What could be done to most improve Sunday Mass attendance?


Explain to people why they should not chew gum at Mass.

No joke.


Agreed. I do so (very discreetly) because it helps me to sing. And no, it doesn’t break the fast.


After thinking awhile on this, and thinking of my own personal experience, I think a combination of the reverence and rituals, and extended catechesis would yield fruits. It certainly won’t be overnight, but in the long-term I think it is a must. For my wife and I, the mystery and ritual is what drew us into our first Mass. The parish we went to was extremely reverential. Looking back, that made a huge impression on us. So much so that we were in the priest’s office the next morning signing up for RCIA. Then we received wonderful catechesis from the RCIA team, and learned what all the reverence and ritual meant. I really think both are necessary, but the results will be slower to achieve than we might like.


I don’t mean to speak for @Aran_Houlihan, but sometimes parishes don’t have more masses because they don’t have enough priests. Some dioceses are strict regarding the number of masses a priest is allowed to say in one day.


Depending on the area of the country, golf is a very popular pastime with the men.


The “simple solution” is to find a Church offering the type of Mass that you want to attend. If you happen to live in an area where there is only one Catholic parish serving a 30 mile radius in all directions, or you have absolutely no transportation or way of getting to another church, then I sympathize, but if you live in an area that has about 20 churches come up on the MassTimes app, I strongly doubt that every one of them lacks kneelers and is featuring a rock band Mass.

Often, problems are solved with a small amount of patience and effort on the part of the individual. Furthermore, if people are truly concerned about lack of “reverence”, I would expect them to be at a Mass setting an example for how to be reverent, not staying away and coming up with excuses not to see Jesus.


Not all the men play golf; it is an expensive pastime.

And if you’re not into comparing the number of strokes or the distance of a drive, then you can’t participate.


Tried it 30 odd years ago. Wasn’t Catholic then, or I’d have generated a need to go to reconcilitation every time I played.


The Latin Mass in my area is the LEAST attended out of any Mass.


If you don’t like or can’t afford golf, move to a parish with an active bowling community.


Jesus tried to play golf but he wasn’t very good at it. You could see him walking around on top of the water hazard trying to find his ball at the bottom of the pond.


The parish that serves Villanova University (the Parish is actually on campus) has a 5:30 PM, 7PM and 9PM Mass during the School Year. The 5:30PM and 9PM are advertised as University only masses, while the 7PM is advertised as a joint University and Parish Community Mass; but regular parishioners do show up to any Mass when they can’t make an earlier Mass. Both the 7PM and 9PM Masses are packed. I assume the 5:30 University Mass is packed too.

The regular parish mass times are 7:30AM and 10:30 AM (plus there is a 9am Sunday Mass at the parish chapel off campus)

But Villanova has a monastery on Campus with many priests (plus a 4 more Friaries off campus). The Augustinian friars handle both the University Masses and the parish, so they have priest coverage for all those Masses (5 Masses on Campus, plus the 1 at the off campus parish chapel).

The main requirement for a Sunday evening mass is a commitment of a priest who can do it, and one who hasn’t already done too many masses that day.


I live near OSU’s campus (You can guess which one of the 3 :slight_smile: ) and the Newman Center 930 is always packed


Interesting about Villanova…

Our Newman Center had two priests for many years, but they only had one Sunday Mass. It was at 6:00 PM. They did not want to cleave up the community. Rather sad they did not have a larger church.

I really do wish I lived near Stanford. Attending a 10:00PM Sunday Mass would be awesome. I think I would make it my weekly supplemental Sunday Mass in addition to my existing Mass.

In thinking about this a bit more, I think a 10:00PM Sunday Mass with no musicians would absolutely kill. The only potential downside is that it might possibly draw attendees from other Masses or churches.

I don’'t think most pastors have the ability to “think out of the box” and understand just how inviting a late night Sunday Mass would be.


Many Catholics don’t even know the Latin mass exists. I didn’t until a year ago.


That was my point on advertising. In the San Diego area, if you query things to do for the weekend, the SSPX Mass pops up. You have to dig for others.


It would draw people from other parishes, as they would use the 10PM Mass as an excuse to sleep in or simply has an option. But I’ve never met anyone (besides college kids) who said “without an evening Mass, I would never go to Church” (though I’m sure there are a few people who work on Sundays who might be in that boat).

I have two parishes within 4 miles of my house (besides my own parish) that have evening Masses. 5PM and 6PM mass, the 6PM is offered by a parish with Oblate priests. I’m often attending one of those two parishes to attend their evening mass, even though I would much rather attend my Parish for mass.

And if I can’t make the 6PM, I will go to Villanova for their 7PM or 9PM Mass.

So yes, a 10PM Mass will poach from other parishes.

But I don’t think priests lacking an ability to “think outside the box” is reason why many parishes do not have evening masses.

Most diocesan priests live in the diocese they are from, and often have family near by. Most priests I know, like to spend time with their family on Sundays (if possible). So if Father often visits with his brother’s family for dinner, etc on Sunday nights (or even some Sunday nights) he’s not going to be open to scheduling an evening Sunday Mass. Esp if he doesn’t have someone who can cover for him on nights he can’t celebrate Mass.

For diocesan priests, having a Sunday night mass locks up their Sunday evenings, which is why most local diocesan priests are not open to scheduling a Sunday evening Mass.

But if the parish is ran by a religious order or has missionary priests from other locations, that Parish may be more willing to have a Sunday evening mass because one or more priests may not have family to visit on Sunday evenings.

So if your parish priest isn’t open to a Sunday evening mass, there very well could be valid, logistical reasons behind it.

BTW - In the Northeast, it was not uncommon for some city parishes to have very early morning Masses at times like 2AM for people who worked for Newspapers.

God Bless


In the mid 1990’s, I lived a block and a half away from a Latin mass site here in Pittsburgh. They moved before I did. But I never gave a thought to visiting, I would have felt like a party crasher.


I was going to suggest to ask the SSPX on how they market the Latin Mass. They seem to be rather good and have deep pockets to prove it.


I think some of you are on to something when you talk about getting lapsed Catholics back. I read somewhere that retention is not very good. I think there are also many people that grew up like me: “cultural Catholics” who have Catholic families and culture (such as Filipino, Mexican, or Irish or living in a country which celebrates Christian holidays) and hold a positive view of Catholicism, but did not receive much or any formal instruction / participation in religion.

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