Down to the Wire: Just $6,332 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Mass attendance down 10% in Philadelphia area

Catholic World News - April 11, 2011

Sunday Mass attendance has declined 8% in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since 2007 and 12% in the adjacent Diocese of Camden since 2006.

“The diminution in Mass attendance didn’t happen overnight, and I don’t expect that overnight it will suddenly recover,” said Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden. “We haven’t done a good job giving people a grounding in the faith.”

The clerical abuse scandal, he added, “provided a justification [not to attend Mass] for people who were already shaky in their faith.”

Bishop Galante’s desire to create more vibrant parishes through mergers has provoked opposition among some parishioners.

“I disagree with the idea you can convert churches into cash to pay people to make the Church more vibrant,” said Leah Vassallo, an attorney who opposes the closing of her parish church. “You take away everything people consider sacred and say [the church is] just a building. A church is God’s home. A church is consecrated.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($55,855 to go):
$150,000.00 $94,145.13
37% 63%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Apr. 12, 2011 2:59 AM ET USA

    Taking a person's beloved and consecrated church away will do little to increase his or her attendance at Mass. If the leadership would stop trying to secularize our church and our faith and instead educate Catholics on knowing and living their faith, I suspect Mass attendance wouldn't be an issue. Regular Catholic Bible study, frequent,tangible works of mercy by the parish, caring for the poor and the sick and Eucharistic Adoration make for a pretty 'vibrant' parish.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Apr. 11, 2011 7:56 PM ET USA

    I asked for stats from our parish and discovered that in the past five years our baptisms have declined by 42%. That is incredible. Is that a trend all over--fewer marriages, fewer kids, fewer baptisms? If so, we are in trouble.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The gift of orthodoxy: A mercy and a challenge to mercy 16 hours ago
Getting Marriage Right November 25
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. November 25
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg November 25
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25