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Evansville, Indiana
November 15, 1996     The Message
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November 15, 1996

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Catholics volunteer less than others, re By JERRY FILT U Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. Catholics do less volunteer work for their church than members of several other denominations do, a team of researchers report- ed Nov. 8 at a meeting in Nashville, Tenn. In terms of its dollar value to the church, the researchers esti- mated that the contributed vol- unteer time of the average Catholic household is worth about $300 a year. By comparison, they said the per-household volunteer time among Lutherans and Presbyte- rians was worth more than $500. In the Baptist and Assemblies of God churches it was between $600 and $700. They figured the dollar values of volunteer services on a basis of $9.60 per hour, the average wage churches pay their salaried reli- gious educators. The new research report fol- lows on the heels of several other recently published studies which found that Catholics give much less financially than members of other religious groups in the United States to either their church or other charities. The research team, headed by sociologist Dean Hoge of The Catholic University of America, presented its findings on volun- teerism at the annual meeting Nov. 8-10 of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Religious Research Associa- tion. Hoge provided Catholic News Service in Washington an advance copy of the report. Joining Hoge in the study were Charles Zech, an economist at Villanova University, Patrick McNamara, a sociologist at the University of New Mexico, and Michhel J. Donahue, a psycho- logical research consultant in Minneapolis. The focus of their paper was how church-volunteering behav- ior of religious adherents inter- relates with other variables in their lives such as education level, income, frequency of wor- ship or other church participa- tion, financial contributions, atti- tudes on various questions of faith and church life. But from the standpoint of comparing volunteering patterns from one denomination to anoth- er, the striking feature of their research was the finding that Catholics as a whole expend far fewer resources of time and money on their church than members of the other denomi- nations do. "Three of four types of expen- diture -- time attending pro- grams, time volunteered and money contributed -- vary sim- ilarly across the five denomina- tions," they said. "In all three, the Assemblies of God and Bap- tists are highest, the Lutherans and Presbyterians are in the middle, and Catholics are low- est." "Frequency of church atten- dance (the fourth expenditure) is different," they added. "The Catholics are a bit higher than the Lutherans and Presbyteri- ans, and the Assemblies of God and Baptists are clearly the highest." Comparing the behaviors of individuals within their church- es, the researchers found that "church attendance and number of hours attending church pro- grams are by far the strongest predictors of volunteering. Peo- ple who participate tend to vol- unteer and vice versa." For their study, the research team studied the finances and other aspects of 125 scientifical- ly selected congregations of each denomination in 1993 and sur- veyed 30 members of each con- gregation, obtaining nearly 11,000 survey responses. The team found that Catholic men in the survey reported hav- ing volunteered an average of 1.4 hours to the church over the pre- vious month; Catholic women, 1.7 hours. Assemblies of God men report- ed volunteering 3.7 hours in the previous month; women, 2.9 hours. Baptist men said they volun- teered 3.4 hours to the church; Baptist women, 3.5 hours. Among Lutherans, both men and women reported an average of 2.7 volunteer hours given to the church in the previous month. Among Presbyterians, the figure for men was 2.4 hours; for women, 2.9 hours. The researchers found that "higher education and higher family income were associated with more volunteering" except in the Assemblies of God, where ,there was no pattern, and among those with $80,000. Lutherans those in the bracket than those in brackets. importance church resource, ! team reported: mate is teers zs value In real dollars the Baptists, Assemblies for the '"the feeding of rant to churches need tot ing almost as they now gave t tributions," FOR C( FIS(: j00mmmmBB Evansville's Leading Employers Investing in Education $43,950 Received in 1996 Saluting Tomorrow's Work Force Leadership Contributors Robert Lee Blaffer Trust Black Beauty Coal Co. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Buehler's Buy-Low Citizens National Bank Ferro Corporation Harding Shymanski & Co. George Koch Sons, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. William Koch Old National Bank Radiopharmacy Schultheis Insurance Co. St. Mary's Medical Center Shelter Moving & Storage James Will Insurance Agency Thank you for your supportof educational excellence. Each year your contribution helps to offset the Evansville Catholic High Schools' operating expenses such as salaries, utilities, maintenance costs, equipment repair, replacement of non-capital equipment and other standard operating items. Mater Dei and Memorial High Schools, our community, and your business all win because your help to raise the level of our community's educational product. Your efforts and support do make a difference. I JONES BODY SHOP Front end alignment Complete body rebuilding Radiator Service Estimates Given Call 254-5358 207 E, South -- Washington, IN i i I ill i I iv i II ii I Rudy's F/ora/Des00 Fesh Rowers. 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