Fewer priests, closing parishes, dropping Mass attendance

These developments in the changing Church in the U.S. are sometimes greeted with reactions that in charity can at best be called unreflective.

(Image: Nazim Coskun/Unsplash.com)

Noticing that some of his listeners were having trouble understanding his accented English, the African priest paused his homily, grinned at the nearly all-white congregation, and said, “If you don’t produce more vocations, this is what you get.” People laughed and the homilist continued as before.

Welcome to our changing Church. This incident during a Sunday morning Mass in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. was likely a forerunner of other such incidents in days to come. Mild culture shock probably will spread as priests from parts of the world where there are still priests to spare—I mean Africa, the Philippines, and India—more and more fill the gap created by the growing shortage of home-grown priests.

To some extent the shortage isn’t new. Except during the religious boom immediately following World War II, American Catholicism has never been particularly distinguished for generating priestly vocations, but then priests from Ireland and other European countries met the need. Now, however, priestly vocations are way down in Ireland and the rest of Western Europe, so with growing frequency it’s Africans, Filipinos, and Indians who are lending a hand.

Note, though, that our priest shortage didn’t happen overnight. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, in 1965, with U.S. Catholic population around 50 million, 95% of the country’s 36,467 diocesan priests were engaged in active ministry; last year, 73.5 million Catholics were being served by 66% of the 24,110 priests (most of the other 34% were retired). Ordinations dropped from 805 in 1970 to 451 last year (including religious order priests).

The falloff in priests is only part of the story of our changing Church. There are of course places where the population as a whole is rising rapidly, with Catholics part of the increase and the local churches hard pressed to keep up. More commonly, though, every couple of weeks bring news of another diocese closing or consolidating a substantial number of its parishes in order to cope with the twin realities of fewer priests and declining Mass attendance.

(In 1970, Catholics who attended Mass weekly or more often were 54.9%, but by 2022 the figure was 17.3%. Monthly or more frequent Mass attendance—including the weekly or more frequent attenders—was 71.3% in 1970 and 36.6% in 2022.)

These developments sometimes are greeted with reactions that in charity can at best be called unreflective, including lambasting the bishops and their advisors for reacting to dwindling Mass attendance and fewer priests by closing and consolidating parishes. Not long ago, for instance, I came across an angry internet outburst accusing unnamed “ecclesiastical bureaucrats” of supposedly being either ignorant of or indifferent to the fact that, when a parish is closed, some people simply stop attending Mass.

It’s safe to say that no bishop—and probably no ecclesiastical bureaucrat either—would close down parishes if declining Mass attendance and a serious shortfall of priests didn’t make that the only responsible, though admittedly painful, thing to do.

Such complaints reflect the clericalized lay mentality that David Byers and I describe in our new book Revitalizing Catholicism in America: Nine Tasks for Every Catholic (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing). But if someone in a recently closed parish truly wants to go to Mass but lacks transportation, instead of blaming the bishop, offer the needy person a lift. And if numbers require it, organize a group of Good Samaritans to do that weekly for all those who require help getting to church. Don’t waste time criticizing and complaining. Solve the problem.

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About Russell Shaw 282 Articles
Russell Shaw was secretary for public affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference from 1969 to 1987. He is the author of 20 books, including Nothing to Hide, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America, Eight Popes and the Crisis of Modernity, and, most recently, The Life of Jesus Christ (Our Sunday Visitor, 2021).


  1. It takes courage to answer a call and it takes courage to give your all. May the Lord of the harvest inspire laborers to come and work in His Vineyard.

    • Part of the problem is families have two maybe three children. The parents, grandparents want the family name to continue. The only son is expected to marry and have a son to carry on the name. The parents want grandchildren. There is no spare child to enter the religious life.
      The expensive vacations, the new car every year or so is more important than having a fourth or fifth child.

      • I think you have to be careful about accusing 2-child families of being materialistic. When both parents have to work to pay the basic bills (food, housing in a modest home or apartment, gasoline, utilities, etc., NOT expensive vacations or cars), it’s really difficult if not outright impossible to find childcare that doesn’t take half the take-home pay of one of the spouses. Babysitters are charging $20/hour nowadays. Also, many young couples have NO support system (grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.), or even friends with children, who live near them, so they are pretty much “on duty” 24/7–this is draining, especially when the couple is also working outside the home. Many young couples nowadays have not been prepared in school or by their own parents in the art and joys of child-rearing! Even if one of the spouses stays home with the children, being with children/young teens constantly is hard work that many people are not prepared for. And of course, there is the expense of a private (hopefully Catholic) school–ANY Christian who sends their children to most public schools nowadays is taking a real chance with their child’s very soul (and their own sanity dealing with the “woke” curricula and teachers). I think that unless we are willing to step up and offer free or greatly-reduced childcare (either we do the care or we pay for it!) to young couples with larger families, we need to hold off on making judgments My husband and I had raised 2 daughters, and for the first 10 years, lived across the country from our parents and other relatives–so the work of raising them fell pretty much on US. It was hard work–enjoyable, but hard, and we chose not to have more children because I was exhausted all the time–and I wasn’t working outside of my home! We lived super-duper cheap, even buying our daughters’ Christmas and birthday presents at yard sales for their first 5 years or so! Once they were both in school, I started working and finances got more comfortable, but never fancy. Our vacations consisted of driving across country to see our relatives (who boarded and fed us while we were visiting!) The girls grew up beautifully and have made me and my late husband (he died of COVID at age 62 in 2020) very proud and happy.

      • I agree! Since the introduction of the pill, couples (including many Catholics) have mostly two children, three at a stretch. Of course, it’s not just about numbers but how the faith is imparted and the priority it’s given within the family. The sexual revolution has a lot to answer for, as do the many Catholics that have embraced it. Where do these Catholics families think priests of the future are going to come from?

      • If parents were having 2-3 children that at least would be a sustainable, replacement level birth rate. But we’re not doing that currently nor is the rest of the developed world.
        Without immigration we’d be resembling Japan about now. Some rural US counties already do.
        But yes parents of one son are less likely to encourage a religious vocation. So our future priests will be coming more from the Global South or from traditional Catholic families.

      • Barbara. I agree that numbers of offspring will help with potential new seminarians. However, in this day having more children may show little progress. Deacons are being ignored. I ask where is the largest pool of potential Catholic priests? If we cast out of date dogma aside, that immense population are holy women! Christ would never exclude half of his humanity for a simple guy’s dinner! Especially when holy women… Nuns, mothers, nurturers, primary teachers of their children are begging to be included.

