The local parishes of the Catholic Church are where members experience religion first hand. It is the local parishes where members worship, take classes, receive their sacraments and form communities. All parishes are complex social organizations, combining varying elements of leadership,finances, worship styles, community outreach programs, and approaches to religious education, while being populated by diverse generational cohorts and ethnic groups, each with their own concerns and traditions. Nevertheless, they are all members of the universal church. While all parishes sharesome commonalities, they are all different. It is vitally important that church leaders understand the reality of local parish life. A seminal moment in the study of U.S. Catholic parish life came with the publication in the 1980s of a series of reports from the ground-breaking Notre Dame Study ofCatholic Parish Life. Much has changed in the last 30 years. Some of the topics that were not considered then (the mobility of Catholics, the increase of cultural diversity, and the rise of lay leadership) have attained new significance and deserve an in-depth look. The authors employ data from a variety of recently completed studies to both update and expand on the Notre Dame Study. The data include not only factual information but also parishioner opinions on parish activities. Like the Notre Dame Study, their findings will surprise many, and will contributeto the conversation about the way parishes can better serve their members and the wider parish community.