The Diocese of Green Bay reported a seven percent increase in Mass attendance from October 2009 to April 2010 after a series of television commercials aired urging Catholics to “come home.”
A few comments here …
Taking October as the base reference may be a gutsy move on Green Bay’s part. Did you know that October is traditionally the best month for church attendance, at least in the US? I’ll give them credit for setting the bar high for themselves.
April, however, is one of two popular months for First Communion—and those will draw more worshipers if the celebrations are held at Sunday Mass. In my limited experience, parishes I’ve served have been moving away from special First Communion Masses. Even in Kansas City at my last parish, we moved the observance to Sunday afternoon. Doesn’t make much sense to have a First Communion Mass on Saturday morning or early afternoon, then have all those freshly minted kiddos commit a sin by missing the Eucharist the next day, does it?
A hint: you don’t need to wait for a diocesan initiative, tv commercials, or the Catholics Come Home program to raise church attendance. Any person can begin anytime. Just offer a personal invitation; it worked for centuries and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t work today, one person at a time.