New Parish Ministers Survey of Lay and Religious, 1992

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > Religious Groups > Members or Leaders > Catholic > Summary


This study was part of Phase II of the New Parish Ministers study, based on a national survey of Catholic parishes, which comprised Phase I of the larger study. The purpose of this study was to focus on the work of lay ecclesial ministers. Phase II sought to obtain information on the laypersons, religious and clergy serving parishes to learn what factors foster and what obstacles limit the practices of parish ministry by lay ecclesial ministers. This study looks specifically at lay and religious parish ministers.

Data File
Cases: 378
Variables: 414
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: January, February and March 1992
Funded By
The Lilly Endowment, Inc. and The National Pastoral Life Center
Collection Procedures
Self-administered mail questionnaires
Sampling Procedures
Sampling began in Phase I, with parishes for the study selected through a stratified random sample. Dioceses were randomly selected in each of the 13 National Council of Catholic Bishops' regions of the country (for a total of 43 dioceses). A list of parishes within each diocese was obtained from the Official Catholic Directory. Parishes were then numbered in ascending order according to their listing in the directory. Lists of random numbers were generated for each diocese, ranging from 1 to the total number of parishes in each diocese. Parishes were selected in the order of the numbers on the random list until the desired sample size was obtained (which was approximately 40% of the parishes in each diocese). The return rate for the national sample of parishes was 53%.

Included with the survey for the national sample was a form asking parishes to provide the names, positions, salaries, genders and ecclesial status of those employed by the parish. Only parishes responding to Phase I that employed a lay ecclesial minister were included in Phase II. A lay ecclesial pastor was operationally defined as a layperson or a vowed religious (considered "lay" by Canon Law) working at least 20 hours a week in a paid position as a member of a parish pastoral staff. In each eligible parish questionnaires were sent to three groups: the pastor, all lay ecclesial ministers (meeting the above criteria), and five well-informed parishioners (selected by the pastor). This is the lay/religious survey.
Principal Investigators
Rev. Phillip J. Murnion and David Delambo
Related Publications
Philip J. Murnion. 1992. New Parish Ministers: Laity and Religious on Parish Life. New York: National Pastoral Life Center.
