Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Translation Thursday: Most Catholics Are Unaware of the New Translation!

Welcome to another installment of "New Translation Thursday."





Have you seen the report from CARA regarding the new translation of the Missal?

These statistics did not come as a surprise to me, but they are telling.

In this new survey conducted by CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), Catholics were asked this question: Have you heard "that parishes in the United States will soon be implementing changes in the words and prayers at Mass at the direction of the Vatican?"

77% answered "no," which means that 44 million adult Catholics, at this point, don't know about the upcoming changes.

Of course, those who attend Mass more frequently are much more likely to respond that they do know about the changes. 57% of respondents who attend Mass at least once per week said that they were aware of the upcoming changes.

This is the statistic I find quite alarming. One would think that parishes would have begun some kind of education process at this point in time. Perhaps many parishes are waiting until the Fall, the beginning of the so-called "school year" to begin preparatory catechesis?

Some more stats. 34% of those who attend Mass once or twice a month report that they are aware of the changes. Not surprisingly, 9% of those who attend Mass only on large feasts (Easter and Christmas) said that they are aware.

Those in Catholic schools were surveyed as well. 31% of Catholic elementary school children, 39% of Catholic high school students, and 48 % of those who attend a Catholic university are aware of the changes.

33%  of Catholics with at least a bachelor's degree, 24% of those who have only a high school diploma and no further education, and 19% of those who did not graduate from high school know that the changes are coming.



Catholics over 68 years old know most about the upcoming changes (50%). 30% of those who are 51 to 67 years old are aware. The percentage continues to drop the younger the Catholic is. 20% of Catholics between the ages of 30 and 50 report knowing about the changes.



17% of those born after 1982 know about the changes.

The Midwest comes out on top as far as regions in the United States are concerned, with 36% knowing about the changes. In the Northeast and South, 25% know. And Catholics in the West come in at just 18%.

Folks, it seems like we have lots and lots of work to do to prepare our Catholic people for the changes. Knowing that change is coming is only one part of the equation here. Just because someone knows a change is on the horizon does not necessarily mean that they know what those changes are, why they are happening, nor what impact those changes will have on Catholic liturgical life and spirituality.

Do you find these statistics surprising?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

10 comments:

FJH 3rd said...

Well, the old adage "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" may well apply. Our parish of 2000+ families held some early intro sessions last fall, which probably drew a couple hundred. Currently, the five-part series on "A Biblical Walk Through the Mass", offered in an evening and a morning series, has attracted maybe 70 people total.

I think we need to realize that not all are as focused on liturgy, and church-related matters in general, as are those of us who follow blogs such as this one.

My hunch is the great majority will get clued in the few weeks before Advent when I'm sure the priests will be talking about it from the pulpit, and on 11/27 they'll pick up their worship aids and follow along.

B said...

Best accompanying photos ever.

Chironomo said...

I don't want to make an accusation per se, but with all of the talk about how much "resisitance" there would be and how there would be widespread opposition and rebellion among Catholics in the pews, is it any wonder that Pastors have decided to simply not let on until the last possible minute? What Pastor wants to deal with 6 months to a year of fighting this battle with parishioners who will(so it is said) be ready to walk out of the church at the news?

Of course, I think the claim is absolute nonsense, but those who want the project to be a failure have certainly made great inroads by bringing the preparation effort to a halt in many places.

jdonliturgy said...

One of my students in the University of Dayton online course on the new Missal put it best: sometimes we are at the mercy of the timeline of the institution. Because of the delay in getting the final text back until late spring, when parish ministry and programming is on the wane approaching the normal summer hiatus, it is not surprising that most parishes were waiting for fall to begin talking about this. The little surprise is that the USCCB in June decided we can begin the sung parts in September. In my diocese, I think very few parish leaders are ahead of the curve on this - especially the catechetical people. They were all thinking they would not have to deal with this until November.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised. I know you have been quite positive in encouraging everyone to see differently, but the bottom line is, even at my own progressive parish, people are not happy with the changes. More so, it's the leaders of the parish who are reading the blogs, not necessary the people in the pews. We are introducing the permitted new music parts at my parish on the weekend of September 10/11. This will be the first time that my parish will be hearing about the new translation in a more formal manner. I consider myself an educated person, but this new translation will be more of a challenge to understand and even at times, distracting. As I've been reading samples of the new prayers wherever I can on the Internet, I keep thinking...gosh, if the attendance on Sunday is low already, we'll see what happens after several months into the new liturgical year. What about our dual language learners, learning English as their second language, or adults with special or diverse learning needs?! Maybe we'll be surprised...

Anonymous said...

Chironomo, you don't want to make an accusation - but then you do.... Without directly asking pastors why they have waited to begin catechizing on the new Missal (itself an assumption, since they may have been doing just that... but no one reads all that is in the bulletin or the diocesan paper), why would you assume that it is out of fear? Your answer says more about you than the state of affairs. Take a look at the timetable put out by the USCCB... full-throttle parish catechesis wasn't slated to begin until this summer/fall anyway... perhaps efforts were being directed at parish leadership and lay ministers first... perhaps some pastors are so opposed to RM3 that they aren't going to do anything... perhaps others don't think liturgy is worth the time... perhaps.... You get the idea...

promusica said...

Indeed, in Ireland, many priests seem to be expressing shock and dismay that the new missal is coming. I recently played at a retreat for priests, using musical settings of the new translations, and over lunch, one of the participants said that he hated the way that "this new missal thing was sprung upon us". I politely informed him that sample texts had been out for at least two years, and that a new translation had been mooted almost ten years ago. Fail to plan, plan to fail...

Chironomo said...

Well no, Anon. I am speaking from personal experience. This is the reason my pastor gave to me as to why we have not yet announced anything to the parishioners about this. Another said to me personally "why go stirring things up before you have to?". It's not fear...it's just a very common attitude among pastors that you generally avoid unnecessary confrontations with parishioners.

"I don't want to make an accusation" is a rhetorical device. You do know what that is, no? I mean, I don't want to assume that you are in the dark about such things:)

I am directly involved in our diocesan catechetical efforts on the new translation for our priests. "Most" are not opposed, in fact the great majority are approaching it as they approach most other things liturgical, which is to do what they are supposed to do with as little disruption to the regular parish routine as possible. See above paragraph.

You are correct...efforts up to now have been directed at lay ministers (although this has been scarce in many places also) and efforts directed at the general population were not really to begin until September. And so, this poll is an actual "Dog bites Man" story... nothing really that unexpected here. However, my impression as I've already expressed is that many Catholics will hear about this for the first time around mid-November.

Chironomo said...

ProMusica...

Not surprisingly, Ireland is one of those places where the opposition effort has been particularly strong. And then you say that many priests seem to be unaware of it? A coincidence perhaps...or perhaps not.

Anonymous said...

I think Chironomo has a good point...

(This is a different anonymous.)

PS - Chironomo: Does the OLQM in your profile stand for the Our Lady, Queen of of Martyrs in Rhode Island? I used to go there!