In the spring of 2012, the parishes of the Diocese of Superior completed a self-assessment
questionnaire. This report is an overview of the information provided through that process as well as other related information. It also includes a summary of our one hundred four (104) parishes without regard to size, cluster status, or geographic location within the diocese. This review is divided into six sections, first, a review of the diocese as a whole and, secondly, a separate review of each of the five deaneries.
In order to gain accurate insight into the status of individual parishes, the five deaneries, and the
diocese as a whole, both subjective and objective sources need to be considered. Although knowing the numbers of those receiving the Sacraments and participating in local parish life is helpful, input that reflects the attitudes and impressions of local parishioners must be considered if one is to accurately assess the spiritual health and general well-being of our individual faith communities and the Diocese of Superior as-awhole.
The following review incorporates data received from five resources:
1) A compilation of the responses reported in the Parish Self-Assessment;
2) Sacramental and census data reported in the annual SAQ;
3) The sum of the Mass attendances reported on the July and October Mass Attendance Tally Sheets in the appropriate years;
4) The parish financial reports submitted to the diocese, and;
5) The Annual Cemetery Certification Request form that was submitted to the diocese by those parishes responsible for one or more cemeteries.
The Parish Self-Assessment instrument that was completed by one hundred three (103) parishes in the
Diocese of Superior in 2012 was unique in several aspects. First, it was designed to be used at the parish level, the cluster level, the deanery level, and the diocesan level as a tool to help identify those needs that are and are not being met, and to establish future goals. Second, it was intended that this instrument be completed by the lay faithful as a way to share their feelings and attitudes, their impressions and concerns about their local parish and cluster and the diocese as a whole. Third, this instrument was meant to be used as an aid in analyzing all aspects of the local parish and cluster life and to allow parishes to identify specific types of diocesan support that might be helpful in the future. This instrument was not intended to be a diocesan tool to rate individual parishes or to identify parishes that should be “closed”. Fourth, the response sent to the individual parishes from the diocese was not intended to dictate any specific action to be taken by the parish, but rather to help initiate discussion at the parish and cluster levels to identify future actions that could or should be initiated at the local level. Fifth, this tool was designed to be repeated, to be used at regular intervals in the future to provide an ongoing honest and meaningful self-assessment within the parish and/or cluster, a
tool to be used to evaluate the initiatives that have been accomplished, to review and possibly modify
established goals, and to establish new goals as needed to address the continual social, cultural and
demographic changes that we will certainly experience in our local faith communities.
It should be noted that the responses submitted by the individual parishes in the Parish Self-
Assessment tool were kept confidential and the compiled results were not edited or altered in any way. The self-assessment was designed to be subjective in nature and the responses should be seen in that light. It should also be noted that these responses reflect the parishes’ status as of May 2012; undoubtedly, there have been several changes that have been implemented since that time.
The public census data was obtained from the reports compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. The
parish census, Sacramental statistics, and the Mass attendance included in this report were compiled using the individual parish data that was submitted to the diocese in the SAQ and Mass Attendance reports.