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  #1  
Old Feb 24, '09, 7:49 am
hvadney hvadney is offline
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Default State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Peace and blessings to you all!

In a discussion of some of my research interests and my vocational discernment for the permanent diaconate, one of our Franciscan community mentioned the article:

The State of the Catholic Church in America, Diocese by Diocese Feb/March, 2007 | Rev. Rodger Hunter-Hull and Steven Wagner

Try as I may, I cannot find that article although it allegedly was online as a pdf.

If anyone has a copy of the article and can provide it, I would be most grateful.

I have recently surveyed approximately 161 US dioceses to find out what their age policies are regarding the permanent diaconate and I'll be cleaning up that data and doing a report on my findings. I'll be happy to share that information in due course.

In the meantime, thanks very much for your kind help.

Harold
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  #2  
Old Feb 25, '09, 6:58 pm
theresab theresab is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Hi, I think this is it...or some of it. Hope it helps.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-.../1779766/posts.


God bless,
theresa
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  #3  
Old Feb 26, '09, 5:18 am
hvadney hvadney is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Peace and blessings and grace in this Lenten season!
Laudate Iesu Christi!

Thanks very much for your kind response.

I know of that posting. It is an exerpt but for my purposes I need the entire article with the statistics and a description of the methodology.

That was very thoughtful and generous of you to have drawn my attention to it and I thank you very much!

Pax et bonum!

Harold
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  #4  
Old Feb 26, '09, 8:57 am
ack ack is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

It looks like it was published in the Feb/March 2007 issue of Crisis Magazine (which went out of business last year).

If you need the article for research purposes, then your library might be able to locate this issue of the magazine for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvadney View Post
Peace and blessings to you all!

In a discussion of some of my research interests and my vocational discernment for the permanent diaconate, one of our Franciscan community mentioned the article:

The State of the Catholic Church in America, Diocese by Diocese Feb/March, 2007 | Rev. Rodger Hunter-Hull and Steven Wagner

Try as I may, I cannot find that article although it allegedly was online as a pdf.

If anyone has a copy of the article and can provide it, I would be most grateful.

I have recently surveyed approximately 161 US dioceses to find out what their age policies are regarding the permanent diaconate and I'll be cleaning up that data and doing a report on my findings. I'll be happy to share that information in due course.

In the meantime, thanks very much for your kind help.

Harold
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  #5  
Old Feb 26, '09, 9:07 am
ack ack is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

I have located the full report here:

http://www.stannslonggrove.org/docs/...hinAmerica.pdf

Just a little creative Google searching...
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  #6  
Old Feb 26, '09, 10:14 am
hvadney hvadney is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Excellent, Ack. Perfect.

Harold
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  #7  
Old Feb 26, '09, 11:03 am
ack ack is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

I would like to note that I have a lot of worries about the methodology of this study. For example, instead of measuring the ordinations over a several-year period, they take a single "snapshot" of the number of ordinations in 2005 and use this as a basis for their rankings. The problem is, with most dioceses only having a few ordinations, the expected variance in the data is so high, taking a snapshot of a single year is almost meaningless.

For example, a diocese might have 2 ordinations one year and 5 in the next due to natural variation in the number of seminarians, but this will result in tremendous jumps in the rankings from year to year.

Take the case of the Archdiocese of Anchorage: Its single ordination was enough to give it a rank of 3/176 in ordinations as a proportion of the presbyterate. If it wasn't for that single seminarian being ordained, the diocese's rank would have jumped from #3 to #176!

A properly conducted study would have reported confidence intervals for its counts, which would have revealed its questionably. (I would have framed my analysis as a sampling problem from a Bernoulli distribution that represents the health of the diocese.)

If you are writing an article for a peer-reviewed journal, I would not cite this study as the basis for your work.
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  #8  
Old Feb 26, '09, 12:48 pm
hvadney hvadney is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Hello, Ack:

You make some excellent points in your posting and I shall contact Rev. Hunter-Hall to ask him to respond to such a very valid critique.

Your point as simple but elegant as it is, is a point that can confound any reasonable interpretation of the results and it should have been included in a "methodology [cum apology]" section in the article.

Thanks very much for noting that for all of our benefits!

Pax et bonum!

Harold
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  #9  
Old Feb 26, '09, 8:35 pm
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Madaglan Madaglan is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Quote:
Originally Posted by theresab View Post
Hi, I think this is it...or some of it. Hope it helps.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-.../1779766/posts.


God bless,
theresa
Very interesting that Steubenville is the 7th smallest diocese in number of adherents.
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  #10  
Old Feb 27, '09, 7:18 am
hvadney hvadney is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Hello dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

I hope this thread will become a wonderful resource as other threads on this site have done. Our deacons, priests, bishops, religious, and lay ministers are so very important in ensuring that we meet the express mission of the pilgrim people of God in building the Church, and we must be always and in all ways vigilant in giving our support in prayers, penance, and alms as well as at times fraternal correction. Bishops are human beings and are, like the rest of us, sin-tainted creatures, subject to errors. Regrettably, a bishop's errors and the added problem of discretionary authority make his errors serious. Like all people, bishops come in a variety of flavors and fragrances, many of which are not to our particular taste, and like some olfactory-gustatory experiences, are not very inviting.

