Developing Data-Based Strategies to Support Organizational Re-Alignment

A Roman Catholic Diocese in New York has faced many challenges in the past five years, including competing cultural and secular demands and philosophies, inadequate catechesis, and a lack of conversion among the baptized, resulting in declining participation. These declines, along with fewer vocations to the priesthood, have resulted in the closing of some parishes.

Hezel Associates was contracted to conduct a needs assessment to identify ways to reform efforts related to Faith Formation practices across the Diocese. Our consulting was designed to guide Diocesan leadership in planning to meet the evangelization and catechetical needs of individuals and parishes, with a focus on aligning the role of the Office of Faith Formation to meet these needs. Our needs assessment examined (a) the current state of Faith Formation at the parish level, (b) ways the Office of Faith Formation can best support parishes, and (c) current promising practices occurring within the Diocese and nationally. The study was designed to learn from stakeholders, taking a bottom-up approach to planning by gathering input from those directly involved in delivering Faith Formation programs at the parish-level.