and if the people of a parish don’t understand a larger and greater cause as the reason for why a parish exists they’ll be hesitant to share their resources, as well they should. A parish that has a broader mission, a sense of being and doing in the world greater than “We need to keep the doors open” is a parish that will inspire people to support it. If your parish doesn’t have that sense of mission and purpose it’s never too late to find it and when you do there’s a better than average chance that people, when they understand what it is you do and are besides merely existing, will rise to the occasion.
One of the key rolls, I think, of a Priest, in a parish is to be a person of vision, to help the people in the parish see something larger and better and good about themselves and then equip them, both personally and as a parish, to become that larger, better, and good.
A key question to ask is one I heard in seminary years ago. “If your parish where to close today, who, besides the members, would miss it?” Would there be a loss in the larger community? Would there be important charitable deeds that would stop because it closed? Would the moral tone of your community be diminished? Would the people in your community feel a loss? If your answer to the question is “No”, and you’re willing to do something about it, then you’ve already taken the first, and most crucial, step in helping your parish become what God, would have it be.