Parish Wide Survey Summary of Results

During the fourth quarter of 2019, the parishioners of St. Mary’s of the Lake were asked to participate in a parish-wide survey, also referred to as the Disciple Maker Index (DMI).  The survey gave people an opportunity to reflect on their spiritual growth, level of involvement in the parish, as well as their satisfaction with the parish and parish related activities.  Approximately 43% of our active parishioners completed the survey.  Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts.  We appreciate your efforts in providing the parish valuable insights into how we can enhance our faith and service based community.

Based on the survey data, our top parish strengths include:

Parish Strengths

Recommend Parish

93% of the respondents would recommend St. Mary’s Parish to others.

Recommend Pastor:

91% of the respondents would recommend Father Bill to a friend (59% strongly agree and 32% agree).


84% of the respondents either strongly agree (42%) or agree (42%) they grow spiritually through Fr. Bill’s preaching.

Personal Religious Beliefs:

98% of the respondents agree that Jesus died and rose again.

97% of the respondents agree that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.

96% of the respondents agree that the scripture is the Word of God.

94% of the respondents agree in Jesus’ moral teachings.

86% of the respondents agree in the teaching authority of the Church.

86% of the respondents agree that the Church is critical in relation with God.

Welcoming Community:

77% of the respondents either strongly agree (35%) or agreed (42%) with the statement ‘the parish makes them feel welcome and accepted.’

Parish Opportunities

Spiritual Growth/Formation:

While mass attendance and individual prayer time were strong, there appears to be spiritual growth opportunities to help parishioners figure out their life’s purpose.

32% of the respondents indicated they are growing in their faith but would like to grow more and another 16% are either stalled in their spiritual growth or in a period of decline.

51% of the respondents would like to grow spiritually by connecting them to small faith sharing groups.

48% of the respondents would like the parish to offer more retreats, workshops, and other resources to help them figure out their life’s purpose.

Less than one third of our active parishioners participate in a bible study or prayer group.

Participation in Missionary Discipleship:

While 63% of our active parishioners stated they pray with someone at least once quarterly, our respondents also indicated a desire to be formed as a disciple.

36% of our respondents feel the parish needs to do more to help them grow confident in the church’s teaching so they can answer another person’s question.

Only 26% of our respondents share personal stories with others.

Just 18% of our respondents invite someone to a parish activity


Although St. Mary’s is a welcoming parish, most respondents believe more can be done to foster a community atmosphere and help people build deeper relationships with one another.

28% of the respondents expressed a need in having the community support them and/or their family in times of need.

24% of the respondents stated they have never volunteered to serve a member of our community, while 36% stated they volunteer once or twice per year.

25% of respondents didn’t participate in a parish social event in the past year, while 49% attended once or twice during the past year.

Only 20% of respondents were between the ages of 18-45.

Father Bill commissioned a team of parishioners with varied backgrounds to review the survey results and other data in order to develop a ‘go-forward’ plan. The members of this team, including Father Bill are:

Lynn Fitzpatrick

Rich West

Lindsay Wheeler

John Yeager

The team will be meeting for the next few months to pray and discern the future direction for St. Mary’s of the Lake parish.  But the team does not walk alone on this journey.  We invite you to offer your comments, thoughts, and ideas to any team member.  Your help will be vital in moving St. Mary’s of the Lake into the future. Finally, and most importantly, please hold the team and our parish in constant and fervent prayer that we will be guided by the Holy Spirit.