Meanwhile, TLM groups are growing in number and numbers…

These stats are making the rounds, and I mentioned them recently.  However, they popped up again at Spirit Daily.

From Scientific American:

Since 1990, the fraction of Americans with no religious affiliation has nearly tripled, from about 8 percent to 22 percent. Over the next 20 years, this trend will accelerate: by 2020, there will be more of these “Nones” than Catholics, and by 2035, they will outnumber Protestants.

The following figure shows changes since 1972 and these predictions, based on data from the General Social Survey (GSS):

These are not the numbers that we want to see and we should work to turn them around.

However, given the present state of affairs, I don’t think that Those In Charge have what it takes to do it.

Hence, lay people… you’re up.

Reason #8 for Summorum Pontificum.

This is why, dear friends, you need to do your part.

  • Be inviting.  Ask people to come with you to Mass, especially fallen away Catholics.
  • Foster unity in parishes where both rites are used.
  • Be inviting.
  • Step up and be counted with all parish activities.
  • Be inviting.
  • Pray and pray and pray and go to confession.
  • Be inviting.
  • THANK your priests and the bishop.
  • Be inviting.
  • Foster vocations, from your own families first of all.
  • Be inviting.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. jaykay says:

    I’ve been singing in church choirs for a long time now, and when we pull out the stops for the High Holy Days, when the church is actually full (as it always was in my youth – sigh!) the response is great. On those days.

    Anyway, to the point: last Easter, when we ended the Vigil Mass with a rousing “Regina Coeli” (Aichinger) I heard one of my friends in the choir being complimented by someone, along the lines of “That was just great, I don’t normally go but that would make me” he replied: “Well, we do it for God anyway, first of all, but for you too, and it’s so much better with you all there, we really appreciate that”. The point seems to have been taken, as I’ve seen the same man come back a few times (we see everything from the gallery, mwa hah hah hah!) Brick by brick etc.

    And this Christmas, when we’ll do the same (“Hallelujah” for finale) I’m going to say something similar if anyone says the same to me. I’ve been a bit too blasé heretofore, I admit.

  2. JTH says:

    “Be inviting. is great advice. I recently started attending a different parish that has the TLM. I find the Mass more sacred and efficacious. The people who attend this Mass, however, are quite suspicious and unfriendly. The priest isn’t much better.

    I’m determined to continue attending the TLM, “invited” or not.

  3. beelady says:

    I think Father’s point is to be inviting, not to give the best choir concert possible. I’m not sure what is meant by getting a great response to the choir “pulling out all the stops”.
    The majority of extra people at Holy Day Masses have no idea if the choir is going to be performing. The majority of them also decide not to return next week for another “concert”.
    One person who came back a few times is hardly evidence that your choirs’ amazing performance did anything to increase Mass attendance overall.
    My family and I attend Mass at least once a week. We find the choir at our parish to be off-putting, distracting, and UNinviting.
    Choirs could (and should, in my opinion) become more inviting (as Father Z is suggesting) by turning down the volume and choosing music that makes the congregation want to sing along.

  4. Ipsitilla says:

    Shouldn’t the title read, “TLM groups are growing in both kind and number,” Fr. Z?

  5. yatzer says:

    The music, Heaven-centered architecture, and the reverence of the priest at my parish got me going back to Mass. I had dropped out mostly in sync with the banality of everything and everyone at Mass up to that time. Then I got to learn what the Faith actually included and was blown away. That was mostly through the Internet, in good part through Fr. Z.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    Interesting post and chart, thanks Fr. Z.

    beelady: Just a suggestion, you may want to invite a dialogue rather than merely attempt to negate jaykay’s helpful comment. As you probably know, “…choosing music that makes the congregation want to sing along” can eventually lead to “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore.” I, for one, am grateful that the choir has more talent than I possess. Pax.

    JTH: Sincere best wishes as you “…continue attending the TLM.” Deo Volente, as time goes by your opinion of “suspicious and unfriendly” will change to a more positive “polite and reserved.” The TLM, as no doubt you know, can be a bit of an adjustment after the rampant informality* of some NO parishes in both attire and personal behavior at Mass.

    *That phrase “rampant informality” was used by a colleague at lunch today and just thought I’d pass it on.

  7. skjensen says:

    How about, “Have children”? There seems to be a deep fear about starting a family these days. And when married couples delay having children until their mid-30’s, there are not going to be a lot of large (or even medium) size families filling the pews.

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