Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Our readersMarch 23, 2017
(iStock photo)

Before asking the above question, America thought it necessary to ask a sample of readers what they think their parish currently prioritizes. Almost half of respondents to our informal survey told America that liturgy appears to be the foremost concern of their parishes, while the remaining readers selected education, music and preaching among other categories. William Indermaur from Durham, N.C., was representative of many of our poll respondents in his view that “the focus on liturgy is extremely important to the Catholic faith and how we practice that faith.” And yet he hoped his parish would focus more on supporting the marginalized. “The root of our religion is love through service,” Mr. Indermaur said.

When asked “What would you like your parish to make a higher priority?” the most popular answer among our readers was community service (35 percent), followed by outreach/evangelization (20 percent). Trish Kinnee of Michigan selected the latter category. “We need to reach out to help others beyond our church doors. We need to be like evangelists in our own community, which is sadly divided,” wrote Ms. Kinnee. “We have a wealthy parish, but our church leaves those struggling with addiction, financial problems and abuse to social services.”

Teenagers and young adults feel more connected when they are rolling up their sleeves and working—seeing that they are making a difference in the world and making connections in the parish at the same time.

Ms. Kinnee was among a number of readers who saw evangelization and community service as intertwined. On the topic of community service, Debbie Dirmeyer from Maryville, Tenn., also made this link: “Teenagers and young adults feel more connected when they are rolling up their sleeves and working—seeing that they are making a difference in the world and making connections in the parish at the same time. With the crisis of so many young people leaving the church, I think this could help some stay. We older folks would feel more like a community at the same time.”

your take poll.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
steve murray
4 years 10 months ago

Liturgy is the source of community involvement and excellent liturgy is essential. Parishioners must learn how to make referrals....they are far less likely to be sued for their well-intended "service" . Catholics in general are not competent evangelists because their understanding of the faith is largely emotional.

The latest from america

A new Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll shows that 71% of Americans support legal limits on abortion and a majority of Americans — 54% — oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
Catholic News ServiceJanuary 21, 2022
On this deep dive episode of “Inside the Vatican,” we examine the story of Rutilio Grande through the eyes of his friends, family and scholars of his legacy.
Colleen DulleJanuary 21, 2022
Pope Francis hugs Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI prior to the start of a meeting with elderly faithful in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014.
In a previously scheduled speech to the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases, Pope Francis did not refer to the findings of a long-awaited report into how the Munich archdiocese handled abuse cases.
St. Adalbert’s/O.L.B.S. was the first Black Catholic parish in Cleveland, and we drove eight hours from New York City to Fairfax to make a short documentary on their history and rootedness. That was “the plan.”
Kevin JacksonJanuary 20, 2022