Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
At this weekend’s Masses I am speaking about “The Disciple Maker Index” (DMI) survey that we are using in this parish. The idea of a survey like DMI comes from materials and meetings we have encountered in the Amazing Parish Movement. The DMI index is a way for parish staff and leaders to get a read on the current Faith life and needs of over our parishioners. The DMI was created by the Catholic Leadership Institute, which is well known across the United States, since for decades it has sponsored a program to help pastors become better leaders and administrators. For example, Fr. Fillman, my predecessor, went through the Good Shepherds/Good Leaders program of the Catholic Leadership Institute. It is well respected. The DMI survey was recommended and introduced to a number of pastors in our diocese who attended an Amazing Parish conference.
The Catholic Leadership Institute gathered 100 bishops, priests, diocesan officials, peers leaders and authors/thought leaders (e.g., Sherry Weddell, Matthew Kelly, etc.) to a two-day “think tank” on parish engagement which produced some initial hypotheses. Then a survey was crafted, then shared with 15 bishops for feedback and editing. The survey was first administered in 2014, and to date has received more than 100,000 responses.
The purpose of the DMI survey is to provide a tool that will help us equip and call forth disciple-makers – people who bring others to know Jesus. We want to build promoters of the faith and promoters of our parish, so that they can spread the message of the parish as a place of community where we encounter Jesus on a personal level.
The survey questions are grouped into categories such as, your Catholic journey, your parish connections, your personal religious beliefs, the various ways you participate in parish life and the Catholic Faith, etc. For most of the questions, you check a box which indicates your level of agreement with the question, based on a 1-5 scale.
In this and future bulletins, you will see the website link to fill out the survey. It only takes 10-15 minutes. The survey runs for one month, this weekend through March 18. We hope that every adult 18 years and older fills out the survey. The survey can also be taken in Spanish. Anybody homebound will automatically get a paper copy from us to fill out and return in a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Hardcopy format is readily available as well at each campus for anybody who prefers that. Call the parish office with any practical questions in this regard.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do your best to fill out the survey, and encourage every other adult around you in the parish to do so as well (adult children in your home, etc.). I and the parish staff will never see your answers. Everything will be tabulated anonymously at the Catholic Leadership Institute. The reports generated I believe will be very, very helpful in giving me a still deeper feel for the spiritual life of my parishioners. [I think the surveys will also be an opportunity for each of us to have an honest conversation with the Lord about what He and His Church mean to us.] As a result, there could be some new initiatives in the parish to help serve needs that I couldn’t see before. We all know that the parish is much more than the pastor or the pastoral staff. We all take ownership of this parish, and here is an excellent opportunity to participate in a way that will help us move spiritually as a parish to the next level. In an age where almost every religious institution across the country is experiencing decline, here is a opportunity to give the Catholic Faith life in Paulding county a boost! Please take the time to fill out the survey!
On another note, the pop refrigerator in the Payne hall kitchen has worn out. We have had it for decades; and it actually belongs to the Pepsi company. Pepsi is taking it back. In order for them to replace the refrigerator, we would have to sell more than $2,000 worth of Pepsi products each year. We are quite sure that would not happen. So we have to purchase a new pop refrigerator. It will cost about $3,300. We need it for our various hall activities, so we are going to purchase it.
On still another note, I will be leaving for a retreat with three other priests of our Diocese this coming Wednesday through the following Wednesday. We will be at Our Lady of Solitude Monastery near Phoenix, Arizona. Please keep us in prayer. Thanks!
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,