Mass attendance in the Denver Archdiocese is higher than that of the national average, shows a recent survey commissioned by the Denver Archdiocese. The survey also shows that a majority of Catholics in the archdiocese, 51 percent, are fervent or faithful in their belief. A total of 45 percent of local Catholics polled said they attended Mass in the prior week, compared to 32 percent nationally.
I don’t see how 51 percent can be fervent or faithful and have 45 percent attend mass the prior week. Unless you had a large percent of them being ill or having another valid excuse for having to miss Mass. But considering the false idea promulgated that missing Mass for other than a narrow list of valid reason is no longer gravely sinful. Can it be any surprise of lower Mass attendance rates when this false idea was never fervently refuted?
While the survey included a caution that Mass attendance can be overstated, the results are evidence that a much higher proportion of Catholics within the archdiocese are attending Mass compared to Catholics nationwide.
The study, conducted last fall by Boulder market research firm Core Insights, polled 834 self-identified Catholics living in the archdiocese and included 74 in-depth one-on-one interviews. The survey margin of error is 2.8 percent.
Using the most recent U.S. Census results, the study shows the total general population living in the geographic area of the archdiocese to be nearly 3.3 million people. The 2008 Archdiocesan Directory shows that 407,500 people are registered parishioners (figure from December 2006). A majority of those polled in the survey, 58 percent, said they were registered parishioners.
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., said the survey was done to get more comprehensive information about the archdiocese than an annual Mass attendance survey, which is conducted every fall.
It is rather sad that the good news is that 45 percent of Catholics are going to Mass weekly – which surely is good news compared to the national average. Though it is also rather sad that our national rate of Mass attendance of 32% is a high watermark compared to much of the industrial world.
The main motivation given by those who said they “definitely” or “probably” would attend Mass, was “a desire to be in the presence of the Lord,” which was cited by 21 percent of the participants.
Experiencing a sense of community, hearing a good homily, and receiving the Eucharist are key factors contributing to Mass attendance, the survey reveals, with high majorities of those polled — 82, 74 and 65 percents respectively — saying they either somewhat, strongly or completely agreed with those statements.
A lesser majority of those polled, 55 percent, said they either somewhat, strongly, or completely agreed with the statement “prayer and spiritual reflection is a reasonable substitute for Mass.”
Well prayer and spiritual reflection are certainly not a reasonable substitution for Mass for those that are able to attend, but certainly they are preparations for entering into the Mass.
“The individuals who feel most stressed and time constrained feel they need to rest up and repair themselves by not attending Mass,” said Marc Miller, founder and chief strategist of Core Insights. Their view, he said, is “My faith will go on.”
However, people with this perspective usually know they are missing the Eucharist, the homily, and sense of friendship and community that come from public worship, said Miller.
This is one thing I have never understood about modern society is this feeling of time constraint and too little time. You would think with all of our "time saving gadgets" and the fact that most people are able to work a much less part of the day than was found in agrarian or other cultures that they can find no place for the typical one hour Mass on a Sunday. The irony is that those who feel the most stress might benefit all the by entering into the Mass and receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist.
Nearly half, 47 percent, said they feel the archdiocese is clear and consistent in communicating position on current issues.
Despite national and local coverage of sex abuse cases involving Catholic priests in the past, a clear majority of those polled expressed trust in the priests of the Denver Archdiocese. A majority, 57 percent, said they have a high level of trust in priests today.
“From the data, we know that there’s a strong belief and confidence in the Archdiocese of Denver that really stems from an understanding of what Archbishop Chaput is doing,” said Miller.
It would certainly seem that this is no fluke of higher Mass attendance under an Archbishop who is a very public Archbishop who truly leaves and teaches the Catholic faith and is willing to enter the public square to defend and protect the faithful.
Four broad groups were identified by the survey: the fervent, those who actively express and live their faith and support their parish and the archdiocese (29 percent); faithful followers, those who hold more traditional beliefs, are reverent and look to the Church for guidance (22 percent); under development, those who are uncomfortable with their personal spirituality, are seeking something more and need religious education (20 percent); and detached doubters, those who disagree with various Church teachings, are disengaged and seldom attend Mass (29 percent).
That most Catholics in the archdiocese are fervent or faithful in their beliefs is very positive, said Miller. Those who are less engaged with the Church, he noted, would benefit from additional religious formation.
