Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am writing to ask your help. Periodically it is good to take an assessment of the parish’s strengths and opportunities for growth if we want to increase our capacity as a parish for evangelization. I am proposing that we undertake such an assessment at this time. It will help me as your pastor as well as other members of our parish leadership, together with all of you, to plan for the future while also identifying and addressing our more immediate needs. Cardinal Wuerl developed the Indicators of Vitality assessment tool when he was the Bishop of Pittsburgh (1988-2006) to help parishes in a parish-rooted discernment based on identifiable, objective norms in five areas: Worship, Education, Community, Service, and Administration/Stewardship. Let me discuss below what we want to assess in these areas:

Worship: The heart of parish life is the celebration of the Eucharist. From the Eucharist flows all of the worship, prayer, and faith formation of the parish. This indicator, then, examines the vitality of our parish’s liturgical life.

Education: Forming you as the lay faithful for mission depends on a variety of educational programs. Assessing our ability as a parish to provide education and faith formation to parishioners of all ages is the focus of this indicator.

Community: Building community begins with welcoming. Vitality is found in our ability as a parish to make all members feel at home and open-wide the doors of the parish to welcome inactive Catholics and who all who seek a relationship with the Lord.

Service: This dimension of parish life assesses the ways in which our parish calls parishioners to serve all those in need. It evaluates our commitment as a parish to bring the Gospel to bear on the issues of the day in a way that supports the mission of the church.

Administration/Service: The ability to carry out the mission of the church depends on strong leadership. In this area, staffing, management of parish resources and decision-making processes are evaluated.

That, briefly, is what we want to assess in these Indicators of Vitality. Are you willing and able to help me with this project? If so, I would be grateful if you complete the survey. Your input means a great deal to me in this.

Thank you!

Fr. John