We have approximately 22,000 parishioners, 10,000 of which are adults. Do all of these adults attend our parish every week? No way. Only about 6,400 individuals (children and adults) attend each weekend. If our parish coincides with the national averages, that means about 2,540 are adults, and 3,860 are kids. So that means out of our 10,000 adults only 2,540 get to Mass, and of that number a substantial portion are monthly Mass goers.
And our parish is getting bigger. Right now we are at 5,300 families and are expected to climb between 7,000 to 10,000 families in the next 15 years, due to the influx of Exxon employees to their new super complex just south of The Woodlands.
We have three priests. Our pastor is a diocesan priest and is supported by two associates from an Indian religious order. We have 4 very active deacons as well. Our staff is probably 30 people, not counting the school, that are part or full time.
This means that for 22,000 parishioners we have 7 clergymen and 30 staff. That's just a mere 595 congregants per staffer! For now. In five years it will look more like 811 congregants per staffer.
My Little Series Continues...
Here is my second post on the interrelationship between community and evangelization. If you have not read the post on community, go and do so now. It will blow your mind. Or, it will prepare you for this article, at least.
PART TWO: EVANGELIZATION TODAY
I have about 15 articles on this website about evangelization. You can check those out to get a bigger picture of my views on evangelization and what it is all about, but for now, I am going to paint for you a quick portrait of evangelization in order to hasten the point of this most excellent blog series.
First, evangelization is the whole work of the Church, starting from grace and ending in glory. It is also a work of the whole Church, not left up to the priests on the altar, the monks in foreign lands, or the nuns in the inner-city Catholic schools. It is just as much your responsibility as it is mine, and I have a fancy website! So this means that evangelization is why the Church exists, how the Church continues to exist, and is the reason for our existence within the Church.
But what is evangelization?
My New Little Series on Evangelization and Community.
I've been thinking lately about two things: evangelization and community, and how they are inter-related. Here's some posts that will follow along these thoughts as I have them. As always, any series that I do are sporadic and incomplete. They are intimations and suggestions towards answers, not the answers themselves.
The Idea of Community
Most of my ministry is devoted to the cause of the new evangelization. I am trying to get a sense of where the Spirit is moving the Church today, of how He is transforming things like parish ministries, outreach, the marginalized and forgotten, the active and the devout. The new evangelization seems to suit me because I enjoy the idea of reaching out to Catholics who aren't really all that Catholic. The Mission Ad Gentes is too remote and I'll leave it to better, smarter, holier people to do authentic mystogogy.
Community is more difficult for me because I am a nerd and a bit of a loner when it comes to ministry stuff. Heck, this whole website is somewhat of a testament to that - it's just me typing away in my makeshift office all alone. But community is important, and so I need to focus my energy on developing a sane and helpful approach towards "fostering the Christian community", whatever that means.