Contact Dr. Mary Gautier, Senior Research Associate, to discuss ways these services can be tailored to assist bishops and other diocesan planners.

Diocese at a Glance:Diomap
This is a new report series created by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. This 12-page diocesan demographic summary illustrates and explains socio-economic characteristics of both the Catholic and total population living in a diocese. Maps, graphs, and tables clearly illustrate data at the national, provincial, diocesan, and county levels. The report presents data on the size and distribution of the Catholic population in a diocese and province. Census data on population race and ethnic composition, household income, poverty rates, age, and residence provide insight into the community as a whole in which the Catholic Church ministers. This report is intended for a wide audience and is easily reproduced for distribution to diocesan planners, clergy, and lay Catholics alike. In addition to a printed report, dioceses are provided with an electronic .pdf file that may be uploaded to a website, as well as picture files of all maps.

CARA’s Priest Projection:
This program has been used in more than 60 dioceses over the past 15 years. Known for its precise methodology that proves to have startling accuracy over time, the priest projections are an invaluable tool for clergy planning. The projection uses data from a single questionnaire that is provided by CARA, collecting information on the current age of diocesan priests, priest retirement age, recent ordinations, and seminarians currently in formation. The result is a report with an executive summary, followed by tables and charts with low, medium, and high projections of the number of priests who will be available to serve in a diocese through 2030. The three factors most likely to affect the number of diocesan priests available for active ministry are the number ordained/incardinated each year, the retirement age, and whether some priests continue to serve after retirement. The Priest Projection report presents 18 likely projections created by different combinations of these three factors. This allows the diocese full flexibility in using the projections as these details evolve over time.
Diocesan-Wide Pastoral Planning:

Using CARA's extensive database of tested questions, surveys can be administered to some or all of the parishes within the diocesan boundaries. The data collected from these surveys, designed to capture information about parish life, can then be aggregated by deanery, region, or diocesan-wide. These surveys closely follow CARA's Parish Surveys that CARA has been using nationwide for more than 15 years. Click here for more information on CARA Parish Surveys.

Surveys of Presbyterates

CARA's mailed questionnaires to presbyterates assist dioceses with pastoral planning and understanding the needs of their priests. These surveys are typically conducted with all diocesan priests, including those who are retired, and with religious priests active in parish ministry. CARA adapts the questions to meet the needs of the diocese. Most dioceses that have used this service in the past have been particularly interested in understanding presbyteral attitudes about how to address parish ministry in a time of fewer priests. Many are also interested in priests' morale, satisfaction with ministry, concerns about retirement issues, and interest in continuing formation. Contact Dr. Mary Gautier about CARA's presbyteral surveys.

Dioceses considering a presbyteral survey may also be interested in conducting it through part of a larger program, "Cultivating Unity." CARA has recently begun collaborating with the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy (NOCERCC) on a new initiative for dioceses and religious institutes of men entitled "Cultivating Unity: The Presbyterate and the Bishop." The purpose of the program is to strengthen solidarity among priests and between priests and their bishop. The centerpiece of Cultivating Unity is a convocation where presbyteral unity is addressed through presentations, group discussion, prayer, and reflection. CARA will be responsible for a research component of Cultivating Unity. Participating dioceses will have the option of conducting written questionnaires and listening sessions in advance of the convocation. These will provide an initial understanding of priests' views of unity in their local presbyterate.

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Demographic Portraits:

Demographic portraits are full-length (45-80 page) reports that explore demographic characteristics of the diocesan population, with an emphasis on the Catholic population. This report uses data from The Official Catholic Directory, Glenmary’s Religious Congregations and Membership, CARA’s National Parish Inventory, and the Census Bureau to create a comprehensive tool that is indispensable in diocesan planning. Historic trends in the size of the Catholic population are presented and projections of the Catholic population are created. The size of the presbyterate in a diocese over time is also explored, and when accompanied by a priest projection report, projections of the ratio of Catholics per priest are also provided. Detailed data at the parish level are available from CARA’s National Parish Inventory. This full-color report utilizes maps and easy-to-understand charts and tables. Parish locations are superimposed on all maps displaying Census or Catholic characteristics, and vicariate or deanery boundaries can be provided as well. Every Demographic Portrait report is tailored specifically to each diocese’s demographic and planning needs.

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