Working in the Catholic Church: An Attitudinal Survey

Working in the Catholic Church: An Attitudinal Survey. Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 1993.

How satisfied with their employer are the priests, lay persons, and members of religious communities who work for the Catholic Church? To find out, the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators conducted a national survey to assess the job satisfaction of employees of the Catholic Church, exploring the church environment as a place of employment. <p>The result of this research is Working in the Catholic Church, a multi-author volume of two parts: an analysis of the survey data by a sociologist, and five reflections on the sociological analysis by a group of experts. In Part 1, Patricia Wittberg looks at issues of training, development, and promotion in chapter 1; job descriptions, performance appraisals, and recruitment in chapter 2; communications and grievance procedures in chapter 3; pay and benefits in chapter 4; and affirmative action in chapter 5. In Part 2, Mary Ellen McClanaghan reflects on training and development in chapter 6; Lucien Roy discusses recruitment, retention, job descriptions, and performance appraisals in chapter 7; William P. Daly and Ann Marie Winters reflect on employment grievances in chapter 8; Colleen Branagan considers compensation in chapter 9; and Francis Kelley Sheets explores affirmative action in chapter 10. <p>Among the findings: a majority of both administrators and employees are dissatisfied with present opportunities for further education and professional development. Employees, particularly those in parish work, who lack specific job descriptions are invariably dissatisfied and vulnerable. Only 40% of church employees expect just treatment from the church during grievance procedures. Women religious and younger employees express higher levels of dissatisfaction than others. Priests generally do not feel free to discuss differences of opinion with their superiors, and an increasing number of lay employees have expectations for compensation that the church is currently unable to meet. As Colleen Branagan points out in her essay, "it is only in the last part of the 20th century that the church has begun a conscious, systematic approach to defining the employment relationship between itself and the thousands of church workers." On each of these issues parishes, dioceses, and congregations will need to develop comprehensive policies designed to increase the satisfaction and productivity of their employees.