Monday, July 30, 2012

Article in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Monday, post-NPM convention greetings to all, especially to those of you visiting this blog for the first time. Many thanks to the many who approached me at NPM and said, "Gotta sing. Gotta Pray." I hope you enjoyed your Smarties.

Well, at my final workshop on Thursday, a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was in attendance. I did not know this until she introduced herself after the workshop. She said that she chose my workshop to attend and to report on because of the topic: "The Reception of the New Translation." Here is the story that appeared in the newspaper.



At my workshop earlier in the week (on music and the RCIA), I asked the participants to help me by filling out a brief survey. I asked those in the reception of the new translation workshop to do the same at the beginning of that workshop. I am grateful to Jennifer Odegard, WLP's director of marketing, for tallying and averaging the results. Here is the survey:

The Reception of the Newly Translated Texts

A Brief Survey
NPM 2012
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “completely satisfied” and 5 being “completely dissatisfied,” please rate your level of satisfaction by circling the appropriate number:
Completely Satisfied                                                                                               Completely Dissatisfied

1. Your own level of satisfaction with respect to the ways your diocese helped the parishes of your diocese prepare for the new translation of The Roman Missal, Third Edition

1 2 3 4 5

2. Your own level of satisfaction with respect to the ways your parish leaders helped the parishioners prepare for the new translation of The Roman Missal, Third Edition

1 2 3 4 5
3. Your own personal (as a Catholic praying with other Catholics at Mass) level of satisfaction with the newly translated texts of The Roman Missal, Third Edition

1 2 3 4 5
4. Your own level of satisfaction with the way the celebrant(s) in your parish are praying these newly translated texts

1 2 3 4 5
5. Your own level of satisfaction with the musical settings (new or revised) of the newly translated Order of Mass

1 2 3 4 5


To be honest, I had no idea how this survey would turn out. Now remember that this was not a scientific project; I had approximately 50 total responses.

So, where do you think people landed? Questions 1, 2, and 4 were almost exactly in the middle, with an average of 2.5. Question number 3 was closer to a 3, as was question number 5. "Luke-warm" was an appropriate descriptor, hence the title of the article in the Post-Gazette.

The people in the workshop were quite willing to talk about how they were/were not prepared for the new translation. They were also very willing to talk about how celebrants were doing with the text. However, even though they marked their level of satisfaction with their own personal experience with the texts as more unsatisfied, they were very reluctant to share on that particular topic. Perhaps because the talk was being taped?

How would you answer the five questions? Feel free to respond. Perhaps just comment with something like:
1:2; 2:1; 3:2; 4:3; 5:4

Gotta get to work now; lots waiting for me here after a week away.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

9 comments:

Charles in CenCA said...

Does it trouble anyone else that the mere notion of taking a poll, offering a referendum, rating an essentially HOLY OBJECT, which would be the Roman Missal of any edition or translation, constitutes an affront and abasement of the principles upon which our liturgies are founded? Okay, in 1966 the Nielsen ratings considered "The Beverly Hillbillies" and now "Modern Family." The number one cable show in viewership is "The Factor/Bill O'Reilly." Should, then, everyone emulate Fox programming due to popularilty?
This false democratization of the HRCC needs to self-impose some limitations upon "just who do we think we are?" sorts of expectations upon the Church. And who are the primary objects of such demands? Our decreasing numbers of good men who are ordained and serving in parishes. I'm sure they'll appreciate hearing more complaints about our needs not being met or "satisfied."

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Thanks for your comment, Charles. I'd like others to weigh in on your question.
Jerry

Lyn said...

I find Charles' comment interesting. People share their opinions about all sorts of holy objects and holy things all the time, from the quality of homilies to the architecture of churches to the music written by musicians who feel called to share their gifts through song, especially online and in blog comments. Rating or surveying reactions is just one tool to get a touchpoint of what people are thinking and where they stand. I didn't read your survey questions, Jerry, as critiquing The Roman Missal itself at all, but rather a way to gauge the success of the implementation and what remains to be done to do honor to the holy words used at Mass. Maybe I am just a (rare) statistic lover, who realizes numbers CAN lie but really are simply a tool to understanding complex things.

