ST Gregory

August 20, 2023

Disciple Maker Index Results

At the end of 2022, parishioners within the St. Gregory the Great family of parishes were asked to complete the Disciple Maker Index (DMI) survey provided through Catholic Leadership Institute. The Pathways Team reviewed the survey results, completed by 1,134 parishioners within our St. Gregory the Great Family of Parishes, and compiled the key findings. These include strengths and opportunities to ensure vibrant parishes, vibrant liturgies and an evangelical spirit as we build unity among us.

As we dive into these findings, we ask that you keep in mind that The Disciple Maker Index is set up knowing that individuals in the pews on Saturday and Sunday were likely to respond to the survey.

65% of respondents were over the age of 55 who have been members of our parishes for 20+ years with another 20% who have been members for over 10 years. These individuals mostly sent their children to Catholic schools and their current parish is their primary place of worship.

The key strengths and opportunities for our family of parishes are as follows:

1. 81% of respondents go to Mass weekly and 84% of respondents make time for individual prayer time on a weekly basis. It is encouraging that many of the respondents have a relationship with God and prioritize that relationship in community, through the Mass, as well as alone, through personal prayer. This is important because having a personal relationship with God is the beginning stage of developing as a Disciple, a follower of Jesus who shares the Good News.

a. However, only 61% of respondents agree or strongly agree that their parish is helping them grow spiritually by forming them as a Disciple of Jesus.

b. While the personal internal relationship with God is evident and strong, our parishes have the responsibility to teach and guide parishioners to expand their internal relationship outward, thus inspiring others in their community to form and grow their own personal relationship with God and in turn share it with others.

i.This can be done in many ways and additional data showed us that while we offer many programs, there is an opportunity to provide a more focused approach that inspires spiritual growth. This can be done through developing stronger relationships with our parishioners and learning what is important to them, rather than trying to achieve this result by simply doing what we have always done.

2. Data shows that most respondents agree or strongly agree with the Church’s basic teachings. For example, 90% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the Scripture is the Word of God and 89% agree or strongly agree the Eucharist really is the Body and Blood of Christ. Having a strong belief in the Catholic teaching is the beginning stage of having conversations about the Church’s teachings with others.

a. However, only 44% of respondents said they agreed or strongly agreed that our parishes are equipping individuals to have conversations about the Church’s teaching. Equipping parishioners with more knowledge about the church’s teachings will instill in them the confidence needed to talk about it with others, thereby enabling them to radiate Christ by sharing His Good News.

b. Our evangelization and formation ministries can establish individual relationships with parishioners, focusing on determining where each person is on their own faith journey and providing direction, education and encouragement so they can strengthen their relationship with Christ.

3. 80% of respondents agree or strongly agree that their parish makes them feel welcome and accepted. The time you spend with us is important as you are greeted and welcomed into community, but it’s also important to consider how you feel during the Mass through engagement with the music and homilies.

a. Only 61% of respondents feel their church offers vibrant and engaging Sunday Masses and homilies that connect their faith with their everyday life. Your weekend Mass experience within the St. Gregory the Great Family is a priority because we want you to continue to worship with us each week and deepen your own spiritual growth.

b. While a welcoming environment is a positive aspect of our parish communities, we can focus on making our Masses more vibrant and structuring homilies in a way that make it easier to understand the relationship between the Gospel Message and our everyday lives.

Thank you to each of you who spent time completing the survey. As we move forward through the phases of Beacons of Light, we are committed to using this data and future data to find opportunities to guide our parishioners Catholic Journey and form a unified community within the St. Gregory the Great Family.

This summary of the data was completed by the Pathways Team that consists of the following members:

Team Leader – Maggie Leon-Guerrero

Church Subgroup – Mark Dulle, Jay Mather, Mary Selvaggi, Jenifer Tiettmeyer

Leadership Subgroup – Joan Cardone, Dan Frey, Bill Neyer, Rick Oberschmidt

Eucharist Subgroup – Dave Auxier, Bradley Barnes, John Elliott

Fr. Steve