Note: Category labels
Category labels for OCCUPAT1
1 Marketing/advertising
2 Health/pharmacy
4 Professional with youth organization
5 Nanny and artist
6 Teacher
7 Fundraiser
8 Home health aid
9 Secretary/Administrative assistant
10 Director of Pro-Life
11 Sales
12 Congregational administration
13 Community administration
14 Religious education
15 Spiritual director and retreat worker
16 Banking/accounting
17 Field support for franchise management
19 Maintenance
20 Coordinator of religious sisters
25 Formation directress
30 Novice mistress
31 Campus ministry
32 Education
33 Regional Diocesan
34 Music
35 Social ministry
36 Librarian in school
42 Office manager
45 Research chemist
46 Student
48 Provincial superior
49 Credit bureau
53 Real estate broker
54 Cook
56 Self-employed
57 Pastor
58 Work with elderly
59 Mechanic
63 CPA
64 Youth minister
66 Social services
74 Retail control officer
77 Computers
80 Proposal writer
82 Research assistant
83 Drafter
85 Chief financial officer
86 Quality inspector
87 Women's ordination conference
88 Activity director
89 Military
91 Corrections
92 Member of a preaching team
94 Religious education
96 Greeting card writer
97 Vocational ministry
100 Hospital chaplain
101 IBP Inc.
103 Customer Service
104 Administration in a religious community
106 Investigator
107 Transportation manager
108 Speech language pathologist
109 Company owner and president
110 Student assistant counselor
111 Engineer/Deacon
112 Analyst/manager
113 Legal ministry
114 Professional coach
115 Company production manager
117 Farmer
118 Horse trainer and breeder
121 Cable repair
122 Child care
125 Diocesan administration
126 Insurance
127 Formation ministry
129 Leadership team for a religious community
130 Residence life (university setting)
136 Major superior of VSC community
139 Archdiocese mission coordinator
140 Clerk of printing in distribution
Category labels for READ35, READ36, AND READ37
5 God's Word Today
6 Colombia
7 Guideposts
8 The Word Among Us
9 Sunday Missal Service
10 Catholic Digest
11 Catholic Family News
12 Living Faith
13 Daily Word
14 Golden Age
15 Catholic Bulletin
16 Vatican
18 Religious Teacher's Journal
19 New Oxford Review
20 Religion Teachers Journal
21 Living with Christ
22 Our Daily Bread
23 One Bread One Body
24 New Earth
25 Today's Catholic Teacher
26 The Daily Visitor
27 Share the World
28 Our Church Weekly Bulletin
29 Catholic Weekly
30 Pittsburgh Catholic
31 Columbia
32 Weavings
33 Inside the Vatican
34 Celebration
35 RCIA
36 Catholic Answer
38 Catholic News Report
39 New Covenant
40 Salesian
41 Work For Lectors
43 Living Youth
44 Linacre Quarterly
45 The Magnificat
46 Call to Action
47 Mtn Diocesan
48 Catholic Update
49 Mission 2000
50 Lake Shore Visitor
51 Korean Journal
52 Korean Catholic Newspaper
53 Books on spiritual readings
54 Catholic World Report
55 Christian Initiation
56 The Upper Room
57 God Calling
58 Communion
59 The Clarion Herald
60 The Pope Speaks
61 Momentum NCEA
62 Santa Clara U magazine
63 Catholic NW Progress
65 Catholic Observer
66 Boston Pilot
67 Catholic Parent
68 St. Cloud Visitor
69 Daily newspaper
70 Parish bulletin
71 Exploring Sunday Readings
72 Deacon Digest
73 Ligourian
74 Sisters of St. Josephs
76 National Right To Life News
77 Arkansas Catholic
78 Catholic Heritage
79 WETN-TV
80 Catholic New York
81 KC Magazine
82 Choice
83 Newspaper of former deacon
84 Daily Devotional Booklet
85 Mississippi
86 Bible
87 Carmelite information
88 St. Patrick Fathers
89 Group
90 Eucharistic Minister
91 Remnant
93 Catholic Near East
94 Books I order on Mary, Jesus
95 Weekly Bulletin
96 First Things
97 Guidings
98 El Heraldo Catolico
99 Jesuit Publications
100 World
101 Maria Legions
103 Catholic Yearbook
104 Religion Journal
105 New York Times
106 Bread of Life
108 Daily World
109 Our Church bulletin
110 Today's Liturgy
111 Catholic Reader Digest
112 The Josephite
114 Christian Women
115 Natural, Catholic Congress
116 Texas Catholic Herald
118 Other Diocesan newspapers
119 Priest
120 Catholic Courier
121 Modern Liturgy
123 The Covenant
124 Liturgy of the Word
126 Parish Sunday bulletin
127 Catholic Worker
128 Living Earth
129 Journal of Christian Nursing
130 The Michigan Catholic
131 Crisis
132 Florida Catholic
134 Biblical Archaeology
135 Intercom Mennonite
