I love the Mass, imperfect as it is

  • People pray during Mass April 17, 2016, at Holy Redeemer Church in Detroit. The Mass was the site of a “Mass Mob” event, an evangelization effort aimed at boosting regular Mass attendance. (CNS/Jim West)

Call me old-fashioned. I need to be down with the flu or snowed in before I’ll skip going to Mass. I love being there. Our parish church borders a Jesuit university, and during the school year a sizable percentage of those attending are students, so it’s a good mix of older and younger folks. Still, I admit feeling sad about some relevant statistics. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, among U.S. Catholics weekly Mass attendance isn’t looking good. From 1965 to 2016, it dropped from 55 to 22 percent.

The grapevine has it that many Catholics skip Mass frequently because they “don’t get anything out of it.” Others appeal to the clergy sex abuse scandals of recent decades, saying they don’t want to associate with a church that harbored abusers for so many years. Some have even chosen to transfer to Protestant churches or recently established alternative forms of “Catholicism,” complaining that they can no longer tolerate a church that relegates women to a second-class status.

I understand, and I sympathize. Yet I hardly ever miss Mass… click here to read more.


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