Recent studies have determined that between 25% and 30% of American Catholics are at Mass on any given Sunday. (Statistics on Sunday Mass attendance vary a great deal by region: Catholics in western Kentucky and the Dakotas, for example, have been clocked at 75% - 80%. At the other end would be the Archdiocese of Boston, which reports attendance rates of 12% - 15%.)
Imagine truancy rates such as these in our schools.
But life in the parish goes on, as it always has. There seems to be more than enough work to keep a pastor busy. And let us be thankful for the folks who do show up for Mass. Perhaps we'll make a little joke about "C & E" Catholics at the over-crowded Christmas and Easter Liturgies. At least we're not like those crazy evangelical and fundamentalist churches, using scare tactics and emotional salesmanship to fill the pews.
When was the last time you heard your pastor say, "Please do everything you can to get your family members back to Mass next week?" "Wouldn't it be great to see a hundred more of our parishioners back in Church?" "If you know someone who needs to talk to a priest before he or she would be willing to come back to the Church, I am eager to meet with them."
Jesus said (and says even now), "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you do not have life within you." (John 6:53) Jesus the Good Shepherd left the ninety-nine to find the one lost sheep. What sort of shepherd is unconcerned that seventy-five of the one hundred in his flock are astray on any given Sunday?