Archbishop John Nienstedt has assigned Father John Bauer of the Basilica and Father Peter Laird of the Chancery to head a major study of the demographics and economics and trends of the archdiocese to create a planning tool to be used in the formation, growth and perhaps dissolution of parishes and schools.
Parishes are being asked to provide representatives to attend meetings beginning this summer to review in the initial survey that Fathers Bauer and Laird (and their team) have done. You can find more information about the study, titled the Strategic Taskforce on Parish and School Planning on the Archdiocesan webpage at http://www.archspm.org/planningprocess/index.html . Most importantly, you can find there information on how you and your parish can participate in thie critically important study that will set the tone of the archdiocese for the next 50 years or so.
Part of the survey was published in last Sunday's, July 12, bulletin of Our Lady of Peace Parish in South Minneapolis where you can find it as a PDF file. Thanks to Terry Nelson for tipping me off to this information. Get copies to all your friends and talk to your pastor to being on your parish team to work on this report. If you don't, some Sunday in a few yours your parish might disappear.
Fathers Bauer and Laird sent this preliminary survey to all parishes:
Dear Friends in Christ,
In your parish bulletin this month we would like to share with you the current state of our Archdiocese, from the growth we are experiencing as a church, to the state of parishes, clergy and Catholic education. It is our hope that you find these facts informative as we go forward in this planning process.
Fr. John Bauer and Fr. Peter Laird
Strategic Planning Task Force
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
The number of parishes has already changed:
• There are currently 217 parishes in the Archdiocese
• The Archdiocese now has ten less parishes than it had ten years ago.
• There are currently 51 parishes in 23 cluster arrangements, including seven mergers in the last ten years
• Parish membership is less defined by geography than in the past.The average number of zip codes represented in a parish of this Archdiocese is 36.
• Destination parishes defined by personal preference, a specific pastor or by convenience are becoming more common.
The estimated number of pastors will decline:
• There are currently 182 priests eligible to be pastor and there will be a total of 163 priests eligible to be pastors in ten years time: a drop of 19 pastors.
• The number of parochial vicars will decline from 44 today to 37 in ten years time
• Priests doing special ministries, such as hospital and jail chaplains, as well as working in seminaries will decline from 34 today to 27 in ten years time
The Archdiocese is Growing
• The number of households of registered parishioners is approximately 215,000. Based on historical records, the number of households in the Archdiocese will grow by about 7.5% in five years, so that by 2014 the number of households will be approximately 248,000.
• The total number of Catholics registered at parishes is estimated to be 650,000.The historical growth rate for registered Catholics is approximately 7.0%. By 2016 the number of Catholics registered at parishes will be approximately 695,000.
• The growing diversity of the Catholic population is creating an increasing number of parishioners who do not register at a parish, but who regularly attend Mass in their parish of choice.
• Growth is being fueled almost exclusively by immigration.
• Growth is unevenly distributed across the Archdiocese, with concentrations of growth in the exurban areas (between suburban and rural areas).
• Immigrant Catholics are now spread throughout all parishes.They are not just concentrated in the core cities.
• Current Mass attendance is reported to be estimated on Saturday evening and Sundays to average a total of 223,275 people in this Archdiocese.This represents 34% of registered Catholics.This Archdiocese is aligned with the national estimate.
The Socio-economic and Ethnic Diversity of the Catholic Population is Growing and Changing
Socio-economic Diversity and Disparity is growing in the Archdiocese
In the past, there was an assumption that the socio-economic make up of parishes was a normal distribution.This has changed over the last ten years.The socio-economic distribution of parishes at each end of the scale is growing, while the middle is declining.
The Archdiocesan Population is Aging
• From 2005 to 2015 the fastest growing age group within the Twin Cities is 55 to 69 years of age.
• Between 2009 and 2020 the number of persons aged over 65 will dramatically rise in the Twin Cities
• Public, private and Catholic school enrollment accurately reflects change in the age structure of the Twin Cities population with a minimal rise in secondary enrollments and a fall in elementary school enrollments between 2009 and 2015.
Ethnic Diversity is growing in the Archdiocese
• Mass is regularly celebrated in Spanish, Korean,Vietnamese, Filipino, French and Hmong in this Archdiocese.
• There are currently 16,500 Latino people attending Spanish-speaking Mass on any given Sunday.
• 23 parishes are currently identified as centers of Latino ministry in the Archdiocese.
• The distribution of Latino Catholics has changed in the last ten years.There are now significant numbers of Latino people within five minutes drive of every parish in the Archdiocese.
• There is one Korean parish, two Vietnamese parishes, one Hmong parish and Mass is offered in French each Sunday for West African parishioners.Two priests serve approximately 10,000 Filipino Catholics spread across the Archdiocese.
Next Week - Part II: Parish and School Finances; Information on Catholic Education in the Archdiocese