Sunday, March 01, 2015

Extraordinary Community News - Vocational statistics & lessons from past 50+ years, Mass schedule

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (March 1, 2015):
A Statistical Analysis of Vocations 1920-2010: Lessons to be Learned from the Past 50 Years

In January, the Christendom Restoration Society published a study conducted by David Sonnier, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. His objective was to teach students how to analyze data without giving them any preconceived notions. The data set he presented them – but did not identify – was the number of seminarians in the U.S. from 1920 to 2010, in five year increments. He simply identified the numbers as “enrollment data” and asked the students to comment on the linear increase from 1920-1965, followed by the exponential decline from 1965-2010. Quoting from the article:

“[The students] usually have comments such as:
  • ‘Something went wrong in 1965.’
  • ‘They made some bad decisions somewhere around 1965’
  • ‘Did they eliminate football in 1965?’
...The students, uninhibited by preconceived notions and unencumbered by ideology, are willing to acknowledge the point at which something went wrong, that it was due to internal, not external factors, and that, in fact, something actually has gone wrong.”
After going through some complex mathematical analysis of the numeric trends, Sonnier proceeds to analyze the numbers in dioceses that have “experimented with tradition”, using the Dioceses of Lincoln, Nebraska and Arlington, Virginia as examples. Arlington is known for having the highest percentage of parishes offering the Extraordinary Form of any diocese in North America, while Lincoln is known for strong bishops, a focus on liturgy, and only males being allowed to serve at the altar. He then cites the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, where almost every parish offers the Tridentine Mass, noting the following:

“During the past ten years:
  • The number of diocesan priests jumped from 14 to 83
  • The total number of priests went from 79 to 140
  • The number of marriages went from approximately 1200 to 6277
  • The number of Chapels of Perpetual Adoration went from 0 to 8
  • The number of Baptisms went from 9500 to 21556
  • The number of confirmations went from 46 to 146
Clearly such a diocese should be considered a model for every other diocese in both North and South America to emulate.”
Finally, Sonnier charts the well-known growth of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, which celebrates the EF exclusively:

He concludes that a focus on tradition, orthodoxy, and the Sacred Liturgy is statistically shown to result in abundant vocations. Read the whole study here:

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 03/02 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Monday in the Second Week of Lent)
  • Tue. 03/03 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent)
  • Fri. 03/06 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Sacred Heart of Jesus) [First Friday]
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for March 1, 2015. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

1 comment:

Meem said...