A couple of weeks back I posted the Monroe County portion of a file I found on dor.org about a year ago. The file appears to show the 2006-07 Catholic Ministry Appeal goals for each parish, as well as the actual amount of pledges received as of about March 1st of last year.
CMA pledge goals are a fairly good indication of how the diocese assesses the relative wealth - or at least the relative ability to pay - of its various parishes. It's really pretty simple: Parishes with relatively high Sunday collections will generally have larger CMA goals than parishes with relatively low Sunday collections.
Over the last few days I've had a chance to work with this data a bit and have developed a spreadsheet that allows us to compare both CMA goals and actual pledges in parishes where schools are staying open with the goals and actual pledges in parishes where schools are being closed.
In terms of CMA goals, the parishes with schools staying open were tasked with raising 69% more money than those whose schools were being closed. The total dollar difference between the two groups was some $302,000.
But in terms of actual CMA pledges the differences are even more striking. Parishes whose schools are staying open pledged 97% more money than those whose schools are being closed. Here the total dollar difference between the two groups was almost $382,000.
The diocese, I'm sure, will say it isn't about the money. The data, however, are saying something else.