A seminal moment in the study of U.S. Catholic parish life came in the 1980s with the publication of a series of reports from the ground-breaking Notre Dame Study of Catholic Parish Life. These reports are now badly outdated, as Catholic dioceses grapple with new challenges that didn't exist in the 80s. Topics that were not considered then, like greater Catholic mobility, increased cultural diversity, and structural re-organization as well as the rise of lay leadership, have attained new significance.
This timely book, based on more than a decade of research, provides an in-depth portrait and analysis of the current state of parish life and leadership. Unique in the scope of the research and the timeliness of its findings, the book critically examines the current state of parish life. The authors draw on data from national polls of Catholics, national surveys of parishes, and thousands of in-pew surveys which explore parishioners' needs, experiences, and satisfaction with parish life in the twenty-first century. The book provides a unique 360-degree view of parish life from the perspective of pastors, parish staff, parishioners, as well as the larger Catholic population.