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The Pastoral Area Team conducted a survey of parishioners to gather ideas on how we can become an even more vibrant faith community. Your responses will guide the development of the PAT in planning to help our three parishes adapt to changing needs.

The survey drew on five essential qualities of parish life. These were:

  • Understanding and Participation in the Church
  • Youth Participation
  • Reaching Out
  • Growing in Faith
  • Social Activities

A preliminary set of results are set out and summarized in this booklet.  At this stage, results have not been analysed by age groups, gender or attendance at Mass.  A deeper analysis will evolve through time, but the Pastoral Area Team felt that it was important to publish initial results by the promised pre-Christmas deadline. 

                              

A total number of 469 surveys were completed. 


Statements 1-9 seek information on

Understanding and Participation in the Church

 

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t Know

Not Answered

  1. I feel that Mass is prayerful, reverent and spiritually uplifting
 

46%

43%

3%

1%

6%

1%

  1. I feel that I am truly part of the celebration of the Eucharist when I attend Mass.
 

44%

40%

7%

1%

5%

2%

  1. I would like to develop a deeper understanding of the Mass
 

24%

40%

17%

2%

12%

5%

  1. I would be happy to take on a more active role in Mass; e.g., reader, Eucharistic Minister, choir, collector etc.
 

14%

19%

28%

15%

17%

6%

  1. I would know who to approach about taking on roles within my parish.
 

26%

36%

15%

6%

13%

4%

  1. I would feel comfortable putting my name forward as a parish volunteer.
 

14%

25%

26%

13%

18%

5%

  1. I would value adult education programmes to help me to grow and develop my faith.
 

16%

33%

23%

6%

17%

4%

  1. I feel that my parish makes an effort to include and welcome everyone at Mass
 

42%

36%

11%

3%

7%

2%

  1. I feel that I am a valued member of my parish
 

30%

42%

9%

2%

14%

2%

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • AROUND 80% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED VIEW THE MASS AS A SACRED AND SHARED EXPERIENCE
  • OVER 70% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT THEIR PARISH IS WELCOMING AND INCLUSIVE.
  • ONLY 19% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED ARE SATISFIED WITH THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE MASS
  • ALMOST HALF OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED WOULD LIKE TO DEVELOP THEIR FAITH JOURNEY THROUGH ADULT EDUCATION
  • OVER 30% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED WOULD BE HAPPY TO TAKE ON VOLUNTARY ROLES IN THE PARISH BUT ONLY 21% WOULD KNOW WHO TO APPROACH ABOUT THIS

Statements 10 – 17 seek information on

Youth Participation in Parish Life

 

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t Know

Not Answered

  1. The parish makes an effort to involve young people in the Mass
 

46%

43%

3%

1%

6%

1%

  1. Young people feel valued in the parish
 

44%

40%

7%

1%

5%

2%

  1. There is a need for more education for young people in matters of faith
 

24%

40%

17%

2%

12%

5%

  1. The parish provides opportunities for teenagers to grow and develop in their faith
 

14%

19%

28%

15%

17%

6%

  1. Teenagers are encouraged, and given opportunities to volunteer for roles within the liturgies.
 

26%

36%

15%

6%

13%

4%

  1. Teenagers are encouraged, and given opportunities to volunteer for roles within parish groups and organisations.
 

14%

25%

26%

13%

18%

5%

  1. Young people in my parish enjoy coming to Mass, and find it spiritually uplifting
 

16%

33%

23%

6%

17%

4%

  1. I feel that the young people of my parish would benefit from a Youth Mission / Parish Retreat
 

42%

36%

11%

3%

7%

2%

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • OVER 80% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED AND VALUED IN PARISH LIFE
  • THERE IS AN APPARENT NEED FOR MORE EDUCATION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AT A PARISH LEVEL
  • 62% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ENCOURAGED IN THE LITURGIES, WHILE ONLY 39% FEEL THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WIDER LIFE OF THE PARISH
  • ALMOST HALF OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ENJOY MASS AND FIND IT SPIRITUALLY UPLIFTING
  • ALMOST 80% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FAVOUR A YOUTH MISSION / PARISH RETREAT

Statements 18 – 25 seek information on

Reaching Out

 

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Don’t Know

Not Answered

  1. The parish accommodates people with special needs or disability.
 

23%

43%

10%

2%

21%

1%

  1. The parish tries to meet the needs of people who may feel excluded from parish life at some point (e.g., divorced individuals, single parents, unmarried couples etc.).
 

11%

29%

21%

7%

30%

2%

  1. Newcomers or visitors are warmly welcomed into the parish.
 

27%

39%

13%

3%

17%

1%

  1. I would like to see more efforts to reach out to non-practicing members of my parish community.
 

33%

45%

5%

1%

14%

1%

  1. Sufficient effort is made to help the elderly and infirm who cannot come to Mass.
 

28%

43%

10%

2%

16%

1%

  1. I feel that we can reach out to lapsed members of our parish by organizing parish events and social gatherings.
 

23%

44%

9%

2%

20%

2%

  1. People stop going to Mass because they lose their faith.
 

12%

26%

25%

12%

22%

2%

  1. People stop going to Mass because they feel they can have a relationship with God without organised religion.
 

13%

33%

19%

4%

29%

2%

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • 66% OF PEOPLE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS OR DISABILITY ARE WELL ACCOMMODATED WITHIN THE PARISHES
  • ONLY 40% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT THE NEEDS OF GROUPS WHO MAY FEEL EXCLUDED ARE ADEQUATELY MET
  • ALMOST 80% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT NEWCOMERS AND VISITORS ARE WELCOMED.
  • A LARGE MAJORITY (78%) OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED WOULD LIKE MORE EFFORT TO REACH OUT TO NON-PRACTISING PARISHIONERS
  • 71% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR THE ELDERLY AND INFIRM WHO CANNOT COME TO MASS
  • 67% IN FAVOUR OF ORGANISING PARISH EVENTS TO REACH OUT TO LAPSED MEMBERS OF THE PARISH.
  • THERE ARE MIXED OPINIONS ON WHY PEOPLE STOP GOING TO MASS

