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Re: Importance of Statistics #211502 12/08/05 01:00 AM
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Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by Diak:
Statistics can be made to promote whatever one wants to think depending on how the sample population is viewed.

Souls are not statistics and the average person in the chapel doesn't care about statistics. You work one at a time and see where it goes.
DD
Diak,

Could you elaborate? I'm not clear why you thought it necessary to post this opinion.

Dan L

Re: Importance of Statistics #211503 12/08/05 05:07 PM
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Diak Offline
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Dan, I hope the post was clear. Where does it need to be elaborated? Any statistician who is honest can vouch for the variety of ways to analyze and interpret statistical data.

As far as reason, I think anytime one starts looking at and even a step farther, relying on numerical models instead of individual souls, a step back towards reality perhaps needs to be considered. What do the statistics mean? How was the data collected? Etc. I guess my scientist side still gets the best of me when trying to determine the meaning and basis of such things.
DD

Re: Importance of Statistics #211504 12/08/05 08:09 PM
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Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Diak,

It's just that the caution is so obvious I thought that you had more in mind.

CDL

Re: Importance of Statistics #211505 12/08/05 08:17 PM
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Carson Daniel Offline OP
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The issue here isn't that quantity necessarily equates to quality. What does matter, however, is finding out why people apparently are leaving in droves and why we aren't reaching very many new people. After all, every Christian is new at some point and if we don't more than reproduce ourselves we will die and we should. Any organization intentionally disobedient to our Lord should cease to exist and eventually will cease to exist.

The equation is simple. If we have the truth we must share it. If we don't have the truth we should and will die. So, which is it?

I believe we have been given the truth and therefore the only question we have before us is "How do we share what we've been given?" An essential step in that process includes statistics. Let's find out where we are and why and build from their.

It's not rocket science. It's Easy Stats 101. Once we find out where we are and why then the bishop rallies us together and we go for the goal. It doesn't take so much high intellect as high courage.

CDL

Re: Importance of Statistics #211506 12/08/05 09:10 PM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Dan,

By far the biggest losses we have suffered are to the Latin Church, and this is in most cases not because of disatisfaction with the Byzantine Church itself but simple matters of convenience. Why drive 1/2 hour when I can drive 5 minutes? We are all part of the same Church aren't we? And so it goes.

One can remind people they should be attending the Church sui iuris they belong to but in the end you can't force them.

The Maronites have the same problem. Thousands who should be in their parishes are in Latin ones.

Fr. Deacon Lance


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: Importance of Statistics #211507 12/08/05 09:24 PM
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Hieromonk Elias Offline
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Dear Dan,

A very thorough survey of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh was conducted last year. Surveys and questionaires were distributed and collected. These were critically analysed, and I think, have given a very reliable picture of the demographics of the Archeparchy.

Some of the information was shared with the clergy at one of their gatherings, and I was very impressed with the quality of the work that was done.

I'm kind of old-fashioned, as everyone here knows. And though I respect the work that was done, and though I found the statistics interesting and helpful, I am not convinced that I understand exactly how they can be used as tools of evangelization?

I would identify the tools of evangelization, as living a holy life, loving kindness, acts of mercy and compassion, and careful teaching and silent witness. Most importantly it is lavished on one soul, one person at a time.

Since statistics tend to throw people together into lists and groups, they might even be counter-productive.

But I have probably missed the point, and I (an old fashioned monk) look forward to learning how statistics can be tools.

the unworthy,
Elias

Re: Importance of Statistics #211508 12/08/05 10:09 PM
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Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Father Elias,

A simple illustration should suffice. If a Church is teaching and living holy lives and witnessing as you indicate it will show up in the vital lives of the parishioners and will eventuate in growth. It should eventuate in the planting of new Churches wherever our people go. Those new Churches will need priests and deacons to serve them. Your 1/2 hour vs. 5 minute illustration would be humorous if it weren't so...pitiful (I don't know what else to call it.) We travel 1/2 regularly to worship. We have members who regularly travel well over an hour and a few that travel as much as four hours each way. And we live in a metropolitan area twice the size of Cleveland and Pittsburgh combined. Statistics would make it inescapable that we need to be better stewards of our priests locations and we need to stop playing games about vocations. Unless we have determined that God's providence is that we die soon. That may well be the case.

But I don't think so.

Why would God start a work only to see it die out before its mission is accomplished.

I contend my thinking is as old fashioned as yours. It comes from Pentecost and follows St. Paul's example...among others.

Your humble servant and sinner,

CDL

BTW Is it possible for others to see these stats? Does the study include all of the eparchies?

Re: Importance of Statistics #211509 12/08/05 10:28 PM
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Hieromonk Elias Offline
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Originally posted by carson daniel lauffer:
Father Elias,

Your 1/2 hour vs. 5 minute illustration would be humorous if it weren't so...pitiful (I don't know what else to call it.)
CDL
Dear Dan,

What illustration are you refering to? I'm not sure I follow your point.

Once you gather all the information about distance and geography etc., how do you use that in evangelization?

