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As a result of global migration, the Catholic Church in Australia and its parish communities have become increasingly multicultural. Around a third of all Mass attenders are born overseas in a non-English speaking country; a similar proportion speak a language other than English at home. Existing research has found these diverse cultural and linguistic groups have lower levels of participation in key aspects of parish life than Australian born attenders. Previously, it has been unclear if this is due to cultural and linguistic factors or other demographic features. This chapter uses a logistic regression approach with data from the 2016 National Church Life Survey (NCLS) to examine the extent to which being born overseas in a non-English speaking country and speaking a language other than English at home interacts with other individual and group-level demographic factors to influence a person’s likelihood to perform a leadership and ministry role and be involved in parish social groups. If cultural and linguistic factors are the significant predictors of non-participation in a parish setting future Catholic parish life might require new models of pastoral support that actively encourage the participation of diverse groups.

In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 31
In: Religion and Gender