View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Catholic percentage in U.S. down - opportunity awaits

According to the new American Religious Identification Survey, 25.1% of Americans identified themselves as Catholics in 2008-- down from 26.2% in 1990.

And there were drops in 29 states - including New York (down 7%).

The declines are steepest in Montana, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, while Texas, California, Arizona, Mississippi, and Kansas saw the greatest growth.

Overall, the number of Catholics did go up - 11 million in that span to 57 million. Researchers attribute that in part to the growing number of Hispanics in the Southwest - a region that saw growth.

Meanwhile, 15 % of respondents said they had no religion - up from 8.2 % in 1990.

We are not alone in declining - Christians who aren't Catholic also saw a drop.

Christians comprised 76 percent of U.S. adults in 2008 - that's down from some 86 percent in 1990.

Among the groups seeing a drop: Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians.

With so many souls adrift, isn't it time for a little evangelizing?

At some point, many of those souls may begin to thirst for more, and if the message of the Church is out there where they can hear and see it, they might find what they need to quench that thirst.

Preaching, living out our faith, being active in social ministry - those are among the ways we can keep that message out there. But so are the arts - poetry, music, drama, fiction, film, paintings, and more.

As Catholics, we need to witness more. We should not be afraid or ashamed of our faith.


Blogger Lee Strong said...

Yes, I did stop back and revise the ending a little. Music practice for Rock of Faith intruded - and got me to thinking.

8:38 PM  

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