This question, of course, leads to a more fundamental one: What makes a parish “good”?
Subjectively, a good parish is perhaps one in which a majority of parishioners think that it is good. But this is not saying much, at least not these days. Today, if someone does not like his parish, he will often switch to another parish that is more to his liking, or he may drop out of participating in any parish altogether. Thus, most everyone today who cares to stick around thinks rather highly of the place.
Not that Catholics think highly of all of the parishes in town. Many of the folks at Saint Martha’s may be quite positive about their own parish but rather critical of Saint Mary’s down the street. And the feelings may be mutual.
Is there anything more to be said about what makes a parish good besides the positive self-assessment of its parishioners? Might a parish be a very good one, even if some of its parishioners don’t realize it?
And if every parish is good, then why do such a small percentage of today’s Catholics participate in any parish at all?