Fr Roger Hunter-Hall and his co-author Steven Wagner, despite what appears to be a methodology problem, have nevertheless produced a very valuable contribution to our understanding of the state of the Catholic Church and the situation of the dioceses and their CEOs, the bishops.

In summary, Hunter-Hall and Wagner, provide us with five very convincing characteristics of the successful bishop:
(1) successful bishops attribute their success to the Holy Spirit.
(2) successful bishops are joyful.
(3) they assume personal responsibility for the outcomes that are their priorities.
(4) they are personally involved in leading men to discern a vocation. They are personally involved in promoting the morale of their priests, and they are investing themselves in programs of evangelization.
(5) bishops are unwilling to acquiesce to decline. They are intent on doing their part to help the church flourish.

Hunter-Hall would have been more complete if they were to have enumerated the same number of characteristics of the unsuccessful bishop. I'd like to propose the following based on the Hunter-Hall model of the 5 Characteristics (with the proviso that I am using my own bishop and Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany (NY) as a general model):

(1) an unsuccessful bishop abuses discretion or relies too heavily on underlings or delegates his authority to subordinates in matters requiring his personal pastoral and paternal attention; discretion takes the place of the Holy Spirit;
(2) an unsuccessful bishop is not cheerful or joyful and does not inspire his flock with evangelical enthusiasm and joy in their faith;
(3) an unsuccessful bishop delegates his responsibility for outcomes to subordinates;
(4) an unsuccessful bishop is not personally involved in discernment for vocations and uses discretionary authority as a weapon rather than a tool; he fails in promoting the morale of his priests, ministers, and flock; he fails in his pastoral and paternal obligations and fails in his teaching and evangelization obligations by not inspiring the faithful to build the church, becoming overly focused on ulterior activities;
(5) an unsuccessful bishop accepts the decline of his dioceses faithful, parishes, vocations, ministries and does not take proactive and decisive steps to ensure that his diocese flourishes;
and
(6) an unsuccessful bishop surrounds himself with administrators and bureaucrats, insulating himself from his priests, religious, and flock;
(7) an unsuccessful bishop is not paternal or fraternal but is arrogant and distanced;
(8) an unsuccessful bishop frequently is too long in the one diocese and is literally burnt out and ineffective;
(9) an unsuccessful bishop becomes the victim of his own unwieldy administrative system and its lethargy;
(10) an unsuccessful bishop does not seek his flock's inputs and concerns; he ceases to himself discern.

Share with us your impressions of your diocese and whether your bishop is successful or unsuccessful. Don't forget to provide your bishop's name and his diocese and your recommendation of a truly successful bishop!

Thanks very much!
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  #11  
Old Feb 27, '09, 10:31 pm
theresab theresab is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Please write any posts with charity.
Let us pray for our bishops who in our opinion are successful or unsuccessful.
God bless our Bishops and our Church1
Theresa
Rockford Diocese where I believe lots of good happens...although I don't know too much about Bishop Doran.
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  #12  
Old Mar 16, '09, 6:10 am
hvadney hvadney is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madaglan View Post
Very interesting that Steubenville is the 7th smallest diocese in number of adherents.
In the meantime, I have received about 130 responses from about 161 dioceses across the USA re: whether the diocese has age limits on vocations (specifically the permanent diaconate).

Interestingly, many of the poorer performers (e.g. my own Albany NY diocese) have caps on vocations.

Any thoughts on this or comments on articles you may have read or information you may have gleaned?
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  #13  
Old Mar 16, '09, 6:12 am
hvadney hvadney is offline
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Default Re: State of the Church: Diocese by Diocese

Quote:
Originally Posted by ack View Post
I would like to note that I have a lot of worries about the methodology of this study. For example, instead of measuring the ordinations over a several-year period, they take a single "snapshot" of the number of ordinations in 2005 and use this as a basis for their rankings. The problem is, with most dioceses only having a few ordinations, the expected variance in the data is so high, taking a snapshot of a single year is almost meaningless.

For example, a diocese might have 2 ordinations one year and 5 in the next due to natural variation in the number of seminarians, but this will result in tremendous jumps in the rankings from year to year.

Take the case of the Archdiocese of Anchorage: Its single ordination was enough to give it a rank of 3/176 in ordinations as a proportion of the presbyterate. If it wasn't for that single seminarian being ordained, the diocese's rank would have jumped from #3 to #176!

A properly conducted study would have reported confidence intervals for its counts, which would have revealed its questionably. (I would have framed my analysis as a sampling problem from a Bernoulli distribution that represents the health of the diocese.)

If you are writing an article for a peer-reviewed journal, I would not cite this study as the basis for your work.
I've actually written to the authors and have asked that they contact me and share their rationale in that methodology. Haven't heard back yet (after some two weeks).

Here's hopin'
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