Counting At Mass

October is the month for counting people in my archdiocese. We had a “storm surge” for the university’s homecoming observances this past weekend, especially at our later morning Mass.

Overall, with merging our Saturday liturgy into the other parish’s, numbers are down “in exile.” Our 8:30 and 7PM Masses are about the same. Last year, we had about 850 at our 10:30 Mass–yesterday it was 603. The auditorium where we’ve worshiped only holds 470. Instead of chairs in a narthex (our usual response to overflowing our 797 seats) we had video screens in the lobby. Far from optimal.

Anyone else out there responsible for counting heads? Do you do it in October, the high tide of church attendance (Excepting Christmas and Easter)?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Counting At Mass

  1. Jimmy Mac says:

    I no longer get involved in this, but the Archdiocese of San Francisco does use October to gather the data.

  2. “October Counts” are the norm in the Diocese of Camden and the Archdiocese Of Philadelphia.

  3. Liam says:

    Ditto for Boston.

  4. FrMichael says:

    I believe all of Region XI (California and Nevada) counts in October. It would be interesting to know the origin of the October Mass count if it is indeed a national phenomenon: USCCB or Kenedy Directory related?

    I don’t understand the characterization of October as a “high tide” month. I see Mass attendance as something like a sine wave with maximas at Christmas and Easter and minimas in July and January. October to me is an average month, an excellent time to count.

    In any case, the count is a pain to conduct, so I’m glad we do it for one month each year rather than each Sunday, which some churches (namely the Episcopalians) do.

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