Why don't men go to church?


What is it about the male psyche, or American culture, or religion that makes men less receptive to attending church?

In our neighborhood, there’s at least 10 families which attend our parish church in which none of the men attend mass.

(I did try to do a search on all forums to see if this question had been asked before, but searching for “why don’t men church” came up no entries, possibly because the words were too common)


I think this is an example of a great victory for satan. When men are not solid in their faith it is a great detriment to the family. Much of culture paints church-going as feminine and unnecessary for men. This is a real tragedy and of course wonderful for evil. These men (as all men) need our prayers. I have no answer for you as to “why” for certain…this is just my take on it, that these men are being tempted from many sides to stay home and not go to church.


Because men are being shown that church is for women. Altar boys don’t want to be altar boys because altar servers are now 80% girls, and what 8 year old wants to do a girls job? The cantor at mass sings at an octave fit only for dolphins and small mammals. The extraordinary ministers are a cadre of 10 women and one man. What is the role of the priest but to be a minister the eucharist and even that is being replaced by women! At home wives don’t treat the men like the head of the house. If a husband isn’t treated as the head of the house in other important matters, why should he be treated as such in the most important matter, faith?

Now its not a its the church’s fault (though perhaps it is) or its the wife’s fault or its the husband’s fault. Men have been innundated from all sides from their childhood by the secular culture. Its the work of Satan.

Edit: I’m not saying that women shouldn’t be active in the Church, its a very good thing, I am saying that we don’t have the distinction in the Church between priest and laity and between male and female that Saint Paul talks about in his epistles. The underlying cause of this isn’t necessarily the churches fault, rather the way young boys and girls are brought up in society. (My two cents.)


this discussion is going on in another thread called, I think, where are all the men? or something similar
here it is


Are you sure you aren’t mistakenly assuming the worst of these men? My husband & I frequently find ourselves attending different masses with different kids when sports, business or recreational travel, other commitments, etc., have kept all of us from being in one place at the same time. It’s not the end of the world to divide and conquer…and I hope my neighbors are not necessarily assuming I’m a “church widow” if I happen to show up without my husband on a given weekend.


Routinely, the only man in church on a weekday is PP. Most of the women are past retirement age, and in most cases their husbands are not Catholic anyway.
My dad is reluctant to go to mass sometimes, as he will usually be nagged, or roped in to do something, since he is the only fella there.


You should come down to my parish in Clear Lake! Our cantor is a large man with a gorgeous baritone. At most Masses we have half boys and half girls as acolytes. The EMHCs are far more than 50% male. The ushers are a bunch of very polite men ranging in age from 18 to 80. At the head of each Communion line we have a male volunteer that watches to make sure the Host is consumed.

We have 24-hr adoration WITH a special group for the men to try to have a gentleman present at every hour.

Personally I think if you have a parish where the men step up and volunteer, you’ll have a better mix! It’s not anyone else’s fault if a boy or man feels something is too “girlie” for him to do.



Echoing Cecilia above - come over to our Parish, or to any of the Parishes in my town. We also have 24/7 Adoration, maybe there is a trend??


Our parish is loaded with men! Even during the week, at 9 am and noon daily Mass, half the folks in attendance are men. We’re loaded with good altar boys (no girls here!), and the ministries of the parish, including religious ed, are largely staffed by men.


No, I’m afraid I’m not mistaken. These families are our friends and neighbors, and the men have made it very clear that they have no desire to attend church.


An effeminate church is not the true church. Men by nature will accept the truth no matter how hard the road. A watered down church is not the true church.

Jesus knew men’s nature when He founded the Church. Men (and women) were martyred for these truths.


The Latin Mass is a masculine mass… it will bring back the men. For example, when I was on the road to converting to Catholicism I was releived when I found out that praying the Rosary wasn’t a “requirement.” I thought the Rosary was a “womans prayer” and had no desire to pray it. Then, one day on EWTN I heard a priest advocate praying the Rosary in Latin. For some reason this really struck a cord with me. Before I was even confirmed and received my first communion I learned the Rosary in Latin and it became a staple of my private prayer life. The Rosary in Latin “feels” like a man’s prayer to me. It’s hard to emsasculate Latin. My belief is that if you bring back the Tridintine Mass, then watch the men return.


