What could be done to most improve Sunday Mass attendance?


If you google san diego reader events. Every time I’m looking for something happening (concert etc) it shows up. Not sure why or how they do it, but… there it is.


Yes for many people beautiful Liturgy appeals… I can speak first hand as a convert. I led a lady to the Church in this manner as well. I simply brought her to a beautiful, reverent OF Mass with polyphony, incense, chant… and she was hooked. An agnostic cousin of mine who can’t stand Evangelical praise and worship style services of his youth also has shown an interest in Catholicism thanks to the couple reverent Masses I’ve taken him to.
The Council of Trent condemned as heresy the notion that external symbolism doesn’t matter… because the Church has always understood that it the externals are how we reach people…


I believe that a short refreshment and religion lesson right after Mass for all by the priest/deacon would be VERY beneficial. I KNOW our priest couldn’t do it because he has Masses “back to back” in 2 different communities. But I think it would be greatly appreciated.


In what document? I had never heard of Trent doing this but am interested in reading more


I’m sorry, the post asked about improving mass attendance. I didn’t realize we had to clear the “not attending” reasons with your expectations before we consider options.

I will just go tell them they should know better. That’ll solve it.

People complain about not feeling welcome and we roll out donut Sunday.

People complain about the lack of reverence and get told “Well you should put up with everything because it is Christ.”

Yes, it is a grand mystery why the pews are empty.


So true… I am glad you have been able to bring people back.

I remember in the early 2000’s it became very popular to denigrate any forms of added solemnity as “that’s just an external” as if it were radioactive.


For the USA I would say we need more leadership. There needs to be a group that everyone know to follow. Reminders to go to mass and receive the sacraments should be all over social media etc. Heck I follow all my local parishes on social media and don’t get reminders for mass times etc. Instead I get some inspirational quote. The church should be more a force.


It does get very frustrating after awhile. Rather than take action (after sufficient review and planning), nothing gets done. We intellectualize about the problems, we craft excuses for their existence and in the end all they do is multiply. @ComplineSanFran 's story consumed some of my thoughts and prayers today. What he experienced sounds chillingly like my parish. How could such conditions possibly exist? They exist because no effort is made to solve them. More effort is often expended on ignoring them or actually choosing to believe they don’t exist in the first place.


Colleges often have late Masses. We used to go to an 11 PM Sunday one, as I recall.


Possibly. There is only one other RC parish in town plus the Newman Center. I think it would draw a HUGE number of college-aged kids.

Not just priests. Many people in the Church. It is good to see that on many campuses (or next to campuses) there is more action in ministering to the faithful.

Isn’t that one of the possible consequences of following a priestly vocation? If an additional evening Mass attracted more people to attend Mass, how could not locking up one’s Sunday evening take precedence? If an extra 1K attended Mass would it be worth locking up a Sunday evening? How about 500 or 100?

Yup. Meat processing towns like Chicago had 03:00 Sunday Masses. Detroit and Flint had 04:00 Masses. My own home town had a 06:00 “Milker’s Mass” to support the dairy industry.


I understand what you are saying, but I’ve also heard priests say “we are people too and need downtime just like everyone else.” The last thing a parish needs is a burned out priest.

Should a 60 year-old pastor be forced to give up spending Sunday evenings with his brother or sister just because some people would rather sleep in on Sundays?

I think if a pastor had a large number of parishioners who worked Sunday mornings, then I’m sure he would be more than willing. But if it was just to allow people to sleep in or to satisfy people who are too lazy to get to mass before noon, I’m sorry, but that’s just not fair to priests.

Now, if a Pastor has a college ministry… that’s different. College ministries should be offering one or more Sunday evening masses.

But the average parish should have some kind of justification.

NOTE: with this said, I’ve seen many parishes in NYC and Long Island offering Sunday night masses (7 or 8PM) due to sports. I’m not sure how I feel about it (because it obviously means sports is being prioritized over Mass), but it does offer an option to parents who would normally say no to Sunday sports.


Conversely, when there are parishes with multiple priests (including quite a few who are not elderly) and also probably 6 to 10 parishes within a couple miles of each other, would it be so much to ask that they try to stagger their Sunday Mass times a little rather than having 8 out of the 10 parishes having Masses at exactly the same hours in the morning?


There’s 6 other days in the week. I’m serious about that.

How about we ask this question: Should a priest celebrate a Mass on Sunday night if it will mean that another 200 people will attend Mass each Sunday?

Pretty much any Catholic parish in the town I live in could be considered to have a “college ministry” – if it chose to.

On the good side, maybe that allows the priests to go to the games, right?



But you would be surprised how hard this actually is to accomplish.

There are actually some pastors who don’t want to do this because they are afraid of loosing parishioners and/or (even worse) believe some of their fellow priests are either too heterodox or orthodox and don’t want to make it possible for their parishioners to attend somewhere else.


Look, I don’t disagree with you. I think you have a valid point. I’m just arguing the position that I’ve heard from some priests.


That precisely should be happening at the level of the deanery, with and under the Vicar Forane.

If it is not, that is most unfortunate.


And their position is correct.


I would say none of that. Mass is not entertainment, it is worship and on certain days, obligatory. People attending mass are not to be entertained but because it is obligatory worship. Just like eating, mass is a part of our lives.

Why do people go for mass? … because they understand that is a part of their lives and believe it is so.

Therefore, when Catholics do not go for mass, perhaps it is because they do not see the necessity for it.

In other word, going for mass is not to be based on feeling but on choice.


No where in my posting did I suggest it was.


I suspect a great many more would be willing to sacrifice 90 minutes of their Sunday evening if it meant more souls attending the Mass.

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