I have problems with the article, too. Several of the examples given seem “off” to me; e.g., I don’t consider $50,000/yr a “poor” income. It’s not that far off from what my husband earns as a systems administrator contracted with an international computer company.
I also wonder why a 67-year old is working instead of collecting social security and living in a low-income senior housing project? I know that the poor have to work–but 67 years old? That’s retirement age in the U.S.
BUT…all this being said, I do think that it’s often difficult for working people to attend Mass!!! I wish the American Catholic church could please address this in a way other than saying, “Just don’t work on Sundays.” Tell that to my hospital lab supervisor
During the week, the daily Masses are held at 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 am.–I work! My shift starts at 7:00 a.m., and getting in later makes it hard for my co-workers–we have a work flow that starts at around 6:30 a.m. (we take turns coming in early) and ends at 3:30 p.m., although with COVID, we have been coming in at 5:30 a.m. and staying until 5:30 p.m.!
For a blessed time, my parish tried a 5:30 p.m. daily Mass, which was nice, but again, with overtime work (even before COVID, we were freakin’ busy and often worked later than 3:30 p.m.), it just didn’t work out. The ideal daily Mass for me would be around 7:00 p.m., which, if you take a look at Evangelical Protestant churches–is when they do their Bible studies, midweek prayer meetings, and other activites!
But daily Mass is luxury that works mainly for retirees and working people with freedom of hours–sorry folks, but it’s the truth.
As for weekends, the sole Saturday (obligation) Mass is at 4:30 p.m.–this works for me when I am not working a weekend, but when I work weekends, we often don’t leave until 4:00 p.m. or later–it’s hard to dash from a 10 hour workday to Mass!
As for Sunday, the morning Masses are impossible for day shift workers. We are fortunate that our parish offers the last obligation Mass of the weekend on 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening–so that’s the Mass we usually attend when I am working a weekend. But I can see why many workers would be too exhausted to attend this Mass, and if they have small children–it’s just too late for them to be out, and it’s difficult to plan a supper around (eat before?? too early, eat after, too late!)
So–I think that Mass times needs to be examined. I get the feeling now that the Mass times are determined by retirees and well-off people who have freedom of hours. It would be worth it for parishes to solict the opinions of their SHIFT WORKERS who work weekends, and also their lower-income workers who often have very irregular working hours and very early or very late hours that leave them exhausted.