Because the church in my lifetime has emphasized feelings, talking, empathy for others, compassion… This isn’t bad. It’s just one sided. Men aren’t interested in it mostly.

Men want goals, objectives, lofty ideals to strive for. We are willing to make sacrifices to be part of a brotherhood working together for something tangible. Men will come back when the church starts to seem like a place where a man can be a man.

Otherwise, he will prefer to watch football. Ever wonder why? Because it is simple. Two teams of men with opposing goals. Each team must work together to overcome major obstacles and achieve a simple, tangible goal. We’re not very complicated creatures.


Interesting, I think I remember from high school that the majority of Latin nouns are feminine. :wink:


I know one thing at my parish that has brought many men into living their faith more fully is when they participate in some sort of renewal program such as Christ Renews His Parish (which perhaps reminds them of team sports with its team building approach starting on the initial retreat). The men who have been through that program (a new group of 36 participate every 6 months in English and the same in Spanish) tend to get more active in a variety of ways in their families and in the parish. The additional benefit to the parish is that they talk the program up to their buddies and coax or bully them into at least trying it and whoohooo, even more men getting active and taking ownership in their parish!

We have a large and very active “Men’s Club”, 7 male softball teams, an active group of Knights plus a “Brothers in Christ” organization that was started by a man who went through CRHP and saw a gap in programs for helping men to live out their roles as spiritual head of household, etc. (I believe our pastor recently said there are now about 100 different ministries and organizations but I listed some of the fun male-only ones.)

Our parish also has 24/7 adoration with only men or married couples together “allowed” to adore in the overnight hours for safety purposes. It really brought men out of the woodwork and dramatically increased the total number participating in adoration when we went to 24/7 from a more limited “daytime” schedule.

Even men who maybe were half-hearted about going to mass when they first arrived in our parish many times get a kick in the pants from the other guys while having a beer after softball or while helping to set up the carnival tents, etc. I think there are many ways to get men more involved in the parish and coming to mass that have nothing to do with excluding women from active roles assisting during the liturgy or in youth ministry, RE, etc. We have women assisting as readers, altar servers and EMHCs, but the numbers appear about 1/2 and 1/2 or even a little more toward the males just from “eyeballing” it.


One could turn it around and also ask “what is with all these women who marry men who are weak in their faith? What did they think would happen?”


I think this is a great point! My dad much prefers the Latin mass, although he has nothing against the mass in English or any norvus ordo. However, I think men tend to be silent about their faith - it’s not about feelings like it has tended to be hyped up in many places today. I believe this is another reason, but not the only reason, for men not attending church. They are turned off by this whole “feel-good” mentality that is presented to so many today.


Well…unfortunate, then. I’ve seen the positive effects of men in Church leadership, men attending daily mass, men serving a role in Eucharistic Adoration, men leading community service projects, etc. I’m afraid there is also a flip side of the model when men are absent in these roles and it will show itself in the next generation. Very sad for our Church and all of us in the greater Catholic family.


The seeds for this situation, as for many other marital issues, were probably evident when the couples were dating. I know so many Catholic women who go to Mass either alone or with their children. The husbands are never to be seen. Either the husband is another faith (usually not practicing) or is (and was while dating) a fallen-away Catholic. I get such strength from attending Mass with my husband and kids. I feel so sad for Catholic women who don’t have that and I point it out to my kids because I want them to marry Catholic spouses who will support, rather than undermine their Catholic faith.


Who knows but I believe it’s so important for boys to see their dads going to Mass. (or church of some kind)

My dad stopped going to Mass when we were kids. As adults, none of my 4 brothers attend Mass at all. The 2 who have kids, have not had them baptized. I suppose it could be a coincidence. —KCT

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