This past May the Diocese of Fall River conducted a “reopening” survey. Laura Carrillo, Director of Strategic and Pastoral Planning, reported that 954 people representing each of our 78 parishes completed the survey. Some of the highlights from the survey are below. The Diocese is working with the Bishop and a Revitalization Committee comprised of clergy and lay representatives to take what we heard from you and create ways we can support our parishes with options at the diocese level and the local parish level.
- The biggest challenge respondents faced during the pandemic was in-person visits with family.
- Most (87%) noticed their parishes using livestreaming of Mass as a way to stay connected to their parish.
- Most would like to see their parishes continue to offer livestreaming of Mass and online bulletins post-pandemic.
- While 18% reported participation in faith formation online, only 8% would like to see it continued post-pandemic.
- Of those not attending Mass in-person, most will be back when they feel like COVID is over or when the dispensation is lifted.
- Most (73%) do not have concerns about coming back to Mass, but those that do cite safety, crowding in pews and others not being vaccinated.
- Live worship, receiving the Eucharist and live music are what people miss the most about their parishes.
- Personal invitation, outreach, addressing safety and offering warm greetings are suggested as ways to bring people back to their parish community.
- Most (66%) are hoping for social dinners and parish events to return or begin at their parishes.
- Respondents prefer to hear about new parish initiatives via the parish bulletin and email.