Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Parish Self Assessment

The Archbishop's Weekly Column focused on The Parish Self Assessment.

According to the article, it is an "instrument" that "allows a self-assessment based on identifiable, objective norms in the area of worship, education, community life, service and administration."

In other words, it is a form the pastor (and his staff) fill out based on certain baseline. Now, I will admit, I have not seen one (have any of you?) but I complete these sorts of things at work on a quarterly basis.

I do remember my pastor telling me about a similar report many years ago. Each year, he had to tell the Cardinal how many baptisms, confirmations, weddings, the various parish groups (with membership numbers, if available), the number of community events, special events, etc.

But does this really tell the story of what is happening in a parish. Yes and no.

It tells you lots of numbers and numbers can tell a story that people want to hear. But as you know, there is the story behind the story.

Does it tell the Archdiocese that the parish rarely sees their pastor or assistants at various events? Nope.

Does it tell the Archdiocese how many people have left the parish (but they may still be registered) because there is no sense of community? Nope.

Does it tell the Archdiocese that the religious education program is run by an incompetent DRE? Nope.

Does it tell the Archdiocese that a parish looks the other way when it comes to certain matters of faith and morals. Nope.

I would love to see some of these reports. From what I have heard about some of our parishes, it would make for some entertaining reading.

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