Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fifteen Percent

That is the percentage of Catholics - defined as all who were baptized - in our diocese that attend Mass weekly.

Fifteen percent.

Now I know that the Northeast tends to have the lowest attendance rate in the United States, but fifteen percent is still awfully depressing.   (I don't even want to think about what that number looks like if you take out those over 60 and under 18.) 

Interestingly enough, two weeks ago when we read the "Doubting Thomas" passage (Jn 20), I felt a strong parallel to those that were not at Mass.  Thomas had a hard time believing because he was not around the risen Jesus, or those that were celebrating Him.  He missed out on the joy and love they felt that day.

It's the same for the 85% of those that are not at Mass each week, hearing the Word and receiving the Eucharist.   

And so I continue to pray for them.  Not only because their eternal future depends on it, but because I want them to feel the overwhelming love and joy that Mass can bring. 

Sure, many of them think their lives are just fine without it.

But I doubt it.


Unknown said...

That is a staggering statistic! and I agree~they don't know what they are missing.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

I suspect the figure is somewhat lower in the UK. I know that church attendance generally, as a nation, is very low - i.e. not just Catholics.

God bless.

Mary N. said...

Is it really that low?!! That's terrible! I live in the Northeast and in my little city Mass attendance does seem low compared to when I was a child. Churches were always packed when I was a kid. It's sad. Three of our Catholic churches have been shut down over the past decade and we only have 6 left :(

Joey said...

Me too. I have a sort of Doubting Thomas in my home, but she asks many questions, and that is a good thing.

She has ADHD and has Dyslexia, and reading has always been very difficult for her. She comes to me asking questions, and I simplify my answers from the Bible as much as possible.

I also pray for her, and ask her to pray.

God bless you, Michael.

Anonymous said...

Michael, we restructed our religious ed program this year and each class begins with a Teaching Mass. We pulled all of our classes to Sundays. We lost about 200 children because parents didn't want to give up sports, etc. on Sunday mornings. But, the 400 that remained have had a wonderful year. Their presence at Mass each week has made a huge difference. Our sacraments this year were the best ever. It's almost as though Jesus said, 'bring them to me and I'll do the rest'. It was a tough decision, angered many people, but something had to change. And, after seeing your stats, I'm glad we did it.

Daily Grace said...

15% is terribly low! You know each week at my parish it seems like the pews get emptier and emptier too. finally about 10 minutes into mass they slightly fill a bit more....

They really are missing out aren't they.

God bless

the booklady said...

There are many fine catechetical series out there now -- and this is the perfect opportunity to look into them -- on the upcoming changes to the Roman Missal on the First Sunday of Advent.