What could be done to most improve Sunday Mass attendance?


No, I did not. Your premise is false.


I agree, 100% Leadership is a huge key.


Which diocese are you in? In my diocese, priests are limited to four Sunday masses. Our current pastor has four masses between two churches. If we want a Sunday evening Mass, which one should be cut? The 5:00 pm one? 8? 9:30? 11:30?


We have the priestly capacity, were it ever to be used.


We don’t. We typically have one Sunday evening mass per deanery. The Church is usually about 40-50% full.


Some dicoces are closing down church. My parish covers a large area that includes some villages


The catholics dose and it a large church with 3 mass weekend with two parish presit


The Archdiocese of Chicago is on track to close about a third of its churches within a ten-year period, I believe. New York is about the same.


In our diocese priests are retiring at a greater rate than ordinations.


And a fair number of those buildings will then become houses of worship for other faiths. How terribly sad.


I just pulled up the demographics. I have no idea how old some of those Churches are, but it looks like Chicago has lost like a million people in the last fifty years.


Our parish owns a bus. We run it every Sunday. Years ago it would pick up 25 or more, now, it picks up 4 people. It is not an inexpensive ministry, there are pricey insurance requirements, getting drivers is always a challenge (yes, we pay for the commercial drivers test to get them their CDL Passenger license).

Ride share is far more complex. If it is done officially by the Church then we’d have to find a way to make it comply with Safe Environment regs - honestly, I don’t think people would be willing to be background screened and fingerprinted just so they can be on the ride-share list. Just thinking about it, we’d have to have some sort of release form so people cannot sue the parish if they have a less-than-savory experience or a if they are in an accident during their parish-arranged ride. Ohhh, that is an administrative nightmare. Our overly litigious society makes simple things complex at best and impossible at worst.


Why don’t you enlist and train parishioners to drive the bus? That’s what Protestant churches do around here. They also use their buses to drive to retreats, etc. Has anyone looked hard at why ridership is down?

Wow, really? It’s sad to think that potential drivers/passengers would not be willing to undergo a background check and be fingerprinted/live-scanned in order to be able to be present or make it possible for others to be present at Mass. Just think about what a gift that would be! I had to be checked/scanned in order to be a server/MC at my parish.


That sounds about right. Yet the Archdiocese holds Masses in about 24 languages, last I read, but this may drop in number as well.


I take it that you don’t have any argument to my answer then, which is none of the above. It’s fine with me


I truly believe it’s No.1 - “Celebrate ALL Masses in a highly reverent manner” that will do it.

In my old diocese, run for decades by one of the most liberal modernist bishops in the country (rainbow masses, dancing girls down the aisle at Mass, a woman leader from one parish in a white robe with an alb-type scarf on the front page of the city newspaper holding a host she “consecrated” in the air), the really devout priests would be sent to remote or unsavory areas while those in good with the bishop and his policies would man the nicest and biggest parishes. One non-nonsense devout priest who had served in a large suburban parish grew in popularity and was promptly displaced to an old inner city parish, in the business district. Because of his devoutness and the highly reverent way he served Mass, people came, even families with young children (even though there was no children’s program) and Mass became a “pilgrimage” to this part of the city (even though a security guard had to be outside to keep folks from being mugged or their cars vandalized) and all the Masses became packed. He offered Daily Mass at 12:10pm, convenient for business people, and held confession for at least an hour before that, and there would be long lines every day - if you didn’t get there early you might not have a chance.

So that’s why I believe it’s no.1.


I want to add that I am a convert fro Evangelical Christianity. In my experience, the churches there that were truly devout were also the churches that grew faster. Lukewarm churches did not grow. People go to church because they are seeking God. The more reverence and more honor for God that is present, the more people will come.

In the Catholic Church, we have the FULLNESS of Jesus. If we act like we truly believe that great reality, more will come.


To be honest, I never read past your false premise. Too many things get discounted out of hand.


I strongly believe that if the Mass is not celebrated in a highly reverent manner (notice I said “REVERENT” and not “fancy” or “traditional” or “creative”, etc.) that any attempt to attract more people to Jesus Christ via the Mass will be fruitless. Like pouring soup through a sieve.


Arranging a ride share ministry may help some folks get to church who cannot drive.

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