ministers  

-More catechesis of church values/traditions  

3 LISTENING SESSIONS RE-CAP

Why do you attend St Joseph the Worker?

  1. Warm, welcoming, family oriented, vibrant 

  2. Adoration Chapel

  3. Great priests for decades

  4. Like a family-we know our priests and they know us

  5. My FAITH blossomed here

  6. Immediately felt God’s presence

  7. Personal devotion to St Joseph the Worker

  8. Right order: Faith and THEN Social

  9. School

  10. Many opportunities for involvement

Share a joyous experience:

  1. Sacraments

  2. Came alone but was accepted and encouraged to be a part of the parish

  3. Festival

  4. CCD, Divine Mercy, Prophets Program

  5. Adoration

  6. Being a Prep teacher

  7. Fr Ritz homilies

  8. Personal encounter with Msgr. Finelli

  9. Fr Carter put baby daughter on the altar

  10. Fr James and the Fatima event

  11. Sharing in church: religious articles, homilies, , personal spiritual experiences

  12. As a new member, Christmas caroling with Msgr. Smith (at that time, Fr Smith!)

  13. All family activities at St Joe’s

  14. Welcomed by RCIA and new converts

  15. Personal visits/ stories by our priests

Share a challenging experience:

  1. To go to confession (but there was a joy to follow the confession made with Fr Francis!)

  2. Questioned about faith by parishioners after 19 year old daughter was murdered

  3. Mom moved from hospital to hospice without notification

  4. Cancer (but became stronger)

  5. Faith was challenged and even became weaker in college

  6. Pedophilia in the church - the scandal and facing anyone who questioned my Catholicity

  7. Making time for what is really important

Does St. Joseph the Worker evangelize enough?

  1. Lack of home support for CCD/Confirmation/Mass for children: Need for family catechesis

  2. Public School children seem to be second class citizens at church activities/events

  3. Lack of emphasis on Eucharist- especially during Year of the Eucharist

  4. Lack of training for public school children to be altar servers

  5. Need for recognized speakers and evening programs/activities (live stream to parishioners?)

  6. Lack of Education/catechesis from pulpit- Review of traditional Faith teachings - say the TOUGH STUFF! regularly (every other week? at least once/month!) - talk about Confession, Communion, reverence, Satan, hell, sin

  7. Missing house visits by clergy- house blessings-visits to elderly, etc (2X2 to those not attending!), personal/heartfelt - not as a duty

  8. Missing the supernatural, the Spiritual - Eucharistic processions, 40 hours

  9. Parishioners are missing the reality of sin, the devil, hell: we have a hunger for Spiritual

  10. Young adults, youth, singles of any age don’t feel anyone is talking TO THEM

  11. Mothers have no support (especially mid day) to attend activities/organizations (no child care, no invitation, no welcome)

  12. Msgr. Finelli’s Christmas message to contact him anytime should be forwarded to those who are not attending

  13. Need for more confession time- NO ONE should be turned away from confession!

  14. Need for confession time on Sundays when more people are able to attend

  15. Need for education on how to get sacrament for the sick

  16. Emphasize the REAL PRESENCE regularly/always

  17. Need for the sharing of personal spiritual experiences to highlight the REAL, to indicate God is with ALL of us ALWAYS

  18. Looking for Clergy to CONNECT with groups/events - esp. social events that are NOT fund raisers

  19. Implement Social events: picnics, potluck suppers, ice cream socials, etc- create a tighter congregation and a stronger sense of belonging

  20. Too many basics are missing: too many don’t know prayers (return prayer guides?), when to fold their hands instead of raising arms, where to go to be social (NOT where people are praying!), how to recognize the presence of Christ (genuflecting, silence, prayerfulness, etc)

  21. Have a regular sharing of spiritual experiences and devotions like the Rosary during October, Divine Mercy at 3:00, etc.

  22. Redo past events that were done right: Renewal

  23. Formation not information

  24. Encouragement for all Catholics to live the Christ-like life: repeat "God bless you” often, don’t be afraid to say grace in public arena, HOLY BOLDNESS when a moral reminder is necessary -to Bishops who remain silent on moral teachings, to young men/women who seem to have a calling

  25. Alert all that we are in a BATTLE to save souls and go to Heaven- that the War between good and evil is REAL

  26. Address divorce/adult problems/temptations, etc. with children who suffer the consequences