This weekend is the first of four in May when a census of catholic Mass attendees will be taken.
So if you happen to belong to one of those quasi-parish communities that often seems to get left out when it comes to these kind of things, please do take quick action to make sure you are counted as a practising catholic! Because it would surely be nice if at least one group (viz EF attendees) was seen to be growing...
National Count of Attendance
The Bishop's conference media release says that:
"The first weekend in May will see the commencement of the 2011 National Count of Attendance, a project which aims to ascertain the practicing population of Australia’s Catholics.
First held in 2001, this will be the third time the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has conducted the count at a national level."
“Information collected, in addition to the number of people in attendance, includes the language and frequency of celebration. The count is conducted both for Masses and Sunday Assemblies in the absence of a Priest and consists of a simple headcount of all those who attend Mass at parishes and other Mass centres throughout the whole of Australia over four weekends.”
The National Count of Attendance will be conducted electronically with most parishes submitting their counts online, rather than using paper forms.
Further decline or signs of revival?
The last time the count was conducted, in 2006, it found that an average of 708,618 people attended Mass (or an assembly without a priest) each weekend.
The total attendance figure represented 13.8 per cent of Australia’s 2006 Catholic Population. An average of at least 58,000 people attended Mass celebrated in one of 30 languages other than English.
Any queries regarding the ACBC National Count of Attendance can be directed to the ACBC Pastoral Research Office.