Attendance in mass is declining


#1

Im from Australia and there seems to be no attendance from people under the age of 25 at sunday mass. The majority of church attendances are all senior citizens. I dont know what will happen when there generation dies out, There wont be a parish any more. Is America heading the same way?


#2

I was in Melbourne last school break and attended Mass. I was amazed to see no children and yes, noticed all the attendees were quite senior. This is compared to what I’m used to in N.Z. by the way. I was also stunned at the lack of reverence during Mass and the way at least 1/3 of the congregation bolted for the door before the priest had even started processing out. Yet I’m told Aussies are more Catholic than us kiwis so maybe I just got it on a bad day. And it was just one parish.


#3

[quote=mumto5]I was in Melbourne last school break and attended Mass. I was amazed to see no children and yes, noticed all the attendees were quite senior. This is compared to what I’m used to in N.Z. by the way. I was also stunned at the lack of reverence during Mass and the way at least 1/3 of the congregation bolted for the door before the priest had even started processing out. Yet I’m told Aussies are more Catholic than us kiwis so maybe I just got it on a bad day. And it was just one parish.
[/quote]

No i think wat you said there pretty much somes up an average sunday australian mass


#4

[quote=melbourne_guy]No i think wat you said there pretty much somes up an average sunday australian mass
[/quote]

We attended in Kew. Sacred Heart, I think? Beautiful church. We just don’t have that sort of lovely interior here, but we do usually at least get a few children. The priest was friendly.


#5

In the Catholic churches I attend in the US, there are many teens at Mass with their families. Most 18 to 23 year olds are at college during the year but attend Mass when home from school on vacation. I see a lot of families at Mass–young families with the parents in their 20s, up to parents in their 50s with young adult children. The church I regularly attend (with my husband and kids) has a core group of elderly parishioners. I love to see them, especially in their declining years. Many of them are generous with their time and money to the parish and to the parish school. I love being Catholic and being part of a small Catholic parish in a small town. The Catholic parish is the most vibrant faith community in our small town (and probably in most small towns).


#6

[quote=melbourne_guy]Im from Australia and there seems to be no attendance from people under the age of 25 at sunday mass. The majority of church attendances are all senior citizens. I dont know what will happen when there generation dies out, There wont be a parish any more. Is America heading the same way?
[/quote]

Looks like the Holy Spirit is calling you to evangelize your peers. I’m praying for you.


#7

[quote=Maranatha]Looks like the Holy Spirit is calling you to evangelize your peers. I’m praying for you.
[/quote]

nah im not that good at evangelizing, i tried telling my friends about the church but they didnt want to hear it.


#8

[quote=melbourne_guy]nah im not that good at evangelizing, i tried telling my friends about the church but they didnt want to hear it.
[/quote]

You don’t need to push yourself on your friends. The best way to evangelize is to live the faith. It has a greater impact then you may realize. Try it for a while and you will begin to see the affect it has. A short list of things to do:

Pray
Fast
Confess
Worship
Adore the Eucharist
Study the faith
Be ready to answer questions

Recommended reading: Search and Rescue


#9

Sounds like the Aussies need a bit more holiness… I know that when I was in my early 20s I didn’t see anyone at church really getting to know God, and feel Him, and BE with Him! When I learned that God loved me, was FOR me and not AGAINST me… That He wanted me to be Holy, and that He had a plan for my life… it all changed. Maybe you could encourage the parish you attend to bring in some speakers who can encourage holiness. Support the priest in saying what the church really believes and not giving empty platitudes about being “good” to eachother. When people find out that the church is strong, that it CHALLENGES you to a way of life that is different, better, and more whole than anything else in the world… people are drawn to it. At least, that’s what I’ve found in our parishes in the area. The watered-down churches lose parishioners left and right, and people aren’t living the faith. The ones that challenge people to a better way of living and defend the faith are overflowing…people can’t get enough of truth.

Other than that…start small, pray a rosary before mass and advertise it in the parish bulletin so that others may join you. Do little things that make a bigger impact… Read the saints, like St. Therese of Lisieux and St. John of the Cross… believe it or not, your holiness will call others more than outright talking about evangelizing will at times.

God bless, and Good luck!
-Amy


#10

In the US public schools (paid by the government, free to students) are not very good. Catholic schools (paid by the family but generally much less expensive that private schools) have a much better education system. However, in order to attend Catholic school, attendance at weekly mass by the entire family is madatory. This includes in some parishes, the priest signing a form proving that you have attended. Therefore, mass is very well attended by children of all ages due to this requirement. Also, we have at least one mass that is dedicated to children, where the kids get to walk up close to the altar during the sermon.

We also have many youth groups, Teen Life, gatherings Sunday nights immediately following the last mass, so that high school and college age kids frequently go to mass to get to see there friends and attend a free party afterwards.