137 Medjugorje Magazine
138 Nosotros - NJ
139 Immaculata
142 Reign
143 Anchor
144 Catholic Herald
146 AIM
147 Extension
150 Tablet
152 The Bible Today
153 Church newsletter
154 Catholic web sites
156 Lector Bulletin
157 Vatican Today
158 The Catholic Faith
159 Voice
165 Universe Bulletin
167 Spiritual Life
168 Housetops
169 Other spiritual readings
170 Maryknoll
171 Marian Helpers
172 Compassion Soul
173 Law Witness
175 Bulletin
176 Weekly
177 Religion Teaching Journal
180 Christopher Notes
181 Pastoral Music (NPM)
183 Idaho Register
184 Pax Christi
185 Adorenius
187 Living City
189 You
192 L'osservatore Romans
193 Decision
194 St. Patrick Fainersh
195 Palabra Entre Nosatras
196 Company
199 St. Vlad's Quarter
201 The Apostolate
202 The Church World
203 Buena Vista Ink
204 Human Development
205 The Servant
206 Catholic Spirit
207 The Company - America
209 New Let. Dealing with Mary
210 Books on Catholicism
211 Passion
212 Fatima Articles
213 The Rock
214 Visitor
215 L'osservator Romana
216 Diocesan Bulletin
217 Miraculous Medal
218 Catalyst
219 Spirituality
220 Bishop's Letter
223 Eastern Catholic Life
224 Byzantine Catholic
225 Marriage
226 Serran
228 At Home with the Word
229 Quincy, IL
230 Soul
231 Unity Magazine
232 A.L.L.
233 Envoy
234 Daily Prayers
235 Discipleship Journal
236 Spiritual Books
237 Mission Booklets
238 The Word
239 Collegeville Bible
240 Liturgy Bulletin (CCCB)
241 Digest
242 Korean Catholic Digest
243 Family Digest
245 Gonzaga U magazine
246 The Answer
247 Sursum Corda
248 Knightline (K of C)
249 Trade Journals
250 Bible Study Fellowship
251 L.I. Catholic
252 Renew
253 Biblical Theologica
254 Share the Word
255 Lives of Saints
256 Salesianos
257 Catechism of Catholic Church
258 Daily Meditation
259 Teacher's Journal for Religious Education
260 Colombian mission
262 Angels
263 Local newspaper
264 Mission News
265 OCP Parish Musician
266 Workbook for Lectors
267 Vision 2000 Series
268 Marian Newsletter
269 American Bible
270 Leaves
271 Mission Association
272 Blue Letter
273 Parish Quarterly News
274 E & A Newsletter
275 New York Catholic
276 People of God
277 Catholic Biblical Quarterly
279 The Cord
280 Adoremos
281 Several Mission Periodicals
282 Pioneer
284 Mombutum
285 Catholic Light
286 This Rock
287 Liturgy 90
288 Sourcebook for Sundays
289 Christian Woman
290 St. Joseph's Convenant
291 Maryknoll News
292 The Catholic World
293 Apostotal of Lady of Cros
294 Missalette
295 La Voz Catolico
296 Boston College Magazine
297 One Church
298 The Oblates
299 Maine diocese newspaper
300 Time
301 Reign of the Sacred Heart
302 Charlotte Observer
303 Daily Living
304 The Bottom Line
305 Eastern Catholic Journal
307 Oxford Review
308 The Holy Scripture
309 Sacristy Manual
310 Catholic NE Welfare Magazine
311 Commentary
312 Papers
313 Korean Catholic News Articles
314 Glenmary
315 Gonzaga Prep magazine
316 Legionnaires of Christ
317 The Liturgy Documents
318 Echo from Africa
319 Stewardship News
320 Children's Ministry
321 Daily Guide Post
322 Charismatic Newsletter
323 Local Catholic paper
324 Povgrello (Capuchins)
325 Exploring the Sun readings
327 FMA
328 National bulletin
330 Companion
331 Puentes
332 Youth Worker
334 Marian
335 Georgetown Magazine
336 Eastern Christian Review
337 Presence
339 Marianist
340 Eastern Church Journal
341 Biblical Archaeological Review
343 Publication from Notre Dame Assembly
344 Reflections
345 Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology
346 Art and Environment
347 GIA Quarterly
348 CTA
349 Liturgical ministry
350 Newsweek
351 Alive
353 Articles in Spanish
354 Symphony
357 Radical Grace
358 Liturgy
359 L'osservatore Romano
360 Catechist connection
361 Theology Today
363 Articles in parish periodical
364 Sacred Music
365 American Organist
366 Network
367 The Voice of Archdiocese of Miami
368 Religious Educator's Journal
369 Religious education
371 Sourcebook (liturgy training publication)
372 Youth ministry magazines
373 CYMD Vision and Challenge
374 Humble Hearts Newsletter
375 Neighboring diocesan paper
376 Celebrate
377 Sisters Today
378 Reader's Digest
379 The Other Side
380 Pace
381 On-going spiritual readings
382 St. Cloud Visitor
383 Feminist Theology Journal
384 Focus on the Family
385 Group Ministry
386 Medugorje
387 Internet news from Vatican