We want to use this information as a platform for evangelization, said Archbishop Chaput. Both in terms of energizing those who are already Catholics but lukewarm in their practice, and reaching out to those who have no religious commitment.
|St. John’s Valdosta Blog|
Strange to me that so many skip Mass because of stress. I go to Mass because of stress and get annoyed when have to miss it. Sunday church has always been, in both my Protestant and Catholic lives, a way of coping and re-energizing for the rest of the week. Even as a Protestant, I considered weekly church attendance a grave responsibility unless there was very good reason (such as illness) to miss it. I never understood my fellow Protestants who acted as if the Reformation happened so church attendance could be optional. I think the Reformers would spin in their graves if they heard that.
I could understand people skipping Mass if they are too tired or sick to go. But too stressed out?
I must say that I somewhat sympathise with those who say they are too stressed to attend Mass.
Unfortunately the majority of post-council Masses are noisy, stressful social occasions rather than peaceful and reverent giving of thanks and praise to God.
If the Archdiocese had a high proportion of traditional Masses I am sure that many more parishioners would find that they did relieve them of the cares and stresses of the world.
Well, for some people it IS stressful. I deal with MAJOR anxiety/panic attacks. Driving in the car is horrible for me. Our Church, which is luckily only a mile away, is usually packed (good!) but it is hot & stuffy, and somewhat claustrophobic. I often have a panic attack by mid-Mass. By the time we get back home, it has progressed to an IBS attack for the rest of the day, sometimes into Monday. This is every week. Yes, I find that stressful. I look around at all the people who don’t even want to be there, are just putting in their hour and a half, when I want nothing more than to be able to attend and just feel okay….
Being in LA, going to the Rog Mahal = max amount of stress possible.
Sunday Mass is the test of endurance around here where we are ‘rivers of justice’ but I would not skip Mass for anything. Something to offer up until such time aas we get a properly offered Mass and the preaching of the Gospel.
Well, it seems books like God Delusion and End of Faith are helping the forces of light/sanity/reason atheism stand firm against the darkness of religious insanity.
I’ve seen the reading list UAB (nice e-mail, btw), same revisionist history tripe that hoodlum read (I’ve read most of it) that yet again is being taken as gospel. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if hoodlum and unmolested altar boy (that’s what UAB stands for) are one and the same. Just another vitriolic anti-religious who trolls around in religious websites to let the readers know what unenlightened troglogytes they are. Thank you, UAB, we are heard your schtick before, and it has the same mindless fluff sound as before. The rest of us are better off praying for someone who has made bias and hate their soapbox from which to spill their largely illogical venom.
Baltimore Hoodlum and UAB are more than likely the same person. Both of their IP addresses point out that they are commenting from a Comcast connection in Maryland. And as FR BP noticed the schtick is the same.
Yeah, you got me. I started a new blog with a new name.
Jeff, hows my favorite (former) atheist-in-a-foxhole doing>
As for FRBP, if you had studied history, you’d know revisionist is a technical term and that all history written after the first account is revisionist. Even the histories you choose to accept were revisions of the histories before them.
See FRBP, history is like Catholic morality, biblical interpretation, and canon law were not done perfectly the first time. As more information becomes available, things have been changed. Like burning at the stake. Catholics used to burn heretics at the stake. Then Catholics were told this was wrong. So they stopped and now consider it immoral.
Meds UAB. Please…meds now. (-*
Or how about this hoodlum (I liked the other nomenclature better); people can re-interpret historical data from a a specific prism so as to come to a pre-ordianed result. One can prooftext anything (as history has repeatedly shown) so as to justify a way of thinking and rationalize their own petty hates and biases. I knew who you were when you sent me that e-mail because I recognized the books and remember you citing one of them some time ago. I would suspect you changed your name so as to come in again because you were booted out of several websites and we had grown accustomed to your drivel.
Now I ask you the same question I asked before…which BTW, you never answered. Why do you keep coming here? THe psychologist in me has theories…none of which you would like. You’re behaving like a KKK who keeps crashing in on NAACP websites. Is your hate so profound that you feel driven to taunt? If that is the case, do you not see the inherent psychological danger in defining yourself in such a way and allowing it to eat you alive? Or do you, as is atypical of liberals, feel so condescending toward us unenlightened types that you get some perverse satisfaction in attack? Either way, it does not speak well. Or, perhaps, as I have pondered before, are you somewhat unsure of your positions and act as a moth who flies too close to the fire?
Regardless, it is sad that you have bought the psuedo-intellectual tripe you have. I have read these authors and have found their writings ridden with bias. I have spent some time studying the philosophical and psycholoigcal underpinnings of these types and you do not need to be a Rhodes Scholar to figure what is really going on. You, my friend, have built your intellectual house on sand.
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