Parish brochures, questionnaires and personal invitations to come to church


Photo by James A. McBridesurvey1-web

Our Lady of the Lakes parishioner, Amy Moschella, passes out a parish survey to a Collings Lakes resident on Saturday, March 17. An estimated 3,000 residents received the survey to fill out and return to the parish.

survey2-webFather John A. Cavagnaro, pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, Collings Lakes, blesses survey takers.

COLLINGS LAKES — A parish survey of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish began March 17 as a tool of evangelization.

“We changed the name from ‘census’ to ‘survey,’” said Father John A. Cavagnaro, pastor. “We’re going to be dropping off brochures and questionnaires about the church to 3,000 homes. This is a very important project for the pastoral council.”

Father Cavagnaro said he is hoping to get close to 90 volunteers to go to these homes with the information. Census takers will cover from 20-30 addresses. And the survey will end on April 1.

Some 20 volunteers are needed for west Collings Lakes, 30 for east Collings Lakes, 10 for Friendly Village, 15 for Folsom, and 15 for Newtonville/Penny Pot.

According to the brochure, the church will welcome anyone, “whatever your background,” including lifelong Catholics who want a “deeper relationship with God,” or if you’re new to “Christian beliefs.”

“I always hear people say they didn’t know there was a church in Collings Lake,” said Father Cavagnaro. “There are so many people who are unchurched. My idea, with this survey, is to get more people to come to church.”

The questionnaires are designed as feedback to see what people want and need in a church and their spiritual lives.

“I look at this survey as more of an evangelization than trying to convert people,” said the pastor. “We’re just telling them where the church is located and what we have to offer.”

Father Cavagnaro said there are only 450 families registered with the parish, so many of these 3,000 homes — supplied by a parishioner, a realtor — could be Catholics who have stopped going to church or non-Catholics who may be interested in learning about the church.

Some of the activities at the church include the youth group, high school- age youngsters who meet on Sunday nights; a St. Vincent DePaul chapter; a music ministry that includes youths and adults that performs weekly; and a “Koffee Klatch” that gets together Tuesday mornings for coffee and refreshments.