388 Living Prayer
389 Bringing Religion Home
390 Social Concerns
391 Liturgical News
392 Books in Spanish
393 Visions-Youth Ministry
394 NCR
395 Jr. high ministry
396 Colombia
397 Youth Leadership
398 Bible Review
399 Assembly
401 Review for Religious Research
402 The Diasporan
403 Catechist magazine
404 Youth Update
405 Cantor
406 Chariscenter USA
407 Pastoral Life
408 Forefront
409 Common Boundary
410 Theological Readings
411 Catholic Trends
412 Parents of Teenagers
413 Bereavement
415 News Covenant
416 Homily Helps
417 American Church Journal
418 Trends
419 Spirit
420 Salt of the Earth
421 For His Ministry
422 Vision & Challenge
423 Organ Music
424 Sharing the Word
425 Rolling Stone
426 Christian Beginnings
427 Journey
428 My Friend
429 Presence, spiritual direction journal
430 New Ways Ministry Newsletter
431 Horizon
432 College Theology
433 New Yorker
434 Dobson's Family Magazine
Category labels for PAIDMIN3
1 Consolidation
2 Family
4 It involved teaching music in grade school
7 I loved the children
8 Moved
9 New opportunity, challenge, needed change
10 More suited to do rural ministry
12 Asked by pastor to become DRE
14 Leadership
15 Position eliminated
16 Wanted to return to parish ministry
17 Money
18 Asked to be pastoral minister
19 Term of office expired
20 Lack of support, spirit, and cooperation
21 Was not eligible
22 Study
25 Preferred another diocese
26 Personal and professional growth and experience
29 Community withdrew from parochial school
32 Difference of opinion
38 Conversion to Catholicism
39 Asked to do the same thing in my parish
40 Wanted to work in the same parish where I lived
41 Long hours
43 Fired
44 Change of pastor
45 To serve directly as pastoral minister
47 Alcoholic pastor
49 Changes of assignment
50 Sisters were asked to leave
51 Church position was part time
52 School closed
54 Faith crisis
55 Wanted to do Church ministry
56 Wanted to do this work
57 Change in ministry
60 Incapacitated
61 Experience more relationships for longer time
62 Work to reflect what I believe
63 To work in a community position
64 First ministry position
65 No time for personal goals
66 Was full time teacher and part time youth minister
67 Youth ministry, different parish
68 Dissatisfaction
70 Invited to ministry
71 It was temporary.
73 Youth ministry
74 Religious education director
76 Asked to leave by pastor
78 Desire to relate more to people
80 God's Call
81 Priest recalled to do work
82 Superior asked to take another position
83 The current position became available.
84 Desire to do pastoral work
85 Saw job as once in a lifetime
86 Physical disability
87 Call to work with poor in rural ministry
88 Needed to get back to my main ministry
89 To work as a parish minister
90 Pastor needed me in this position
91 Appointed to current position
93 Went one year to study and it wasn't opened
94 Position of DRE opened closer to home
97 Pastor asked me to join him
98 Opportunity to use skills I was trained
99 Lack of support from pastor
101 Regional office closed
102 Community's request
103 Wanted to minister at parish level
105 Health
106 Felt drawn to parish ministry
107 Left religious life
108 Left a religious congregation
109 Left convent
110 Re-organization
111 End of program
112 New pastor was non-collegial
113 Asked to go into formation ministry
115 Left part time for full time at another parish
116 Mercurial pastor
117 Began to work on Master's of Pastoral Counseling degree
118 Length of time
119 Interference of other non-related
120 Retirement age
121 Asked by pastor to consider parish ministry
122 Preferred parish work
123 No longer needed
Category labels for CORSFLD1, CORSFLD2, CORSFLD3
1 Lay ministry
2 Bereavement
3 Catechesis
4 Pastoral ministry
5 CPA
8 Church ministry
11 Youth
12 Befriender ministry
14 North American Forum
16 Administration
18 Spanish
23 Parish ministry
26 Hispanic minister
27 Theology
29 Certification
30 Spiritual direction
32 Liturgy
35 Ministry
36 Mexican American cultural center
38 Campus ministry
40 Marriage Encounter
44 Computers
47 Bible Institutes
49 Advocacy for victims of sexual misconduct
50 CPE
51 Sister formation institute
54 Gerontology
55 Resource training program
56 Catholic overview review
57 Music
58 Education
62 Christian initiation
65 Ethics and the Ballet initiative