Statements 26 – 32 seek information on

Growing in Faith

 

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t Know

Not Answered

  1. I would welcome a Mission for the Pastoral Area.
 

29%

45%

6%

1%

15%

3%

  1. I feel that a Youth Mission running alongside the adult Mission would be of benefit to our young people
 

29%

47%

5%

1%

16%

2%

  1. There is good communication in my parish – I usually know what is going on and what activities have been organised
 

28%

45%

11%

5%

9%

2%

  1. Sufficient efforts are made to develop the faith of practising members of the parish.
 

16%

47%

13%

3%

18%

3%

  1. Enough opportunities for prayer outside of Mass are held to allow individuals to enrich their faith and the parish faith life.
 

17%

46%

13%

3%

19%

3%

  1. We need to do more to help parents prepare their children for the sacraments of First Confession, First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
 

25%

30%

20%

5%

17%

3%

  1. A better understanding of the readings used at Mass would help me to grow in faith
 

22%

40%

17%

3%

13%

3%

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • A MISSION / YOUTH MISSION WOULD BE STRONGLY WELCOMED FOR THE PASTORAL AREA
  • 73% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED ARE HAPPY WITH THE LEVEL OF COMMUNICATION ABOUT PARISH EVENTS
  • 63% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT THERE ARE ENOUGH OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRAYER AND FAITH ENRICHMENT
  • OVER HALF OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT PARENTS NEED MORE SUPPORT IN PREPARING THEIR CHILDREN TO RECEIVE THE SACRAMENTS
  • 62% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED WOULD WELCOME A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE READINGS USED AT MASS

Statements 33 – 39 seek information on

Social Activities

 

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t Know

Not Answered

  1. Regular efforts are made to discover parishioners’ talents and encourage involvement in parish life.
 

11%

26%

25%

7%

29%

2%

  1. I feel that holding parish events and functions for the whole family would nourish a better sense of community
 

26%

54%

6%

1%

11%

2%

  1. I would like to attend social events which would promote spiritual growth (e.g., guest speakers talking about their faith journeys)
 

19%

34%

21%

3%

20%

3%

  1. I feel that more social events would encourage non-practising parishioners back to Mass
 

18%

40%

13%

4%

21%

3%

  1. I would value opportunities for social get-togethers after Mass (e.g., tea / breakfast in Parish Hall)
 

22%

36%

19%

2%

18%

3%

  1. My parish should use social networking (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) to promote religious and social events
 

24%

36%

14%

7%

15%

3%

  1. I would be willing to become involved in organising and promoting social events within my parish.
 

12%

29%

22%

5%

26%

4%

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • OPINIONS ARE SPLIT ON ENCOURAGING PARISHIONERS TO USE THEIR TALENTS IN SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
  • OVER 80% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED FEEL THAT PARISH FUNCTIONS HELP BUILD THE COMMUNITY
  • OVER HALF OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND SOCIAL EVENTS WHICH PROMOTE SPIRITUAL GROWTH
  • OVER HALF OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED SEE A LINK BETWEEN SOCIAL EVENTS AND LITURGICAL CEREMONIES
  • OVER HALF OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED SEE A PLACE FOR SOCIAL GET-TOGETHERS AFTER MASS AND FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING USING MODERN TECHNOLOGY
  • THER IS AN UNTAPPED RESERVE OF 41% OF THOSE WHO RESPONDED (OVER 150 PEOPLE) WILLING TO ORGANISE AND PROMOTE SOCIAL EVENTS IN THE PARISHES

 
 
 PORTAFERRY PARISH CHRISTMAS BAZAAR    2015
 
 
 
  

Fr Patrick Martin and Fr Mulholland

Fr Martin from San Antonio, Texas who gave a Parish Retreat in Portaferry and Ballygalget

recently. Born and raised in Maine, U.S.A., Fr. Pat contracted meningitis in childhood which left

him blind and crippled. Although his physical health inproved he remains blind to this day.

However, he describes his blindness as "A Gift From God" which has opened doors for him

to preach the Gospel to people others could not have reached. He gave us all an incredible

experience of his life from birth to the Priesthood and on "GOD'S LOVE FOR US IN OUR

SUFFERING LIVES."  We are all very greatfull to Fr. Mulholland for this retreat.

 

 ORDINATION  TO  THE  PRIESTHOOD  REV. DOMINIC MCGRATTAN

29TH  JUNE  2014  IN ST PATRICK'S  PORTAFERRY BY

BISHOP  NOEL  TREANOR.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God is the ultimate and most beautiful mystery of our faith. We can never fully know or understand His ways; to do so would make us God. despite our difficulty in understanding God, nothing stops us from loving Him, who loved us into being and continues to hold us in the palm of His hand.