#11

I can’t speak for all parishes, of course, but my parish has very large numbers of children and youth attending Masses. In fact, our parish is growing so fast, we are in the beginning stages of designing and building a new church.

Peace

Tim


#12

[quote=melbourne_guy]Im from Australia and there seems to be no attendance from people under the age of 25 at sunday mass. The majority of church attendances are all senior citizens. I dont know what will happen when there generation dies out, There wont be a parish any more. Is America heading the same way?
[/quote]

I’m sure this is the case with some parishes, but not at my parish. We have 6000 registered members with many young children and two youth choirs an active youth group and a Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout pack sponsored by the parish.

However, the description you gave sounded like the my parish when I was in middle school and high school. It was rather de-motivating rather than uplifting.


#13

[quote=melbourne_guy]Im from Australia and there seems to be no attendance from people under the age of 25 at sunday mass. The majority of church attendances are all senior citizens. I dont know what will happen when there generation dies out, There wont be a parish any more. Is America heading the same way?
[/quote]

I don’t think it is heading that way here. Here it is pretty hard to find a parking spot when you go to mass, and there are plenty of people of all ages. My older kids like to go the 5pm teen mass because all of their friends are there and they get to be more involved in the mass.

Sorry to hear about the sad state of affairs in Australia. I wonder why that is?


#14

[quote=Orogeny]I can’t speak for all parishes, of course, but my parish has very large numbers of children and youth attending Masses. In fact, our parish is growing so fast, we are in the beginning stages of designing and building a new church.

Peace

Tim
[/quote]

Boy, that sounds great !

I used to live in Houston, I’m curious which parish you go to ?

Trick


#15

[quote=Trick]Boy, that sounds great !

I used to live in Houston, I’m curious which parish you go to ?

Trick
[/quote]

Christ the Redeemer in Cypress (northwest Houston).

Peace

Tim


#16

In my parish (peoria diocese, Illinois) we have teens do the mass once a month. They lector, usher and sing. We don’t have a problem with the young crowd at all. During the school year when our kids are at college, we have a few less of them at mass, but then, most of them come home quite regularly to see their families so we do see them quite a bit.


#17

[quote=dulcissima]I don’t think it is heading that way here. Here it is pretty hard to find a parking spot when you go to mass, and there are plenty of people of all ages.
[/quote]

Same here, our parking lot is crazy - people parking on streets and in alley ways, we have 5 masses each weekend, and at least one is standing room only! We have 2 Parishes in town too.

Maybe the preparation for WYD will help inspire the youth “down under” :slight_smile:


#18

I have also noticed that church attendance has declined very rapidly in the past ten years. The World War II generation is dying. And their children, the baby boomers quit going to church decades ago. There are very few children in church. The median age of parishioners appears to be about 60 years old.

People whose churches are over crowded are probably living in parishes where there is a housing boom and a lot of people are moving in.


#19

[quote=ecp007]In the US public schools (paid by the government, free to students) are not very good. Catholic schools (paid by the family but generally much less expensive that private schools) have a much better education system. However, in order to attend Catholic school, attendance at weekly mass by the entire family is madatory. This includes in some parishes, the priest signing a form proving that you have attended. Therefore, mass is very well attended by children of all ages due to this requirement. Also, we have at least one mass that is dedicated to children, where the kids get to walk up close to the altar during the sermon.

We also have many youth groups, Teen Life, gatherings Sunday nights immediately following the last mass, so that high school and college age kids frequently go to mass to get to see there friends and attend a free party afterwards.
[/quote]

wow i went to a catholic school and nobody went to mass.
Making mass mandatory is a great idea, after all if you want a catholic education then you have to show your a catholic.


#20

[quote=ecp007]In the US public schools (paid by the government, free to students) are not very good. Catholic schools (paid by the family but generally much less expensive that private schools) have a much better education system. However, in order to attend Catholic school, attendance at weekly mass by the entire family is madatory. This includes in some parishes, the priest signing a form proving that you have attended. Therefore, mass is very well attended by children of all ages due to this requirement. Also, we have at least one mass that is dedicated to children, where the kids get to walk up close to the altar during the sermon.

We also have many youth groups, Teen Life, gatherings Sunday nights immediately following the last mass, so that high school and college age kids frequently go to mass to get to see there friends and attend a free party afterwards.
[/quote]

I agree with you about public schools! That is exactly why I switched mine to Catholic school but we don’t do the attendance forms(except for confirmation prep kids), but if you apply for financial aid for the schools you do have to sign a statement saying that you are active participants in your parish. Normally this isn’t a problem since the ones that get financial aid like I did with mine, always participate. The one requirement for attending our schools regardless of financial status is that each family has to do 25 hours of service to the school or parish…which I think is great! It keeps the parents connected with the teachers and administration and the kids benefit from that relationship.


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