“One of the challenges we face is
that when attendance dips below
40% of the building capacity, the
quality of the liturgical experience
begins to be affected.”
– Fr. Bill
Every May and October the archdiocese asks us to count the number of people attending Mass in-person. This helps them in their planning for assigning priests and judging the viability of a community. Prior to COVID (2018), the average attendance at St. John the Baptist on a weekend was 1,048 which utilized 65.5% of the seating capacity of the church.
Last October, when we were still in the midst of COVID and had a general dispensation from attending Mass in person, the average weekend attendance was 571. As we are emerging from COVID and are now encouraged to attend Mass in person, our May count was 699, which utilized only 43.7% of our seating capacity. Here is the breakdown by Mass.
Though we saw a significant gain from last October to May, we still have a lot of rebuilding to do from the devastation COVID racked upon our worshiping community. One of the challenges we face is that when attendance dips below 40% of the building capacity, the quality of the liturgical experience begins to be affected. This is held in tension with the unique identity each Mass has and the community that has formed at each particular Eucharistic celebration.
If you have not yet returned to in-person participation at Mass, please consider doing so. If you are at Mass, please invite others to join you. We also may need you to step forward and take on a liturgical ministry. With fewer people, more will be needed as lectors, servers, Eucharistic ministers, sacristans, and other ministries.
Together, let us continue rebuilding our worshipping community and enhancing the quality of our celebrations by “full, active and conscious participation.” The smaller the number at Mass, the greater the need to participate.