An article appeared Wednesday on CatholicCourier.com describing some of the creative measures taken by various pastors in an attempt to reach their parishes' Catholic Ministries Appeal assessments.
This reminded me that I hadn't posted a CMA update in a couple of months (previous posts related to the 2008-09 CMA are here, here, here, here, here, and here) so I gathered up all the data I'd been grabbing every week or so from the Parish-by-Parish page on dor.org and began to plot some graphs.
A look at the groups
The first graph is a comparison of the group of Monroe County parishes that lost their schools with the group that did not, with data for the diocese as a whole included for reference. (It should be noted that the former group does not include Holy Family Parish as it is now closed, while the latter group omits Peace of Christ Parish as it is conducting a combined CMA/building drive and is not reporting CMA results separately.)
The data shows all three groups nearing something of a plateau, with the "Kept Schools" group outpacing the "Lost Schools" group by some 16.7% of CMA assessment. Were the latter group contributing at the same rate as the former its total pledges would be some $128,200 higher than they actually are.
Of those parishes that kept their schools all but two are currently ahead of the DOR average. Our Mother of Sorrows, having raised some $17,354 more than its assessment, is clearly outshining the rest. (I wonder how Fr. Bradshaw is pulling that off.)
Almost the opposite is true of the parishes that lost their schools, with only three at or above the diocesan average.
It is obvious that CMA lacks the appeal it once held at these 12 parishes, almost certainly due to resentment at the way the 2008 school closings were handled by the diocese and Bishop Clark's ongoing refusal to address the dozens of legitimate questions that still remain.
I do hope, however, that those of us who now refuse to donate to the CMA are at least giving their parishes what they otherwise would have given the CMA. Right now those 12 parishes are more than $143,000 short of their combined assessments and, were the CMA drive to end today, the bishop would just take that amount out of their Sunday collections. Without the buffer of extra donations to the parishes in lieu of CMA pledges, such a confiscation would wreak havoc with a lot of parish budgets, something that none of us want to see.