Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

More Statistics on Mass Attendance

September 21st, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Below is an article from Fr. Spilly, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, about declining Mass attendance numbers in the Diocese of Rochester. The information below largely corroborates Mike’s earlier post. Fr. Spilly also provides us with some insight into the performance of the N.W. Monroe County parishes of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Brockport), St. John the Evangelist (Spencerport), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Hamlin), and St. Leo the Great (Hilton).

It shouldn’t come as a shock that the only parish of the four to witness an increase in attendance is the one with the most orthodox pastor. St. Leo the Great is also the only N.W. Monroe parish to still have the tabernacle on the central axis.

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7 Responses to “More Statistics on Mass Attendance”

  1. Monk says:

    Father Spilly says “…declining finances rather than mission are driving decisions in parishes.” This statement is more a reflection of the behavior of the DoR. The diocese is “taxing” parishes right out of existence. All they seem to care about is the almighty $!

  2. Anonymous says:

    How long will it be until the DOR wrecks that parish too?

  3. Nerina says:

    I agree with you, Monk.

    Attendance at Mass must be a current “meme” in the DOR. My priest is making a big deal about it now and asking for input on why it is so low and what can be done about it. Interesting that the push to “understand decreasing attendance” coincides with CMA.

  4. Dan says:

    It is nice to see a priest write the words: The Diocese of Rochester will have a “new bishop in 2012”. Just those few words, made my day. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Bishop Clark closed and destroyed 50 Catholic Schools and about 35 parishes. I tend to believe that most of the “outraged” parishioners are now staying home on Sunday.

    If you want to know the truth, every school and parish was closed against the will of the parishioners. Bishop Clark became an expert at putting a spin on the closings, until the Internet came along to expose the truth.

    Yes Bishop Clark, we know that you control the Catholic Courier Newspaper with an iron fist and you have the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper in your side pocket, since you gave them the printing contract for the Catholic Courier. No more secrets in the Diocese of Rochester.

    Only 661 days, but 22 months sounds shorter, until we can throw our hands up toward heaven and thank God for a new Bishop.

  5. Mike says:


    Stewardship – or, to be more precise, the “treasure” aspect of stewardship – has long been a priority in DOR (see here).

    I believe it’s only recently that many pastors have begun to really notice the ever dwindling number of Catholics in their pews and that notice only came with the realization that there is only so much money to be gotten from the few people they have left.

    Hence, the emphasis on Mass attendance: More people in the pews means more money in the collection basket.

  6. monk says:

    In my experience, when pastors start to publish topics along the lines of Fr Spilly’s “did you know” column, he is beginning to set the stage for the hammer to fall on these parishes. My guess is that this is the first salvo in the process of consolidating these parishes in some negative arrangement. These parishioners should keep their eyes wide open-especially the good folks at St. Leo’s.

  7. Dr. K says:

    It’s been my experience that when a parish tries to increase attendance, they will usually try the wrong things (more liturgical abuse). The result is even lower attendance and more head scratching by the powers that be.

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