Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Some pretty shocking Mass statistics from Archindy

We offer 374 weekend Masses in the Archdiocese with a total seating capacity of 200,483


There are 223,815 Catholics in the Archdiocese


A Gallup poll from 2017 reports that 39% of Catholics attend any given Sunday, which means that we see 87,287 Catholics each weekend in the Archdiocese


So at our 374 Masses there are 113,196 open seats


In other words, we could cut 56% of our Masses and still have a seat for everyone


Cutting our Masses by 56% would take our number of Masses from 374 to 211


374 Masses per weekend requires 94 priests to each say 4 Masses per weekend. 


211 weekend Masses would require only 70 priests to say only 3 Masses per weekend, reducing the number of Masses per weekend by one for every priest in the Archdiocese and also freeing up 24 priests who could do other assignments, vocation recruitment, high school, college and hospital chaplaincies, associate pastors, etc.



Below is our first attempt, as an Archdiocese, to address the issue with a process called "Connected in the Spirit" which was led by a consulting firm

The process, by my count, netted a cutting of 13 Masses throughout the Archdiocese



There are certainly other advantages to a "Connected in the Spirit" process, but dealing with the glut of Masses would seem to be one of the top priorities.  And using the first round of our "Connected in the Spirit" process as the benchmark, we would need 12 more "Connected in the Spirit" processes at a length of 72 years to get down to 211 Masses.


As a diocesan priest in this climate, I am hopeful that the first time through this "Connected in the Spirit" process was "more gentle" because it was the first time through, as an attempt to help prepare people for the more dramatic changes to come the second time we move through the process.


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