Family Research

Family Research

Faith in the Family:

A Survey of U.S. Catholic Parents

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Holy Cross Family Ministries has been serving families for more than 70 years. We help families pray through face-to-face events as well as many forms of research and media. In our years of outreach, never has it been more challenging than the past ten years. Families are busier than ever. They barely have time together, let alone time to pray and discuss important matters of faith that shape their lives and their children's futures. As our ministry to families sought ways to serve today's families more effectively, we discovered that we needed a much better understanding of how families are living, praying and using media. We needed to find ways to fit into the daily lives of contemporary families.

The Survey: How Families Live, Pray and Use Media

In fall 2014, Holy Cross Family Ministries commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University to conduct a national poll of adult Catholics, ages 25 to 45 who are parents of a minor child to measure the practice of faith and use of media in families. CARA conducted the survey in September and October 2014. The survey was completed by 1,014 self-identified qualified respondents resulting in a sampling margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points. Eighty-four percent of the panel members invited to take the survey completed it. Ninety-two percent of respondents had their own internet access at home and 8 percent did not. Sixty-nine percent of respondents took the survey in English and 31 percent in Spanish. Similar questions to those used in other recent CARA Catholic Polls (CCPs) were utilized making comparisons possible between Catholic parents and all Catholic Adults.

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These reports on the survey include, where possible, comparisons to findings from other recent national surveys of self-identified Catholic adults.

"This study gives us specific insight into what is happening in Catholic families today,” said Mark Gray, CARA Senior Research Associate. “We don’t often have the opportunity to do an entire survey on one sub-group of the Catholic population. However, doing this research during the Synods on the Family seemed especially important. I’m glad we were able to do it because we ended up being surprised by many of the findings.”

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Applying and Sharing the Research:

Holy Cross Family Ministries is currently reviewing the research and utilizing it in their strategic planning process currently underway. They know this data will also be of significant assistance to other organizations that serve families in the US. To that end, Holy Cross Family Ministries has commissioned CARA to develop for them four Special Reports that Holy Cross Family Ministries will share with other organizations. 

CARA is a national, non-profit, Georgetown University affiliated research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church. Founded in 1964, CARA has three major dimensions to its mission: to increase the Church's self-understanding, to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers, to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism. For more information on CARA: or 202-687-8080.

In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Patrick Peyton, Holy Cross Family Ministries serves Jesus Christ and His church by promoting and supporting the spiritual well-being of the family. Faithful to Mary, the Mother of God, Family Rosary encourages family prayer, especially the Rosary. Family Theater Productions uses media to entertain, inspire and educate families. Holy Cross Family, with mission in 17 countries, reaches out through prayer events and media for families to fulfill the founder's vision that "the family that prays together stays together."

For more information on Holy Cross Family Ministries: or 800-299-7729.

For media interviews contact: Susan Wallace - 800-299-7729 - 508-982-1056

The Family That Prays Together Stays Together

Special Reports will be released:

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Family Dinner

Boys grace 150 calloutA majority of parents report that they eat dinner together as a family every night (51 percent). More than a third say they do so a few times a week (35 percent). Three percent indicate they only do so on weekend nights and 4 percent once a week. Seven percent say they rarely or never eat dinner together as a family.