(19) Correlating the Barna Community Survey to the Pastoral Priorities

How does our Parish’s Pastoral Plan for implementing
the Pastoral Priorities correlate to the Barna Study?

How does your parish’s pastoral plan relate to the recent Barna Community Study conducted in the 6 counties of South Jersey that comprise the Diocese of Camden?

The Barna Study is all about the Pastoral Priorities!

The complete study of the South Jersey Faith Survey conducted by Barna is available on the diocesan website, www.camdendiocese.org.  Two dimensions of the Barna Report, – the Demographic Profile (page 97 ff.), and the attitudinal/behavioral data found throughout the survey, undergird who we are as the Church  of South Jersey and provide a descriptive backdrop that undergirds specific data that correlates directly to the six Pastoral Priorities.

The “Executive Summary” (pages 5-9) refers to these Pastoral Priorities:

  • Liturgy (4 times)
  • Lifelong Faith Formation (9 times)
  • Priestly Vocations (1 time)
  • Compassionate Outreach, particularly Evangelization  (17 times)
  • Youth and Young Adults (2 times)
  • There is no direct reference to Lay Ministry (although this group is highly integral
    to the accomplishment of pastoral plans for the other 5 Pastoral Priorities.

A large portion of the “Data Analysis” (pages 9 through 62) relate directly to one
or more of the Pastoral Priorities:

  • Liturgy (6 times)
  • Lifelong Faith Formation (8 times)
  • Priestly Vocations (1 time, specifically, to image due to the clergy abuse crisis)
  • Compassionate Outreach, particularly to Evangelization  (7 times)
  • Lay Ministry (2 times)
  • Youth and Young Adults ( times)

In the final sections of the “Data Analysis” (pages 63-96), there are six areas which relate
to all the 6 Pastoral Priorities.  These areas are:  (1) Benefits of Being Catholic; (2) challenge
of being Catholic; (3) Interest in the Catholic Church; (4) Perceptions of the Catholic Church;
and (5) Religious Beliefs.

In summary, altogether there are:

  • 12         sections that refer to Liturgy
  • 14        that refer to Lifelong Faith Formation
  • 7          relate to Priestly Vocations
  • 13         call for Compassionate Outreach
  • 8          related to Lay Ministry, and
  • 8          correlate to Youth and Young Adults

How can we correlate this valuable information to our parish’s Pastoral Plan?
If your pastoral plan has be developed with the methodology presented (see Harvesting Gifts)
– using “Plan – Do – Check,” – go to the sections in Barna which correlate to the pastoral
priority(ies) addressed in your pastoral plan.  Does it offer you a way to “check” your progress,
or does it provide you with data to help you update your plan which is always a cyclical tool for
parish growth?  After your discussion with the PPC, determine what, if any, future action needs
to be put into place in order to move your parish’s Pastoral Plan forward into future months.

You will need legal size paper to print the Correlation of the Barna Community Survey with the Pastoral Priorities