        BBC: “the ban on women’s access to priesthood is based, among other arguments, on Biblical records that Christ chose his 12 Apostles only from among men, and the Church has gone on to imitate Christ ever since.”

        If any woman continues her pursuit of their burning desire to become a priest the all omniscient “fathers” will decide to excommunicate them, WOW! That is paramount to a civil execution. Will they remain holy? Moreover, will the Church survive?

        • Well Morgan, what other out of date dogma should we cast aside? And how is dogma related to fashion or popular opinion in the first place?
          At least the BBC got their facts right on this one.

  2. Betcha there’s no shortage of priests or consolidation of parishes in Bishop Strickland’s Tyler TX diocese. Listen up Cupich, Gregory, Tobin, McElroy and Wester.

    • Exactly. Nor is there a shortage of priests in Cardinal Lefebvre’s rebel church. The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Heart was a thriving community with hundreds of vocations before Pope Francis was enthroned and immediately took the axe. I mean: wherever Catholic teaching is unflinchingly upheld, there the vocations keep coming. Why, on the other hand, would anybody dedicate their lives to something they are told doesn’t make all that much difference…

    • I doubt that Cupich, etc. would want the type of priests Bishop Strickland is ordaining, no matter how short their own dioceses might be.

    • Well said! Bishops who are filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit and actively evangelizing their diocese promote a fire in other men to serve God! Where is the spiritual fulfillment in just being a Eucharist processing machine?

  3. I saw this article on the National Catholic Register site earlier and I have the same thoughts. The shortage of priests is tied to the shortage of births. There are other factors to consider but how many parents with an only son will encourage their child to follow a celibate religious vocation? And a very low paying vocation at that?
    US priests are aging and their numbers are shrinking and that applies to their parishioners also. With some exceptions. Eventually those exceptions will make a difference but it takes a few generations.

    • Please stop with this excessive focus on low birthrate in almost all your posts. The situation is much more complicated and nuanced.

      • Demographics are behind the shortage of raw material. Additional things lacking in Western culture are behind the shortage of what inspires vocations.
        You can’t fill seminaries with a shrinking and aging population. And it’s not just Catholic seminaries that are emptying.

          • Athanasius, I apologize. I usually preface my remarks concerning demographics by asking forgiveness for sounding like a broken record. But if an issue like this one has a legitimate connection to birthrates I’m certainly going to mention it. And you are free to comment on the other factors behind it. That’s how we learn from each other.

        • It’s also difficult to persuade robustly masculine young men to enter a priesthood dominated by a large effeminate contingent that’s controlled seminary education and has produced the likes of McCarrick, etc. I’ve encountered a number of such men who’ve left or been forced out for that reason, which is not the result of demographic limitations.

  4. Is it doctrine that a man cannot be married to be a priest? I believe one of our local sons became an Episcopal priest and then eventually converted to being a married Catholic priest.

    This wouldn’t solve all the problems, as we see in the Protestant faiths, but seems like it would help the pool of candidates?

    • As a Maronite Catholic and married man, I could become a priest. I won’t do it although I left the seminary to marry my wife of 34 years. The problem arises from the form of the mass adopted by the Maronite Rite when the changes of V2 occurred. The Maronite Ritual has been Novus-ordized. It too, requires the priest to stand at a Cramner Table and face the people while he prays to God who is in the tabernacle BEHIND him. I just can’t do that – too much cognitive dissonance. Were the Maronite Ritual to return to the original expression of the faith: ad orientem, I would seriously consider it. Thankfully, the Maronites disburse by intinction so many still believe in the Real Presence. It is in ceremonies where Our Lord is handed out like a carnival ride ticket that they have an issue conveying the message of the Real Presence (figure that). By the way, the Maronites have been allowing married men to become priests since JPII and about a dozen in the USA have been ordained. If it is a “fix” one has to presume that the rate of replacement will satisfy the rate of attrition. To my knowledge, that has not occurred and is not occurring.

        • Of course not, he faced the Tabernacle since it housed the precious Body, Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Why face me if the priest is praying to God? It sounds like you are comfortable with him facing you while he invokes God. You do you. RME

          • Mark, Jesus was facing His apostles at the last supper while offering up to the Father. The Priest and the people of God face the altar where the Eternal Sacrifice, our Lord Jesus Christ, is made present. God Incarnate is made present on the altar, adored, loved, celebrated and highly desired; to feed us with Himself is His Holy Will. Then He abides in us and we abide in Him. “In him we live and move and have our being” (acts 17:28). Saint Catherine of Sienna said: He is like drunk with love for us! And we should be drunk with love and thanksgiving for Him.

    • It is not a doctrine that’s unchangeable. But mere practicality is not the primary consideration in the value that accrues to a celibate clergy. But those more subtle factors is oftentimes lost on too many Catholics.

    • The question of whether a married man can be ordained a priest is a matter of church discipline, not doctrine. You cite one example where the discipline is different from standard Roman Catholic practice. In some instances, celibacy is not required for men who seek priestly ordination in Eastern rite churches.

      One aspect of the discipline I don’t understand, however, is the “one-way” aspect of eligibility for ordination: In some cases (such as those above), a married man can receive priestly ordination, but an ordained priest cannot marry. I’d greatly appreciate some explanation for this.

      I agree that a general change to the discipline would provide some modest relief in terms of the number of priests, but I also agree with your supposition that such a change isn’t a one source solution. A true solution requires many things, among them a renewal of prayerful discernment among young men (and among young women for religious life), a fostering of vocations from within the family, inspiration and a fostering of vocational encouragement from saintly priests and bishops (good luck on the latter), and greater openness to life among Catholic families. There are many other things needed, of course, but these are the most urgent ones I can come up with.

      • I regret the fact that the idea of ordaining married men has become associated with all of the ideas of the loony left. Having a married priesthood does not mean that we give in to the sexual free for all that the heretics within the Church so feverishly desire. Our pastor is a former Episcopal priest who is married, and I find it easier to confess to him than to a celibate. I have been married for thirty years, and it isn’t always easy. No matter how many books of theology a seminarian reads, marriage can only be understood by one who has lived it. You cannot learn about marriage from a book. Furthermore, a married priesthood might make holy orders less attractive to those with perverse inclinations. I might agree that a truly ascetic priest can be inspiring, ut pederast priests inspire nothing but revulsion and bring shame upon the Church. I wonder how many young men deny a vocation because they fear being thought a pervert.

