In God Do We Trust? an analysis of trust reformation in a Catholic Parish

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In God Do We Trust? an analysis of trust reformation in a Catholic Parish

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In my research, I examined two avenues of trust; trust in the organization and trust in God. In an effort to revitalize a Catholic parish, a model of total stewardship was introduced. The purpose was to bring parishioners to an awareness of God's generosity. This reformation consolidated financial collection efforts exclusively to the Sunday offering, including financial support for the parochial school which had previously collected tuition payments. I analyzed the response of the school parents from surveys with respect to the changes in tuition charging and the high level of trust extended to them. Network analysis was used to gauge aspects of organizational trust. The survey asked parents about whom they get information about parish matters. The process of the trust negotiation from the perspective of the administration was captured with interviews of a few key parish administrators. One of the key findings was that as ministry participation increased; trust in the school administration decreased. Since most ministries were parish based, information in parish ministries reinforced and circulated negative information about the school. The second aspect of the research was trust in God. I hypothesized that a stronger religious belief or trust in God would create a stronger behavioral response and school parents would more likely embrace the stewardship model. Questions on the survey regarding four religious belief and four religious behaviors combined together to create a scale to measure religiosity or trust in God. I worked under the assumption that a deep faith transforms our behavior, or as it is said in Roman Catholic tradition, <italic>Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi</italic>, and this would translate to greater stewardship commitment. The indicators used to measure religiosity showed some strong levels of commitment and trust in God. This trust in God did not directly show a correspondence of trust in either the school or parish administration. Only when the parents had a trust in the parish administration did their trust in God manifest in greater giving.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2013. Major: Sociology. Advisor: David Knoke. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 215 pages.

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Reandeau, Dawna Carling. (2013). In God Do We Trust? an analysis of trust reformation in a Catholic Parish. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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