'God Forgives'

September 2006

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a news report written by Jay Lindsay (April 27), Sunday Catholic Mass attendance before Vatican II approached 70 percent, so says Jay Dolan, a Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

According to Church statistics, in the Boston Archdiocese it is now only 17.3 percent; in the Chicago Archdiocese it is 21.5 percent; in the Newark Archdiocese it is 17.1 percent.

The Post-Intelligencer quotes Mark Gray of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University as saying: "The percentages are well below telephone poll numbers that put weekly Mass attendance at 33 percent. But that number is probably inflated because people tend to exaggerate things such as church attendance when questioned for polls."

You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.

New Oxford Notes: September 2006

Read our posting policy Add a comment
More importantly than emphasizing the punitive aspect of missing Mass, or presenting it as a community celebration that helps maintain our Catholic identity, catechists should be explaining that the Mass is the representation of Calvary, miraculously transporting us through time to the actual Crucifixion. Even one Mass releases a measureless font of Sanctifying Grace into the world and this is the most potent force against evil that exists. This uniquely Catholic understanding of the liturgy is simply not taught any longer. The purpose of going to Mass is presented as a "feel good" opportunity. Actually, most people would agree that it "feels better" to catch up on the sleep one missed during the week! Without a truly Catholic basis for attending Mass, many Catholics easily justify that God will understand their personal difficulties or time conflicts, will substitute private prayer, or, as many are now doing, will gravitate to a more "community oriented" Protestant congregation where the preaching is more on fire and directly related to their everyday problems and lives. Posted by: RayMylott
September 26, 2006 10:08 AM EDT
Add a comment