Linda Manning said...

It seems to me that Dr. Galipeau was asking these questions not to take a poll on the new translation of the Roman Missal, but to solicit feedback about his and his colleagues's role in helping dioceses prepare the introduction of it to Catholics. In addition, it is my experience that when we are asked to identify and discuss changes with which we may be uncomfortable, it helps us take ownership of our role in the change process.

Linda Manning said...

It seems to me that Dr. Galipeau was not taking a poll on the Roman Missal but seeking feedback on his and his colleagues's role in helping dioceses to prepare Catholics for this change. In addition,in my experience, when we identify and discuss changes with which we may be uncomfortable, it helps us take ownership of our own role in the change process.

Jeff Rexhausen said...

Evaluating/Critiquing various aspects of the liturgy is done every time a council or church office (whether universal or diocesan) considers how to improve the quality of our worship. Such assessments often include words and music that are part of the Mass. The current translation is certainly the result of giving the previous work of ICEL a negative review. Even approved editions of scripture receive criticism, which may be incorporated into future translations.

In response to his suggestion that “rating an essentially HOLY OBJECT, which would be the Roman Missal of any edition or translation, constitutes an affront and abasement of the principles upon which our liturgies are founded,” I believe the position that Charles takes is inconsistent with the best tradition of the Church.

Thanks for sharing this, Jerry.

Jeff Rexhausen said...

Jerry,

On a scale of 1 to 5, 2.5 is above the middle, but the real issue is how good these numbers are.

In interpreting ratings that are done on a 5-point scale, I generally tell people they are doing an acceptable job if at least 80% of evaluations have scores of 1 or 2, including at least 20% in the top category, and if the overall average is (using your scale) 2.0 or better.

Anything below such figures is a clear indicator that there is need for improvement.

Of course the real concern for most readers is an evaluation of their own diocese or parish. It would be most helpful if we could hear details from people who give a score of 1 or 2 to Questions 4 & 5:
- How are celebrants preparing?
- What Mass settings are they using?

Denise Morency Gannon said...

I agree with Lyn. I am NOT a lover of stats (God bless you, Lyn!) and know how subjective and relative they can appear to be as qualitative measuring tool. But I've learned over the years that we need to use stats as a gauge in pastoral settings so that we can be a more effective ministers. Charles, I fully appreciate your response to Jerry's post but I can tell you that what he's doing has real value in the work ahead of us. Jerry, as always, thanks for posting and all that you do for us. I reference Gotta Sing, Gotta Pray in A View from the Pew, MY blog, all the time!

Charles Culbreth said...

And I appreciate all of the reflections upon my questions.
I should have stated upfront that my question was not to be regarded as a critique of Dr. Jerry's efforts, really!
It was more of a general concern that I have about how we as individuals and as a "people" regard our status in "mechanisms" of the Church. And within that umbrella, I certainly do realize that assessments of the receptibility of MR3 should and did occur prior to its promulgation by those who were provide an office for that task. So, to a certain extent I'm calling into question the ol' horizontal/vertical dynamic tension that attends ecclesial politics. Stats, polls and comboxes aren't prima facie useless or "bad." But they are intended to discriminate (in the pure sense) and divide. In secular arenas, that purpose is S.O.P. But in the HRCC, such tools are reserved to, as I've said, an office, or a magisterium (that we through discipline are called to trust and affirm, as the Holy Spirit we presume is part of their deliberations.) I don't know if this clarifies or molifies my interest. But again, 'twas not to villify Dr. Jerry in the slightest.
Lastly, my comment about the Missal as a "holy object" only refers to the obvious: it contains the Logos among its prayers. I didn't mean that to infer it's an icon.