Some of the material was distributed at the clergy meeting (I didn't save the papers). The material has not been otherwise published to the best of my knowledge, but I don't think it is secret either. Perhaps you might inquire at the Chancery, or to one of the committee that assembled the statistics?

the unworthy,
Elias

Re: Importance of Statistics #211510 12/10/05 02:01 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by harmon3110:
To anyone,

In the U.S., are there any bishops or monasteries in the Eastern Catholic Churches (Byzantine or other) that are clearly committed to the renewal and expansion of the Church?

I suspect that those most committed to Orthodox Christianity are avoiding the Eastern Catholic Churches (perception as "Orthodox Lite") and finding their way to churches outside of Rome, i.e. the ROCOR, OCA, and the Antiochians.

Re: Importance of Statistics #211511 12/10/05 04:36 AM
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Carson Daniel Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by Hieromonk Elias:
Quote
Originally posted by carson daniel lauffer:
[b] Father Elias,

Your 1/2 hour vs. 5 minute illustration would be humorous if it weren't so...pitiful (I don't know what else to call it.)
CDL
Dear Dan,

What illustration are you refering to? I'm not sure I follow your point.

Once you gather all the information about distance and geography etc., how do you use that in evangelization?

Some of the material was distributed at the clergy meeting (I didn't save the papers). The material has not been otherwise published to the best of my knowledge, but I don't think it is secret either. Perhaps you might inquire at the Chancery, or to one of the committee that assembled the statistics?

the unworthy,
Elias [/b]
Are you saying that you have not been privy to this discussion in its earlier manifestations? Statistics will begin to tell us which Churches and which pastors are actually evangelizing and in which areas their efforts can best be utilized. Does it make any evangelical sense to have 18 mostly very samll Churches in Cleveland when we only have one in Chicago?

If "evangelization" is not th word to describe bringing people to Christ and to a deepening understanding of Him and a deepening relationship with Him then what word would you use?

CDL

Re: Importance of Statistics #211512 12/10/05 02:17 PM
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John Damascene Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by carson daniel lauffer:
Does it make any evangelical sense to have 18 mostly very samll Churches in Cleveland when we only have one in Chicago?
When the parishes of Chicago were merged into Annunciation Parish 3/4 of the people were lost. Is this the example you wish be repeated across the country?

Your parish needs to get the majority of these Byzantine Catholics back before anyone will take your efforts at evangelization seriously.

Re: Importance of Statistics #211513 12/10/05 02:20 PM
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Carson Daniel Offline OP
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John,

Can you demonstrate that what you say is true? If you can show us and give us the names of the 750 families who left the three churches. That would certainly be amazing since there was no where near that many families in those three churches in the first place.

Still, even if you could give us the names of 1/10 the number you claim that would be marvelous.

Dan L

I left and came back. I just can't get those 750 lost souls out of my mind. Please John, help us. Since you know the 750 families who have left our Church since 1995 I pray let us know who they are. If you withhold that information aren't you in danger of divine retribution? If I knew 750 families who were lost without a Church and all I needed to do was invite them back in order for them to come back to Christ and His Church I would not only tell the present members about them I would invite them myself. Please, for their sake, our sake, and for your sake tell us who these people are. My gracious, with 750 more families we could start three new strong parishes in the Chicago area. Please, don't withhold their names.

Re: Importance of Statistics #211514 12/10/05 03:08 PM
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Carson Daniel Offline OP
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John,

I can download pdf and a bunch of other files. So don't hesitate to send me the list. I will do something with the list. Will you help me?

Dan L

Re: Importance of Statistics #211515 12/10/05 05:28 PM
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Uhm, Dan ? You know I am enthusiastic about evanglization too, but maybe it's time to take a deep breath and let the Lord fill you with His peace.

The existence and expansion of the Church is only one man's responsibility: Jesus. He will take care of those issues. All we have to do is be open to however He wants us to serve Him. It's His work, not ours.

I think better statistics can be useful, but they can also be dangerous.

Statistics can be useful in evangelization to get a snapshot idea of where the people are, their demographics (age, gender, etc.) and thus what their existing needs are. That helps people know how to serve the people who are already with us.

Statistics can be dangerous, however, if we let the devil persuade us that it is up to us (instead of Christ) to save, renew and expand the Church.

Right now, there are people joining the Eastern Catholic Churches. Right now, there are people --in our midst, usually-- who would feel drawn to the Eastern Catholic Churches if they were exposed to it properly and with love. The Lord has given us ourselves and our neighbors. There are plenty of people to reach all around us by our life in Christ and His life in us.

The Eastern Catholic Church is not going to die. It might shrink, and it will always be a minority in the U.S., but it won't die. I know from personal experience that it is tempting to want to "do something, now" in order to "save the Church" when I look at mostly empty church buiildings. But I have learned that is a trick of the devil. The Church is the people, not the building, and the life of the people in Christ. Thus, what matters is whether we are filled with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ will take care of the rest.

with compassion,

-- John

Re: Importance of Statistics #211516 12/10/05 05:38 PM
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John,

I have to agree with you and your post. We have to remember the days of mass conversions are long gone. Now we need to focus on quality individual conversions and improving the spiritual lives of our faithful. Then we lead by example and that will be the greatest missionary tool.

I know we want to save the world, but it starts with us first and having a true conversion, then with starting one soul at a time. Then we will grow soul by soul.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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