Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Survey for archdiocesan pastoral plan goes live; participation invited

Published March 6, 2014

ATLANTA—Catholics can now take the first step in helping to create a vision for the Atlanta Archdiocese. A survey to gauge the spiritual lives of believers and their experience of their faith community was posted on the Internet March 6; responses will be taken until March 23.

Questions range from what you enjoy most about going to worship to what Catholic teachings you would like to know more about.

The survey—estimated to take about 15 minutes—is the start of a series of meetings and discussions to wrap up in early 2015. Next year, using the results of this process, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory is expected to issue what is called a pastoral plan, a five-year guide that identifies and addresses the current and future pastoral needs for the archdiocese.

The archbishop called the survey and the upcoming dialogue “an important journey” for the Catholic community. The goal is to see where the church is fulfilling its role and where necessary changes may be implemented, he said.

The archdiocese is undergoing rapid development, which makes it important to focus resources on those areas that “will assist and direct that growth in the most practical and positive ways,” he said in an earlier interview.

There are an estimated 1 million Catholics, nearly half Hispanic, here. The archdiocese covers the 69 counties of central and north Georgia.

The survey and future efforts during the planning process are open to all: Catholics, lapsed Catholics, and people on their way to joining the church.

The Archdiocese of Atlanta dedicated a website to the project. It includes more background information on the project, a timeline for the process and videos of welcome in English from Archbishop Gregory and in Spanish from Auxiliary Bishop Luis R. Zarama.

Participants are also invited to spread the word about the survey through emails with friends and family, as well as social media, with texts to encourage active Catholics, people who have stopped attending Mass, and even non-Catholics to fill out the survey.

Answers will help to identify the priority topics that the plan will address.

The key issues will be identified by April 15.

Parishioners will meet during the summer to make up recommendations to address those topics. Later, groups of parish representatives will collect and consolidate the ideas and then narrow down the list of the key action items.

Meanwhile at the September convocation of priests, clergy members will discuss the key issues and come up with their own recommendations.