Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Word about the Catholic population in the US

Reading over at Catholic Exchange yesterday, I came across an article that was very interesting and I would like to pose a question to my dear readers about it. The article, "How many Catholics are there in the US" reveals some facts that might surprise you.

"About 10 percent of believers in the United States change their religion sometime in the course of their lifetime. The number is slightly above that percentage for Protestants and slightly below the same percentage for Catholics. The number of Jews who convert to another religion is very small, and percentages vary for other non-Christians."

Further, however, is the breakdown of the Catholic population which goes like this:

About 24% of believers call themselves Catholics, 30% of Americans were brought up Catholic, though. This number has remained steady for the past 50 years. The breakdown goes further:

The Catholic population breakdown is as follows according to this study:

Catholics born before 1943, Pre-Vatican II, go to Mass regularily and only 21% of this group say they rarely/never attend Mass

Those born between 1943-1960 (Vatican II generation)- 38% of this group say they almost never attend Mass

Catholics born between 1960-1981(Post-Vatican II) - 30% say they rarely attend Mass

Catholics born after 1981 (the millennial generation) - the numbers improve a bit who say they attend Mass regularily.

37% of married Catholics are not in a sacramental union.

"Those who are educated in the faith in elementary or secondary school have higher levels of practice than other Catholics. Evidently, practice of the faith is more habitual in their lives"

This is just the gist of the article, but there is a trend here. Most of this thread is considered the "millennial generation" and didn't witness the changes that made a big impact on how we worship/pray/and study our faith.

What are your thoughts about these facts? How can we continue the growing trend in Mass attendance, and more importantly, how can we bring back the "post-Vatican II" generation that are raising/raised the next generation?

1 comments:

Micki said...

Just a thought...I read once that what will bring Catholics back is when we lose the opportunity to practice (shortage of priests to offer Mass thus churches close etc) we will start to appreciate what we had. Sort of like the expression "you want what you can't have".