New Parish Ministers Survey of Pastors, 1992

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > Religious Groups > Members or Leaders > Catholic > Summary


This study was part of Phase II of the New Parish Ministers study, based on a national survey of Catholic parishes, which comprised Phase I of the larger study. The purpose of this study was to focus on the work of lay ecclesial ministers. Phase II sought to obtain information on the laypersons, religious and clergy serving parishes, to learn what factors foster and what obstacles limit the practices of parish ministry by lay ecclesial ministers. This study looks specifically at the parish pastors.

Data File
Cases: 371
Variables: 283
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: January, February and March 1992
Funded By
The Lilly Endowment, Inc. and The National Pastoral Life Center
Collection Procedures
Self-administered mail questionnaires
Sampling Procedures
Sampling began in Phase I, with parishes for the study selected through a stratified random sample. Dioceses were randomly selected in each of the 13 National Council of Catholic Bishops' regions of the country (for a total of 43 dioceses). A list of parishes within each diocese was obtained from the Official Catholic Directory. Parishes were then numbered in ascending order according to their listing in the directory. Lists of random numbers were generated for each diocese, ranging from 1 to the total number of parishes in each diocese. Parishes were selected in the order of the numbers on the random list until the desired sample size was obtained (which was approximately 40% of the parishes in each diocese). The return rate for the national sample of parishes was 53%.

Included with the survey for the national sample was a form asking parishes to provide the names, positions, salaries, genders and ecclesial status of those employed by the parish. Only parishes responding to Phase I that employed a lay ecclesial minister were included in Phase II. A lay ecclesial pastor was operationally defined as a layperson or a vowed religious (considered "lay" by Canon Law) working at least 20 hours a week in a paid position as a member of a parish pastoral staff. In each eligible parish, questionnaires were sent to three groups: the pastor, all lay ecclesial ministers (meeting the above criteria), and five well-informed parishioners (selected by the pastor). This is the pastor survey.
Principal Investigators
Rev. Phillip J. Murnion and David Delambo
Related Publications
Philip J. Murnion. 1992. New Parish Ministers: Laity and Religious on Parish Life. New York: National Pastoral Life Center.
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