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Diocese of Rochester’s Mass attendance plummets 25% in eight years

October 06, 2009

Between 2000 and 2008, Sunday Mass attendance plunged in the Diocese of Rochester by 25%, according to a diocesan newspaper report. During the same time period, the diocese reduced the number of parishes from 161 to 131. Bishop Matthew Clark, now 72, has governed the diocese since 1979 and recently installed a labyrinth in his cathedral.

An analysis of seminarian data by Catholic World Report magazine found that the upstate New York diocese is one of the most “vocation poor” in the nation.


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  • Posted by: drl12501082 - Oct. 08, 2009 3:19 PM ET USA

    The Diocese of Rochester is my Diocese and it is a Spiritual Vacuum. If you believe in God and the teachings of His Church you are given the cold shoulder and made fun of as a dinosaur. Unfortunately, these people are lost. They need to retire for the sake of us all. I am a believer, but it is hard to attend the "fluffer-nutter" services of this Diocese and believe anything. I keep telling myself he only has 3 more years, but can I make it? God help us here in Rochester.

  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Oct. 07, 2009 1:49 PM ET USA

    Prayer labyrinth? Check out the website - I've been to Chartres, France upon which this is allegedly based and I don't recall seeing one. You know when they have confession for 30 mins on a Friday afternoon or Sat morning that something ain't right...oh yeah there's an hour on Sat night and it's called the Celebration of Penance. How ironic...

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2009 9:50 AM ET USA

    It just goes to show you. It's always something. You either go to a real Church or you have to walk around praying on something that looks like a PILE OF GUTS. Good night, my little Roseanne Rosanadana.

  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - Oct. 06, 2009 4:21 PM ET USA

    It's pretty clear to anyone willing to see. Dioceses where "anything goes" in worship have tend to have empty churches and seminaries. Dioceses where there is good, solid, traditional worship have fuller parishes and more vocations to the priestly and religious life. From traditional worship also flows faithfulness to Christian morality and other Church Teaching. Perhaps the good bishop is lost in his own labyrinth and simply cannot see?