74 Scripture
76 MAPS -Seattle University (on-going)
78 Parish services
79 Catholic vision of love
80 Psychology
81 Diaconate
84 Leadership skills
86 Counseling
91 Spirituality
92 Health and wellness
94 Facilitator
98 Divorced and separated
103 CORE
105 Limex
107 Justice based programs
108 Leader of prayer
109 Law
110 Models for Baptismal programs
115 Family ministry
116 Resource center
117 Sacramental
118 Cannon law
119 Llamados a crecer
120 Tribunal Institute
121 Stephen ministry
122 Philosophy
124 St. Louis University
126 Small Christian communities
127 Accompaniment
129 Small group training
130 Social service
131 Scientific instrumentation
132 Languages
134 Pastoral care
137 Parish pastoral council
138 Evangelism
141 Corporate ministry
144 Rural ministry
146 History course
147 Women's issues
148 Food provider training
150 Communication
154 MBA
156 Intro into New Testament
157 Sabbatical
161 Diocesan ministry school
166 Vocation ministry
169 Hair dresser
170 CCD
176 Morality
177 Pre-CANA
178 Workshops, conferences, conventions
179 Small faith communities
180 Vatican II course
184 Calling and caring ministries
186 Death and Dying
187 ICA Institute of Cultural Affairs
189 Mt. Mary religious education program
191 Self improvement
192 Serendipity
194 Remembering church
195 Chaplain
199 Alternatives to violence
Category labels for LEAVING1, CHRMIN1, PARMIN1, PRESPOS1
5 Lack of communication/collaboration/cooperation
6 Doing too much
8 Salary
9 Age
10 Family
11 Lack of support, appreciation
12 More time to develop my personal gifts
13 Change of pastoral leadership
14 Stress
17 Maybe I had done all that I could do
19 Church system
20 Parish ministry no longer life-giving
22 Dissatisfaction with those I minister
23 Other offers
24 Too long/time for change/bored
25 Broaden professional experience
27 See current job as short-term
30 Tension between parents and school
31 School/study
32 Friction among those who report to me
35 Uncertain I should stay
36 No childcare available
37 To continuing ministering
39 Move into another ministry area
40 Interested in hospital ministry
41 Desire to work with the poor
43 The set up in the rectory
45 Part-time
47 The current staffing situation
48 Burnout
49 Frustration over lack of parental involvement
53 Women's issues
54 Parish administration
56 Don't like hoops and loops
58 Moving
64 Parish quickly growing
67 Health
70 Did not question my contract
71 Restrictions on preaching
72 Creativity
74 To be an open lesbian
76 Teach
80 Bishop didn't show up for conference
81 Pursuing retreat work full time
82 My community combining with another congregation
83 Change of parish
89 Too much authority to wrong personnel
90 Poor liturgical formation
91 Lack of participation at youth group events
93 Not feeling like I'm doing good
94 Position being terminated
96 Lack of networking with community
99 Institutional church is dead
101 Diocesan positions
102 More study
106 Intend to begin a systematic theology program
111 Not happy with supervisor
113 Problematic atmosphere
116 I am the only musician
118 Forceful people can bulldoze their way
121 Private practice counseling
123 The clergy
124 More geographically
125 Associate pastors
129 Personal reasons
130 Lack of ordination
131 Parish needs change
132 Pursue advocacy for gay/lesbian youth
135 If it would become impossible to remain Catholic
136 I never received a contract
139 Don't like the office work
141 To obtain CPE training
142 To work in hospital or community minister
144 Being asked by my religious congregation
149 Part of a more creative means of service
153 Concentrate on orchestral work for a while
154 Personality conflicts
158 Until supervisor can come back to work
160 To work among Asian-Americans
161 To being my own ministry consulting firm
164 Working conditions
169 Negative changes in management
170 Desire to do college campus ministry
171 May have to go back to volunteer
174 God's will
175 Disagreement with Archbishop
176 Having to work directly under a priest
177 Frustration with people
179 If I had found a ministry that allows for more freedom
183 Would like more interaction with kids
186 Conservative or authoritarian pastor
187 Loneliness in living
188 Diocesan position
189 Not much prestige
190 To feel excited by ministry