Sunday 19 April 2009

Seventh Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

A glorious late Spring afternoon saw a congregation of 17 (including 3 young children and 4 people from another Diocese) attend the seventh monthly Latin Mass in Newbridge. Fortunately, the attendance exceeded the lowest attendance (February) and knocked the previously second-lowest attendance (March) into third place.

However, the fall in attendance from March to April was only 20%, which is an improvement on the most recent previous falls from November to December, which was over 25%, and from January to February, which was almost 50%. It might now be possible to speak of a statistical trend, if not an average attendance.

The promise which dawned with the removal of responsibility for these Masses from the Edinburgh/Rome apostolates of the Fraternity to the apostolate in England is yet to bear fruit. Another, more worrying trend is the continuing refusal of permission for Latin Masses in other parts of the Diocese premised upon these monthly Masses.


Anonymous said...

Interesting stats. Any reason for this trend? If there's no demand people will get bored once the novelty wears off. Maybe the generosity of the Parish was greater than the interest of the people.

Anonymous said...

A FSSP priest is coming all the way from England? That is crazy!! Why don't the local priests do something?

Anonymous said...

Cool graphs!

Anonymous said...

Looks like an average of 15 or 16. That's not bad compared with our congregation.

Anonymous said...

What is that naked cross doing there?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why anyone should refuse a mass because there is another one. Do you mean that you want another one in the same city or another place?

Anonymous said...

Shouldnt the FSSP be trying to promote the wider availability of the EF instead of limiting it?

Anonymous said...

Are people even being told that this is on? That works out at ten local adults. I'm wondering if the other Masses in the town are any better attended.

Anonymous said...

The other Masses in the town are very well attended indeed. In fact, a slight growth in numbers has been noticed of late, especially among younger families.

Anonymous said...

What population does this town have? I was at the Mass in Vicarstown yesterday and nearly 80 people attended. Vicarstown is difficult to get to and there isnt even a village so why dont they get the same numbers in a town like Newbridge? The church in Vicarstown is really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

In the 2006 Census the population of Greater Droichead Nua was 17,042 but the Parish is not the same thing as the town.

Compare that with the turn-out in Vicarstown which must have a population of less than 127 because it does not merit individual mention in the Census (or the next nearest town Stradbally with a population of 1,056) and take it that it was a Saturday not a Sunday.

Then look at the Mass that took place in March in Kilcock which has a population of 4,100 in the 2006 Census. The attendance seems to be inversly proportional to the population.

There must be a reason for this contrast. Either people lose interest after the first Mass or the Latin Mass appeals more to rural people or the situation in Droichead Nua has some unique factor that isn't obvious from a distance.

Anonymous said...

The church doesnt look really like an old church but the other churches in Vicstown and Kilcock look like the old style churches. Maybe thats a reason.

The church where I go go the old Mass is modernized but it still looks like a church and you can see the angels in the walls and the beautiful coloured glass is nearly a century old.

I dont think that the church in this picture looks like the latin style.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin" (see Vicarstown post) it gives the population of the Parish of Newbridge as approximately 20 thousand in 2000.

Anonymous said...

If we take 20,000 as a base figure in 2000 for the population of the Parish of Newbridge, we can extrapolate from successive Census returns the population trend in the area and give an approximate population of the Parish, at least in 2006, the most recent Census return available.

Population of Droichead Nua

1991 Census: 11,997
1996 Census: 13,363
2002 Census: 15,749
2006 Census: 17,042

That is an increase of 1,366 between 1991 and 1996 (11.3%); an increase of 2386 between 1996 and 2002 (17.9%); and an increase of 1,293 between 2002 and 2006 (8.2%).

Given the building boom in the third period, this seems a grossly incorrect figure, possibly skewed by the number of non-nationals who may not have made returns in 2006. This suspicion is more than confirmed by a Catholic Parish (whose data is closer to the reality on the ground) giving a figure 5-7,000 higher than the Census returns in 1996 and 2002 respectively.

At any rate, from these figures we can extrapolate that the population increase between 2000 and 2006 was something in the order of 14-15%, giving a total population for the Parish of Newbridge (as distinct from the town of Droichead Nua) of 23,000 souls.

The returns of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin for the Vatican Statistical Report 'Annuario Pontificio' for the last decade (K&L returns are frequently blatently incorrect and inconsistent) give a constant 93-94% of the population who are Catholics. This translates, roughly speaking, to a Catholic population for the Parish of Newbridge being 21,260.

The 2005 European Social Survey put weekly Mass attendance of Irish Catholics at 50%, roughly similar to the 2002 IMS poll. There was a large variation between rural and urban Catholics but assuming Newbridge to be somewhere in the middle, it would mean about 10,630 people attend Mass in Newbridge every Sunday.

Of those, about 10 (0.1%) attend the monthly Usus Antquior Mass. That constitutes a Mass for about 0.05% of the population.

At that rate, the Parish of Newbridge would want to provide 1,000 Masses every weekend to satisfy the verious quirks of its parishioners. In my father's house there are many mansions... but I'm glad I'm not doing the hoovering!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a very sad situation. It will be a disaster if it continues.