This past spring, many Holy Family parishioners filled out a parish survey. This survey offered us the opportunity to give Fr. Kastl and the rest of our parish clergy a better understanding of our parish’s particular needs.
“The survey helps take the guesswork out of serving our parish for the clergy and staff,” says parishioner Jeannie Bracken, a member of the survey core team. “It helps Fr. Kastl identify any gaps that exist in our understanding of the Catholic faith so that he and the other clergy members know where to focus their preaching, and it gives them a better grasp as to which ministries need more focus throughout the years, as well.”
At its core, the purpose of the parish survey is to give Fr. Kastl the ability to minister to our parish in the way that best serves who we are as a parish community.
“The feedback that the survey offers is really an invaluable asset for our parish clergy and staff,” Jeannie says.
The clergy and staff members are here to serve us as a parish family, to guide us as Christian disciples, and to bring us closer to Christ. The information they gather through the parish survey helps them carry out these essential roles, with specific focus on who we are as the people of Holy Family.
Following the survey, Fr. Kastl and the members of our survey core team conducted focus groups. They presented the opportunity through announcements at the pulpit and advertisements in the bulletin, asking people to volunteer. Then, for three weeks, volunteers gathered in groups of about eight to answer survey questions more thoroughly.
“This was our first time conducting focus groups,” Jeannie says. “We wanted to be able to dive deeper than the simple answers to the survey questions. We wanted to take some of the survey questions and gain a greater understanding of how we can serve our parish community best, and the focus groups offered us that opportunity. The focus groups gave a real richness to the information we gathered through the survey.”
Armed with a great depth of information about our parish’s needs, Fr. Kastl, Fr. Joshua, and the core team they have gathered will proceed with creating a three-year plan for our parish.
“After the focus groups concluded, we met with Fr. Kastl and Fr. Joshua to identify the key themes that came out of the survey,” Jeannie says. “From there, we created a list of priorities, and we will use those priorities to create a concrete three-year plan for the growth of the different areas of our parish life.”
Jeannie says that the response to the parish survey was incredible and the subsequent information gathered through the focus group was hugely helpful. On behalf of the entire survey core team, Jeannie offers sincere thanks to all who participated.
“We all have a responsibility to be involved in the life of the parish, and the response we got from the parish survey shows us that the Holy Family parishioners want to be involved,” Jeannie says. “We want to be more intentional as a faith community, to serve one another as best we can, and to grow in faith together as disciples of Christ. Everyone’s participation will help that happen. Thank you!”