        • Steven hensley,
          So good to know you’re happy with your married pastor, and that you find it easier to confess to him than to a celibate one.
          A few years ago, our parish had a married priest, a convert from Episcopalian. He was a great priest. Not only were his Masses reverent and his homily solid, he was also very helpful with the lay ministries, i.e., RCIA, Legion of Mary,
          The only problem was, very few women went to him for confession. When asked why, one woman answered: “There are some things I couldn’t tell my husband. Why should I tell them to another woman’s husband?”

    • Except that Protestant denominations aren’t experiencing a flood of vocations either, in some cases are even more short-handed than the Catholic Church is. On the other hand, traditional orders such as the FSSP usually have long waiting lists of applicants. There’s a lot more to the problem than simply celibacy, I think.

  5. No priests? No vocations? Fallen away laity by the hundreds of millions? Closed churches. Open apostasy? Have no fear. Francis and the Synodal Way will take care of everything!

    • Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed: Novelty for the sake of novelty! How about doing something novel that actually works in practice and reality: RETURN.TO.THE.HOLY.CATHOLIC.LATIN.MASS.

      • My neighbor was a Latin Catholic, altar boy etc.. the family fell away after V2 – he told me recently he can’t remember Latin until he walks in a church where they are saying Latin, but then can recite right along with the rest of them

        Can’t figure out why this reverence is looked down/banned by the leadership

        • Fr. Ripperger has an interesting take on why the novelties of the 1960’s might have occurred in his presentation on “Clarity” on youtube. It doesn’t paint the 1950’s-1960’s in a positive light. Being a realist/Thomist myself, I find it an intriguing argument/presentation. I encourage you to take the time to listen to it. It’s about 45 minutes long. His answer to the last questions asked is also enlightening. Deo Gratias!

    • Right! And lets all follow the German Bishops down their Synodal Path and off the cliff! It really makes sense to follow bishops who lost almost a million members in the last 2 years and pick popes whose track record on ordinations, and church membership to be blunt, are utter catastrophes! And we are literally following these folks advice!!?? And we wonder why we have a problem!! It’s as plain as day. You’ve picked people who have terrible track records. What did you expect to happen? At least when JPII was picked he had a proven record of building up. Not tearing down. We followed the German bishops advice on Synod on the Family and Divorce Approval. We might just well go all the way and keep attempting suicide by a thousand cuts and listen to Argentine and Germany, they have had great success!!

  6. I understand the “crisis” in the Novus Order Mass/church. The NO Mass was devised to remove all specifically Catholic elements and modeled after the “prayer service” of the Protestants who worked to remove all indication of the Real Presence (Eucharistic Revival, anyone? SMH). I get frustrated when I hear that growing and vibrant Latin Mass communities across the globe are being shut down by modernist bishops. Why would any prince of the church lop off the only viable branch on the trunk of the tree producing fruit? Our SSPX Chapel with a total of 150-200 families has given 10 vocations to the Church. Granted, they entered the “verboten” Latin Mass seminary or became (God forbid) “traditionalist nuns”. I’m quite nauseated by modernists in society, culturally, politically and ecclesiastically who ascribe some type of Neanderthalism to those whose churches are thriving, whose political theories actually WORK in practice and whose cultural norms lend themselves to civil peace and prosperity. Hasn’t the freemasonic reign proven beyond a question of a doubt how great a disaster it has been? It’s well past time to start challenging the presumptions at play wherever it appears “modernism” is being championed. Modernists know one mode: novelty. With that in mind, watch carefully as those that advocated the radicality in the church at V2 complete their task in the upcoming synod (sin-nod). I have said it before but it bears repeating. Find a Latin Mass, preferably an SSPX chapel if you have one close enough to attend. Attend. Don’t stop attending. It is your lifeboat as the current captain of the Barque of Peter steers headlong into the craggy shoreline.

    • I am always amazed at how Latin Mass enthusiasts are so adept at assuming that correlation does indeed equal causation (which, in truth, is a logical fallacy). And yet, they can’t produce statistically significant studies to support their claims. They can’t even point to a preponderance of the evidence to make their case.

      See https://www.stossbooks.com/did%20novus%20ordo%20mass%20cause%20attendance%20declines.html

      In addition, they ignore that the TRUE source of the Church’s problems began manifesting itself around the time of Fatima — while the Latin Mass was the **only** Roman Liturgy. Were their efforts in the Latin Church to solve that problem that led to our current crisis? Mary’s warning at Fatima points to the fact that they weren’t. Further support comes from History. Why? Because the Church failed to recognize and respond to the root cause of our current problems.

      The root cause is revealed and addressed in a three-part blog titled: The Beast of Scripture is Not Coming: It’s Here. The link to Part I is here: https://www.stossbooks.com/blog/index.php?the-beast-of-scripture-is-not-coming,-it-s-here

      It also amazes me how the post-conciliar traditionalists are very adept at pointing out the toothpick in someone else’s eye while ignoring the plank in their own. It is becoming increasingly clear, even among the TLM clergy, that an attitude of elitism is taking hold in their flocks. Traditionalists are increasingly criticizing other Traditionalists for not being Traditional enough.

      The bulk (but not all) of the claims Traditionalists leveled at the Novus Ordo Mass are not just wrong but demonstrably wrong. Most of the younger Traditionalists are either poorly catechized (or not at all catechized — whose fault is that? The clergy!) concerning the Economy of Grace relative to the Mass. Thus, the false claims. See here: https://www.stossbooks.com/novus-ordo-versus-latin-mass.html

      • I guess all those adherents, like me, of the Holy and reverent Latin Mass with their Masters degrees in Philosophy from places like St. Thomas Aquinas have not the capacity to think things through thoroughly enough – – – obviously, we still assist at that antiquated, Neanderthal Latin Mass! We just can not embrace the fullness of the faith with its propensity toward nude interpretive dancers, clowns, balloons, streamers and felt banners. Maybe homosexual ballet dancers will finally convince us, eh? O, by the way, Our Lady of Lasalette intimated to Melanie that her son’s precious body would soon be trampled underfoot by filthy feet. I can’t imagine her words being fulfilled in any other context than at a Novus Ordo Mass where the consecrated host (victim) is handed out like a carnival ride ticket. You do you, Brother. You do you. Deo Gratias!

        • Why do you think that way about the reception of the Holy Eucharist offered at a Novus Ordo mass? It is offered not as you say with your uncalled-for mischaracterizing of the Mass.

          • The Protestant Reformers took pains to convey the message that there was NO CONSECRATION, NO REAL PRESENCE. They did this by mongrelizing the Latin Mass. They removed the high altar, the communion rails, the vestments, the incense, the sacral language. They made communicants stand and receive in the hand. They made communicants receive both species. In these ways, they sent the clear and unmistakable message that Christ was NOT in the bread and wine. Period. Tell me, of the two: the Latin Mass or the NO Mass, which most resembles the desecration perpetrated against the theology of the Real Presence? Hint: the one that is currently hoping for a “eucharistic revival”.

        • Great. Since you are so thoroughly educated, I expect that you will be able to tell me where, in the articles I cited, I am wrong and why. Since you tout your degrees, you know enough to cite references that support your rebuttal as I cited my assertions. Or did you not even read the articles. Or are you just assuming that you are right because you are one of the elitist Latin Mass adherents who believe your form of worship is better than mine. If that is what you believe, you need to go back to school.

          • Here’s elitism for you. Please come to one of our Masses. You’re not an enemy. You’re a son of the church. You are owed an inheritance – one that you have been denied. Come see what the modernist revolutionaries in the church elected to eliminate at V2 – all things specifically Catholic. Don’t let your fear of rejection or of surrounding yourselves with so-called “elitists” deter you. You have my personal and humble invitation. Attend. Don’t condemn. Attend.

          • I read the articles and I’m not impressed. I’ve been to thousands of NO masses all over the country for decades after my conversion to Catholicism and have yet to find a single one with sufficient respect for the Eucharist that allow more than half a minute for reflection after the last host is distributed before end of mass announcements begin when those masses are on Sunday. When they are weekday masses, one has to leave in less than a couple of minutes to avoid being locked in the Church.
            The people you baselessly and gratuitously insult condescendingly as having a superior attitude tend not to be so frivolous about such things as the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. Oh, and if you insist on statistics, (committing sociology is the disease of truth hatred) how do you deal with the indisputable fact that seventy percent of those who actually attend NO masses do not believe in the Real Presence? And this does not date back to Fatima.

        • For heaven’s sake, WHERE in the U.S.A. do you find Catholic Masses that have all these abominations that you describe?!!!! Dancers, clowns, balloons? Really?!!? And what’s wrong with felt banners (usually either made by children in the parish school for a special occasion e.g., their First Holy Communion, or by professional artists in the parish who are talented in working with this medium, which is NOT perverse–remember that the Lord blessed children and those who come to Him with a child’s heart. Perhaps “felt” is just not your preferred art medium.). Nude professional dancers and homosexual ballet dancers in a Mass–really?!! Maybe in the big cities like NYC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, and L.A. because of the presence of professional dancers who are also Catholic, but in most of our cities and towns in the U.S., this has never happened and will never happen–for one reason, because most dancers will charge a fee, and many Catholic parishes don’t even pay their guest organists/pianists anything! And speaking of piano (which is possibly another “abomination” that you failed to mention in your post) please don’t you even think about criticizing the use of the piano in a Mass until YOU have taken the lessons and tried to learn how to play the organ, pipe or electric! It’s a lot harder than it looks and most pianists struggle with the pedals and setting the appropriate registrations–I usually contact my organ teacher for help with those registrations when I play organ for a Mass, and his lessons cost $60/half-hour–are YOU helping your church pianists, if there are any, with the expense of their organ lessons and buying the organ music?! Speaking of pianists, I have been working with the children’s choir in my small Catholic parish–and not ONE child in that choir is taking piano lessons, let alone organ lessons–so better get used to having no organ or that dreadful piano or (gasp!) guitar, in your Masses! Of course, there’s always chant–but I only have ONE boy in my choir, and he never sings–he just goes because his parents make him go. Nowadays, in case you haven’t noticed, boys generally do not sing unless they are raised by parents who sing and help him to learn the joys of singing–but most parents of boys are not singers themselves, do NOT encourage their boys to sing (perhaps because they secretly think it’s a pathway to being gay?!) and choose to get their boys involved in sports (and parents of girls do the same nowadays)–so perhaps in the future, you can look forward to a demonstration of soccer skills or a race around the nave by your fellow parishioners. I suggest that if you are often seeing the abominations to the Holy Mass that you describe, that you stop attending that parish and seek out a parish among all the parishes who have NOT re-scripted the Mass and do NOT allow these abominations. You’ll find quite a few reverent parishes in most cities and towns. And if you truly live in “Sodom” or “Gomorrah,” learn a lesson that Lot and his family apparently didn’t learn–LEAVE and move to a city/town with parishes that offer reverent Masses.

          • I respect your efforts to contribute to a reverent NO Mass with your organ lessons. As far as your other comments, I’m afraid you’re somewhat disconnected.
            You apparently believe that if you’ve been oblivious to particular evils, it means they’re rare or don’t exist, or if they do exist, we can just ignore them and give no mind as to what it might indicate about a weakened ecclesial culture and the damage it has done.
            You might decide to trivialize such things as considering what effect displacing a crucifix with Mr. Rogers Neighborhood felt banner sentimentality has in the life of children who might be called to go to jail someday to defend values they were never inspired to believe, but there are shelves of books, not just this one article, that have delt with the crisis of liturgy for decades should you care to ever become serious about the matter.
            Nude dancers, whose very action, by intention, is meant to promote the ethos of a sex revolution that also perpetuates the abortion holocaust, not to mention the deconstruction of a Catholic moral witness, might seem somewhat trivial to you, and seem acceptable in such places like my vale of tears NYC, but it doesn’t occur here simply because there happens to be more professionals around. It occurs when the culture of a civilization or a religion declines to where it loses its truthful vision that the human condition is permanently imperfectible, that it can only be the cultivation of changeless personal virtue that sustains it from complete destruction and instead substitutes the evil fiction that some sort of revolutionary spirit can alter the human condition and propel it on a path that will eventually being about the perfection of humanity once and for all. When such evil fictions become pervasive, as it has in tens of thousands of different ways in history, that civilizational or ecclesial moral culture is mortally wounded short of the miraculous intervention of God.
            Additionally, to cure you of the notion that liturgical abuse is not common, and that all of God’s sinful children haven’t been receptive to being further corrupted by this abuse than their own sinful pride would affect, you might want to view the YouTube videos on liturgical abuse.

          • My son attended Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons school in Schenectady, NY. Around his junior year (2012), they held “Mass” in the school gym. With a church a block away, they held “Mass” in the gym. The gifts were interpretively danced up the aisle of the gym to the “altar” by teenage girls scantily clad and thinking they were reverent.

            Where in the USA do you find this? In your own neighborhood and city or town. I was blessed to have had a reason not to attend that “Mass.” And I find reason not to attend anything at that school since my son was graduated.

            I attend the TLM at a Carmelite-run church in Troy, NY. It is more crowded every week. One of the most important reasons for me to be there is that everyone (everyone) treats the church as a sacred space. Silence and prayer before and after Mass. Respect and purpose. 90 minutes of what feels like….Mass.

            I also, sometimes, attend Mass at a little church in Cairo for which my husband is sacristan. I have taken to coming as late as possible to avoid the roar of whispers and laughter, well, and outright talking. The young pastor is a lovely, holy man and I know he is doing his best to exemplify reverence…The rest will seem like gossip, and I try my best to avoid that sin.

            Many of us see abominations. Consider yourself blessed that you have what you consider a good parish.

            I feel that “monderization” is what has hurt the Church. If we had to change things, was it not a good thing from the start? Was Christ wrong?

          • Mrs. Whitlock:

            In my parish we have no balloons, clowns or dancers, just a a lot a of distressingly trite, insipid music with matching lyrics. We also have A large majority of parishioners and clergy who walk past the Tabernacle at close range without so much as glancing at it, let alone rendering any gesture of reverence. It’s hard to conclude that they stand in awe and fear of the Real Presence, even when the Host is exposed in a monstrance. On that basis, it’s not surprising that the annual First Communion Masses more closely resemble the local Public School’s annual student talent show in which parents can proudly note their kids’ performance. But then, most of those parents don’t believe in or aren’t even aware of the Church’s doctrine of the Eucharist, as I learned repeatedly teaching 2nd grade CCD for 15 years. Things are in very bad shape.

      • Sorry, but which “root cause” are you referring to? The links in your post don’t really indicate what that is.

    • The SSPX is founded on pride and disobedience, and you know whose work that is. Find a faithful priest saying a reverent Mass, whether it’s Maronite, Novus Ordo or Tridentine.

      • Lucy, you have my personal invitation to attend. Please do not hesitate. You are always, always, always welcome! God Bless you!

        • Mark, thank you for the invitation, but no thank you.
          I have a local ordinary (Bishop) who has given a faithful and holy priest to our parish. Our pastor offers the Sacrifice of Christ in which I’m happy to assist. I’m perplexed that you would think this isn’t taught or doesn’t occur in Catholic parishes. The bishop has also made the Tridentine Mass available, in accordance with the norms of the Church. There’s no need for me to even think of seeking out an organization, such as the SSPX, which has no canonical status in the Church.
          “No canonical status” means acting in disobedience, against the lawful authority of the bishop. In taking part in this disobedience , you may or may not be culpable, but you’re definitely putting your soul in peril.

          • Isn’t it a wonderful thing overall that we are “arguing” about ATTENDING Mass and being avid Catholics? Let us both pray for those that have abandoned the faith, those that have left the Church, those that have declared there is no God, those lost to the world, the flesh and the devil. They need our prayers.

      • How about being founded on the notion that humanity is not “evolving” away from original sin and on its way to Utopia as so many in the prideful VII Church said it was.

    • You lost me when you advocated going to a SSPX service. Appearance of piety is not piety. They aren’t in communion with Rome. Just another protestant denomination.

      • Rather than chase tails, I’ll refer you simply to the FRUIT. It is abundant. Point to the equivalent in the Novus Ordo . . .

          • Dear Edith, I was unable to reply to your comment above regarding the presence of Our Lord in the tabernacle and His becoming present on the Cramner Table in the Novus Order Mass. The full and now untold story of the Sacrifice of the Mass is no longer taught. We, in continuing the tradition of the church, OFFER the Son TO THE FATHER at the supplication. We give the sacrifice of the Son TO the Father on our behalf as a propitiatory sacrifice. That profound offering is a continuation of the sacrifices of the Jews of old. In our place, we “assist” the priest in this endeavor and holocaust the victim at the altar of the communion rail so that nothing remains to, possibly, be used in any profane manner. 99% of those that attend the Latin Mass are convicted that, when consecrated, that host IS the real presence. Meanwhile, in the Novus Ordo, at best, 20% might. Thus, the church of 50 years that you attend, is trying to revive the eucharist. In our SSPX chapel, the continuation of the churches 2,000 years liturgical history, we are engaged in a Eucharistic Crusade. The Novus Ordo represents what little remains of Catholicism after Hannibal Bugnini and company eradicated all that was objectively Catholic. If that doesn’t trouble you, you could likely attend a protestant service and get just as much from it as any Novus Order Mass you attend. I’m a Catholic. I was called to be a Catholic. I encourage you to attend a Latin Mass. By the way, if ever we meet in this life, don’t be offended if I turn my back to you when addressing you. Jesus is in me, too, so why actually face you when speaking to you?

          • Dear Mark Tabish, “…the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit” (Ecclesia Dei, JP II). SSPX hijacked “Tradition” but Tradition is only in the one only Holy Apostolic Church, the mystical body of CHRIST, 2000 years ago, present and to the end of the ages. “Formal adherence to the schism (SSPX) is a grave offence against God…” The N.O. is in tradition of the last supper and the beginning of the Church in Holy Simplicity. You keep making false accusations against the Church. Your zealous pursuit of new members for the TLM, you say, brings fruit. It is not about Latin or English, and beauty can be in a hut in the jungle where mass is celebrated. Good fruits are from the Holy Spirit! ” “The fruit of the Holy Spirit is CHARITY, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, BENIGNITY, GOODNESS, LONGANIMITY, MILDNESS, FAITH MODESTY, CONTINENCY, CHASTITY.” (Galater 6:22,23). Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness and gentleness. and not condemnation, false claims, denunciation, blame and false accusations. I do pray for you to unite to the true Holy Apostolic Church which permits many rites. God bless!

          • I read every thing you wrote and I have read everything you wrote and have read a plethora of other unfavorable things about the SSPX from several sources. By the way, stepping back and looking objectively at the entire dialog reveals a grace: you and I are both attending Mass, loving God and living Catholicism. What more is there? Until the Church finds an appropriate manner in which it can make room for what it embraced as authentic Catholicism for the last 2,000 years, we should be blessed in the knowledge that the SSPX continues to grow, flourish and bring souls divine grace and Salvation. Deo Gratias!

  7. We NEED LEADERS in our church NOT POLITICIANS. We need to follow Vacation Two, NOT going backwards to the 1500’s.
    We can’t just pray for changes we need to DO SOMETHING for change.
    We need clergy that is living life with the congregation and NOT ACTING SO HOLY and PIOUS.

    • Do you have any sense that a belief that truth changes is the very definition of atheism? And if you desire Satinism of “vacation 2”, whatever that is, to replace holiness and piousness, perhaps you’re in the wrong forum.

  8. I think too there are no real role models at the pulpit. No courage No wisdom. I remember my young nephews( 10 years ago) in awe of their parish priest just walking down the street. Tall dignified and with a collar on. Kids are attracted to the uniform like a fireman That goes for nuns also. More respect when in their habit.

  9. That is so simplistic. The fact is that the bishops are not overtly promoting vocations and are not asking the laity to support and promote vocations. A CEO doesn’t wait for the employees to promote the company he does it himself. It is the bishop’s responsibility to call labourers into the vineyard and not depend on the labourers themselves themselves to call others. I know of bishops who dropped seminarians only to have them apply to other dioceses and be accepted. Bishops seem to be waiting for the Church to die.

  10. Early on, I had the impression that Vatican II was supposed to fix this kind of thing. “Modernizing” the Church would make it more popular. Catholic leadership has failed, failed miserably. It will continue to fail, because I see nothing that changes the basic premises of the current Church.

  11. We should avoid another Church scandal: The scandal of Catholic Schools. They are now too expensive for the poor.
    The Catholic Schools must give up general education in those countries where the State is providing it. The resources of the Church could then be focused on “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” and other programs which can be kept open to the poor. These resources could then be used to help society become more human in solidarity with the poor. Remember, the Church managed without Catholic Schools for centuries. It can get along without them today. The essential factor from the Christian point of view is to cultivate enough Faith to act in the Gospel Tradition, namely, THE POOR GET PRIORITY. The rich and middle-class are welcome too. But the poor come first.

    • About the preferential option for the poor, St. John Paul II offered this expansive (inclusive!) definition:

      “This option is not limited to material poverty, since it is well known that there are many other forms of poverty, especially in modern society—not only economic, but cultural and spiritual poverty as well” (Centesimus Annus, 1993, n. 57).

      Which brings us to the fundamental issue of word meanings and language…

      Not only vernacular versus Latin, but the fact that the outside and modern world has no understanding whatsoever of the revealed Christian language of reality. Something not limited to the sensate, quantitative, mass produced, digitized, political–and managed and mismanaged.

      How, then, to rediscover a sacral cosmos, within a creating and sustaining God–who is Other than ourselves? And, moreover, Who is Really Present sacramentally in the Eucharist? Only then might we witness an uptick in priestly vocations from the wreckage of our distracted consumer culture.

    • Your comments are somewhat off-topic but definitely contradictory. You state that “the Church managed without Catholic Schools for centuries”, but claim that we must prioritize provision of Catholic Schools for the poor. So would the poor be better off with or without access to a Catholic School?
      In truth, dioceses and parishes provide help for tuition to poorer families.
      Unfortunately, the inability to “afford” tuition is often a result of misplaced priorities by the parent(s), i.e. the need to have the latest smart phones, buying ‘fast food’ instead of cooking (much cheaper) meals, having all cable/satellite TV channels available, driving a Lexus/BMW/Mercedes instead of a Chevy, wearing overpriced fashions and hair styles, etc. I personally overheard a mother who is always in financial trouble say “I should really have the things that I want, shouldn’t I?”.
      Based upon your apparent concern for the Catholic education of the poor, I’m sure that you have been inspired to provide extra assistance to your local poor for their Catholic School tuition.

  12. When we received our wonderful Priest Fr. Ruben from Mexico, he chose not to say daily Mass for us, due to the fact that he spoke no english. All our daily Mass goers assured him that we would be elated to have daily Mass said in Spanish. Fr. Ruben did give daily Spanish Mass for us. Confession as well.

      • As I remember Flannery O’Connor used to speak of fellow Southern Catholics who couldn’t understand and wouldn’t go to Confession with Yankee Priests. Every generation has it’s own take leading back to similar thoughts. By the way if you speak another language you will soon find out Google Translate is not very helpful but does give the illusion that it might accurate, it’s not. I would hate to see someone condemned to a fiery Gehenna over an inaccurate translation.

        • I was only halfway seriously suggesting Google Translate. Ive used it in the past and while it’s not completely accurate it’s not too bad. If you already have a little knowledge of a language it can be very helpful.

  13. Blame it on poor leadership from the Vatican and down to parish level.
    With derogatory comments coming from P. Francis about large Catholic families, his blessing pro-abortion Joe Biden, and his war against traditional Catholics, is it any wonder why there is such a lack of vocations.
    If only the “cancelled” priests like Fr. Altman, Fr. Pavone and others were allowed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, vocations would flourish.
    Kudos to this African priest.

    • Its a lack of leadership. The church is nothing but a franchise system with lots of chiefs and not enough indians. The Pope should be the leader of ALL the church or he is pointless.

  14. Perhaps the Church is shedding those who identified with the Church outwardly, but we’re never converted. It may be a healthy sign that we are loosing members, perhaps we are getting “ leaner and meaner “. Vocations WILL grow when the Church is marginalizied prosecuted and persecuted. We will be forced underground eventually but we will be strong and vibrant. The only way this scenario could be avoided would be a general awakening in society in general and a returning to generally accepted morality. It has happened many times before and could, please God, happen again. In the meantime we, Christians, must gird up our loins and prepare for spiritual battle. May God bless us all!!

    • James, I used to think similar things. Then, I attended a Latin Mass. This is actually what is happening: the Novus Order church prays for vocations . . . and the Latin Mass parishes are receiving them. Deo Gratias!

  15. Yes we have half empty churches and priests that have trouble speaking English along with that a mass written for us to be acceptable to protestants. What more can we expect to have. All we were promised was the old mass in English. What we were given was a new service and a new concept . More of a meal and less of a sharing in the Sacrifice. That is why we now have a table and not an Altar. The service is more about community and less about communication with God.

  16. There are 19,000 Permanent Deacons in the USA and 6 percent are widowed or unmarried. Why can’t the Bishops ordain these men for the priesthood after being properly trained? Btw, I’m too old (86).

    • great idea….why dont we devalue the fake values we have already have instead of fixing where we are going wrong in the first place!!

    • The first and most important consideration here is one of vocation. God originally called these men to the diaconate. It doesn’t necessarily follow that a call to the priesthood occurs simply because a man has circumstantial eligibility for ordination.

      At the same time, if one of those men discerns a call to the priesthood and is eligible in all other ways, then absolutely, he should follow his vocation to where the Lord leads him.

    • I’ve heard this before. It represents for me an offense against God’s call to serve the Church as a deacon. The diaconate is sufficient in itself. Deacons are not junior priests or “priests in the making.” We’re not talking about a “job” in the Church (that is the argument women who favor ordaining women as deacons use, i.e. they can execute the functions of deacons as well as any man). No, the diaconate is a vocation in its own right. I hope I don’t too prickly on this topic but it does raise my hackles when I hear it.

  17. The Catholic Church will not be able to meet its potential goal
    of saving souls if its school children are not attending
    Sunday Mass every week . Deacon John Lorenzo
    The same is true for inspiring and developing young men to become priests.

  18. Mary Eberstadt talks about this in her book “How the West Really Lost God” (yes, should be underlined, all caps, or italicized) and “ Adam and Eve After the Pill, Revisted.” Both are worth reading.

  19. Lots of interesting issues and perspectives in these comments.
    But back to the title! Carl, your attempt at rationalizing sloppy language is less than impressive (and surprising coming from a professional scribe). Mrs. Cracker, don’t worry. Supposedly undereducated people don’t have a monopoly on the overuse/misuse of “less”. It’s everywhere. Lately, I’m noticing the use of “perpetuating” when I suspect the writer (frequently a supposedly educated person) means “perpetrating”.
    The battle continues! Clear language, clear thinking. Sloppy language . . . I don’t even want to think about it!

    • Well, at least I know the difference between perpetrating and perpetuating.
      I live in a region where people are pretty informal with grammar so some things go right over my head.

    • Yo, Gilberta,
      Do try “thinking about it.” Could be that the writer of “perpetuating” actually means that, as in continuing to perpetuate the perpetration. And as for weather (sp!) “less” should be used less or more, consider this perspective on simplicity from the famous modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: “Less is more.”

  20. what would it take to convince you that your religion isn’t any different from the countless other ones you already take for granted as made-up (false)? would it be merely a 90% or greater drop in believers over the next 50 years, or would you actually need another billion+ years for the sun to swell and heat and consume a then-uninhabitable earth then-bereft of any biological life to convince you that jesus isn’t “coming back”?

  21. the catholic church has long enjoyed a privilege that it never rightly earned in the first place… massive (albeit baseless) agreement from the common folk; millions of answer-crazed, fear-centric, non-skeptical, adult children gifting their unquestioning fealty to the church and swallowing whatever it placed into their hearts and minds and mouths. but now in the 21st century, the chickens have come home to roost, because the problem that existed since day one is now more glaring now more than ever… how come the more one investigates “faith”, the less sense it makes? that is a MAJOR red flag. your days are numbered friends.

    • Dear Andrew, Paul was persecuting the first Christians. It took the God Incarnate Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, only one little inkling instant to convert his heart for ever by appearing to him in His glory. It seems to me that you are searching for truth of existence. Go straight to the Lord of love and life; go into a Catholic Church where He dwells in His divine substance, and ask Him directly, do you exist, what is Truth! I dare you, and I pray for you!

      • Dear Edith, following the moment when Christ confronted Paul – throwing him from his high horse, Paul’s heart was not changed. That may have been the catalyst for what transpired in his life; but, Paul went into exile for 3 full years before he re-emerges. Real conversion, like one witnesses in St. Paul, takes time.

        • Mark, I believe his heart was changed in the split of a second; by the force of God Himself he was converted. He was ready to believe and love the radiant Christ. The Lord told Ananias to baptize him, “I will show him (not that he will be a great preacher or apostle) how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). Paul accepted to suffer and follow Christ in the Holy Spirit. I can tell you that it only took a second for Jesus to transform me completely like lightning. Paul tells of all his tremendous sufferings in 2 Cor 11)

      • Don’t be so quick to believe religion haters are “searching” for truth when they are obviously searching for even greater levels of infantile falsehoods to prop up a cowardly world view more given to applauding crimes against humanity than an explanation of existence that would allow consideration for personal sacrifice.

    • And how do you account for the invincible foolishness and gullibility of religion hatred? It’s actually very easy to understand. Less so among the invincibly foolish and gullible.

  22. I had some ideas to fix the situation and provide a 6 or 7 point plan. But think the practical fix is an emphasis on catechesis on the mass, Eucharist, sacraments. Priest also preaching the importance and offering confessions multiple times during the week, making Eucharist Adoration available, encouraging praying the rosary and encouraging periodic fasting, such as on Fridays. Also maybe encouraging prayer to the Holy Spirit to guide the church out of this dire situation

  23. A happenstance now common in the agony of a dying faith.

    Long overdue and fully merited. Schade.

    The perennial clerical rape of children, and the thousands of inquisitorial crimes throughout the centuries counterpoint unctuous Catholic discourse. Predictable, superannuated rhetoric, yet the clerical intelligentsia and hack scribblers busily go at it on and on, forever spinning ever the more stillborn, abstruse drivel from dogmatic tenets. The rot no longer wins followers. Requisite therapy: Francisco Sanches, o cético (Portugal, 1550-1622): “Quod nihil scitur” (1581). Learn to doubt.

    We are informed that Russel Shaw, the author of the article, has written a “Life of Jesus”. There are so many; going all the way back to the gospel and even obliquely, to the Old Testament. A cheeky pretence. For there is no incontrovertible proof that Jesus of the ‘mythos’ ever existed.The most that one could say is that Jesus of the ‘mythos’ is a religious assumption, with nothing more than the reified ‘evidence’ of a cult of some two thousand years prolongation that has made some of its functionaires -popes and prelates- tremendously wealthy and powerful, veritable arbiters of the earthly trajectory and resolution to the ‘metaxy’ of millions of human beings.

    The sport continues: in the U.S, catholic activists, priests, prelates, and financiers have secured through their coreligionists monopoly of the SCOTUS. Now a majority of its Catholic Judges impose on a secular nation of Protestant background Catholic taboos suffering the womanhood of the nation to risk death and existential hardship. If they survive, the probable destruction of any fruitful possibility to their lives. It is incumbent on U.S. citizens who cherish liberty to see to it that these individuals be purged from the SCOTUS. They throttle the will of the majority of the nation’s women.

    • Just stop with the progressive drama here. The SCOTUS has re-established the primacy of the rule of law and Constitutional principles. You have no constitutional right to destroy life because it’s inconvenient. If you claim to be Catholuc, that should come as no surprise.

      • The U.S. is a secular state predicated on the collective ballot will of its citizens expressed through its elected representatives. In turn, the will of the SCOTUS does not proceed directly from the ballot will of the citizens, rather, theoretically, from the collective will of the national Congress that validates the appointment of the SCOTUS Justices. The SCOTUS thereby is at a double distance from the collective will of the citizenry. Nonetheless, given that the U.S. is nominally a democracy, it behoves the SCOTUS to be ever sensitive to the dominant collective will of the citizenry, lest its judgements contradict it, and not with impunity. Yet this is precisely what Alito and his retrograde Catholic cronies in the SCOTUS committed by abrogating Roe vs. Wade -think of conservative, Republican Kansas and its womenfolk formally opposed to the abrogation of Roe vs. Wade; think the repeated pundit readings of loss of popular respect for the pseudo high priests of law in the SCOTUS-. The gang of abrogators led by Alito, wrapped, of course their initiative in legalese, yet their achievement has failed to persuade those aggrieved, namely, the majority of U.S. womanhood, and not only those of child-bearing age.

        In due time, there will be a day of reckoning. Maybe it will be soft, i.e., if in 2024 the Democrats secure both houses of Congress, a Democratic packing of the SCOTUS with three or four more judges, all democrat liberals, to assure the overturn of Alito’s annulment of Roe vs. Wade would be feasible. Perhaps, also the impeachment of all the Judges who voted to eliminate a major feminine right.

        As for the RCC, having outlived by far its cultural eclipse of long ago, it is now a lost cause certainly in the Western world of both sides of the Atlantic. And by this I include all of America, the whole continent, not only the U.S. The best chance of some RCC survival may be in Africa, in the Philippines and Vietnam, maybe also in China. Beijing could some day be the fourth Rome.

        Of Popes, Papa Bergoglio is the best of the batch since Papa Roncalli. Pope Paul was pathetic, in his inability to prevent the destruction of the ‘lex orandi’. Papa Ratzinger wrote very well, like Mozart, but Ratzinger had difficulty in juggling fact and fable. He strove hard to translate the tale of Jesus Christ into a historical fact. And he failed. One thing is the theandric Jesus, son of a virgin and of God. This is Jesus of the Christian mythos, a make-believe coined as the dramatis persona and agent of a new religion. For there is no incontrovertible evidence that theandric Jesus Christ ever factually existed. In favour for the theandric Jesus of the mythos are the tendentious gospels, three supposedly based on ‘Quelle’ never determined, and the fourth, by an author named John, an individual of masterful narrative skill who seems to have had some familiarity with the Plotinian recension of Platonic philosophy, with which he advances forcefully the divinization of Jesus. He also betrays animus toward the Hebrews as a collective opposed to Jesus, thereby he may well have been the first on record whose literary influence as an evangelist contributed to the origin of antisemitism that has plagued Christianity and thereby the Western world throughout the centuries.

  24. The ratio of priests to parish has been steadily declining for decades.
    The ratio of priests to Sunday-Mass-goers has remained pretty consistent throughout.

    To get vocations, we don’t need to talk about vocations, so much as we need to show up. And to evangelize – both non-Catholics and Catholics, and stop using birth control.

  25. Priest should be allowed to marry. I know some left because they could not marry. Being a priest is lonely. A good marriage can be a good thing. I know ministers who are happily married and still serve their congregations totally.
    If you do not want to marry, that is fine also.

    • Being a parish priest can definitely be lonely but that has a connection to the current shortage of priests. A priest living alone & perhaps serving 2-3 parishes wasn’t always the norm. Nor was the large number of single, lonely laypeople we see today.
      Most people flourish more in community whether that be in a family, a religious order, or a rectory with more than one priest.
      A good marriage can be a good thing indeed, but a bad marriage can be a disaster, especially for a church. I’ve seen a Protestant congregation split in two when their pastor & his wife’s marriage imploded. Some people took the wife’s side, some the pastor’s.
      I’m not against married priests on principle but I do l know that there are sound, practical reasons to be very cautious about it.

  26. Andrew Williams explain to me your thoughts about how the world,society would be like without religion. No one from the begining ever believed in God. No people ever spoke about God. No Abramhan, no Moses no prophets nada. No Budda, Hindu, Muslim nothing. How would society be like today.

    • No need for an explanation from a troll. The history of the 20th century, with its attended destruction of hundreds of millions of uses, gives ample testimony to what life becomes when people abandon God.

      • For those who conjecture there is no God!

        Psalm 53:1- To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one…

        Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

        Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

        Psalm 10:4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”

        God bless you as you consider the matter

  27. In related news, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the New Immaculata has been finished. You can admire the product of FAITH and Love of God here: https://www.anewimmaculata.org/blog/2023/07/03-construction-completed If you would like experience for yourself what it was to BE Catholic, to have an authentic Catholic Identity, seek out an SSPX Chapel. They are NOT suffering what Cardinal Ratzinger said was an “identity crisis” post V2 like the Novus Ordo Church. Stop sharing your spiritual journey with people whose car bumpers are covered with “coexist” stickers and “Elect Biden/Obama” stickers. That’s THEIR church. That’s not God’s Catholic Church. Deo Gratias!

  28. Well Mark, I do hear you but how do we evangelize or inform those who may have strayed from or misunderstood Church teaching? I haven’t seen those kinds of bumper stickers in our parish parking lot but I used to see them frequently at an Episcopal church that hosted square dances. I quit going after they announced that men and women’s dancing roles should be gender fluid. Seriously. Wokeness has infected almost everything it seems.
    Wow. That’s quite an amazing church in the video you shared, thank you.

  29. We attended a Catholic Church for 2+ years when we moved to Vero, we would see our priest at church and at the local gym, he is about 10-13 younger than us, he would never look at us or talk to us. Never welcoming, kind, or loving, just dismissive, judging, avoiding, and ignoring us. We never pushed anything with him. After about 2+ years, we just switched to another church where we found the priest to be more loving, kind, and welcoming, even inviting us to his events. We have been going there now and at peace with our church. Recently, our old priest asked us at the gym if we still go to his church, we said no we switched to another church, we were honest to him about why. He was livid and not nice mocking us. There was no charity from him, never kind or loving. I think he has some insecurity or demon he is wrestling with, nonetheless we just stopped going there, I hope we do not have to quit our gym now. He never spoke to us at church or the gym until he asked us if we were still at his church. We do pray for him and I asked him to pray for us too. We didn’t want to make a big deal of it, just move on and be peaceful, we have found more peace and a priest who is more like Jesus at our new church. The priest at a church makes a difference for sure. It is sad when you get one so indifferent and unlike Jesus. Priests need our prayers.

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