I’ve lost my patience with church people who just won’t listen to the real stories of the Catholics and not-quite-Catholics they are supposed to be serving. So I’m starting a survey series, and survey #1 is for Catholic mothers. If you’re a mother and you consider yourself Catholic, then you’re part of that group, even if you’re not a very good Catholic. (As you’ll see, the questions reflect this.)
You can find the form here. The only required question is whether you are willing to have your answers quoted, everything else is optional.
As I get answers, I’ll be sharing some of the findings here on this blog, because what I do is tell people how things are, and this survey is about that: How are things?
Please pass along the link to anyone you know who’d like to get a few things off their chest. Thanks. There’s no deadline, so you can share this into the future.
FAQ #1: Why are we starting with moms? Because I’m a mom, and moms are who come to church, and because a lot of the topics I write about are major mom-topics. Also, it’s Mothers Day and I have a cold, and that means I’m goofing off on the internet.
FAQ #2: I can’t believe you put _________ on your form?! What kind of heretic are you?!!! The background questions are designed to reflect the reality of life for Catholic moms today. Church-people have a nasty habit of acting like there are only two ways to be: Perfect or Not Worth Our Time. Since I go with the working theory that Jesus comes not to condemn but to save, and that He died for sinners and not for the just, some of the questions acknowledge that you might be a person who answers surveys even though your life isn’t perfectly in order just yet. Hence some of the check-box options.
FAQ #3: What is this for? I just want to hear from people. You really can’t know about people unless you ask. So I’m asking. Since I’m a writer, I’ll almost certainly write about what I hear. I write online, I write books, I talk on the radio, and I talk to real people. I’d like to be able to share real stories, not guesses. The first question lets you pick your privacy level, and you don’t have to say anything you don’t feel comfortable sharing right now.
FAQ #4: If I leave my contact info in the survey, what will happen? Probably not much. In the unlikely event that your story fits into something I really, really want to write about, but I also realize I’d like to know more, then I might e-mail you. Otherwise, sheesh I’m the world’s worst correspondent, don’t expect to hear anything, and I don’t think the Pope is going to phone you either. But I’m resolved to pray for everyone who answers, so that’s a bonus, right?
FAQ #5: Why isn’t this survey more scientific? Because you are a person not a specimen, and I am a writer not an analyst. I’d like to hear your story. Stories aren’t science. Not everything that is real, and deep, and eternally important is meant to be quantified and parsed. Tell your story. Thanks.
Artwork: Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons