Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dismal Data, Church Stuff

Way down there in the report discovered by the intrepid research of The Province-Master, we find some very unpleasant stuff.

For District 14, (near South Side of Milwaukee,) here are some numbers from 2002:


In 1988 there were 21 priests in the district. Now [2002] there are 14 a decline of 34%.

In 1988 there were 9 deacons. Now there are 8 – a decline of 12%.

In 1988 total parish membership was 16,440; in 2003 it was 24,801 – an increase of 51%.

In 1988 Mass attendance was 11,509 (70%); in 2002 it was 10,916 (44%) – a decline of 26
percentage points
[or over 1/3rd, measured another way].

In District 4 (eastern Waukesha county),


In 1988 there were 30 priests in the district. Now there are 24, a decline of 20%.

In 1988 there were 9 deacons. Now there are 17, an increase of 89%.

In 1988 total parish membership was 67,065; in 2003 it is 73,918 – an increase of
10.2%.


In 1988 Mass attendance was 36,703 (54.7%); in 2002 it was 27,888 (37.7%) – a
decline of 17 percentage points.
[Again, another way to put it is a ~23% decline.]

One interesting possibility is that "membership" numbers are inflated because parishes do not 'clean and jerk' their database too often.

Another possibility, somewhat grim, is that the numbers are dead-on accurate.



2 comments:

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Mass attendance and vocations numbers are tied together in some way. After all, if you can't get them to come to Mass on Sunday, what chance do you have of getting them to take up their cross and follow Christ through Holy Orders or other vows?

diana said...

It's because the catechists are telling people it isn't a mortal sin to miss mass anymore. So why go? Especially if the love you might have for God is the fuzzy kind, you can tell yourself that He understands!