donate

Earthblog

A Real-World Joomla! Template

 
80 Years of Converts: the Ups and Downs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 20 March 2010 10:57
Holy Week and Easter are nearly upon us and there has been considerable talk about the large numbers of adults entering the Church this year through the RCIA process.

I'm going through my files and it is amazing the stuff I have collected over the years and forgotten about.  Like a wonderful little statistical report that the US Catholic Bishops put out in 2000:  Stats for all sorts of aspects of the American Church's life from 1789 - 1998.

Including the number of conversions to Catholicism in the US beginning in 1930.

So I made up this handy chart (Tom over at Disputations is going to be pea-green with envy!)

slide1-778468




The sign posts:

The starting point in 1930: 38,232 become Catholic

A big leap in "converts" between 1930 and 1940 (a 93% increase!)

The pre-Vatican II high point: 146,212 who entered in 1960.

The post-Vatican II low point was the 75,123 who become Catholic in 1975

Then John Paul II becomes Pope and a huge recovery begins. By 1995, an average of 160,000 adults are being received each year.  The overall high point comes in 2001 when 178,000 enter, nearly 5 times as many as in 1930.

In 2006, 157,000 become Catholic.

The last year for which we have figures is 2008 during which 124,000 entered, a drop of 54,000 or a 30% drop in 7 years.

In 2009, no definitive count was issued but round estimates of 150,000 floating about.  And in 2010, some dioceses are reporting record numbers but we won't know the final total for a couple years.

In response to popular demand, here is graph of the Catholic population during the same years - with the exception of 2006 and 2008, which my graph refuses to include for some reason.  But since the Catholic population of the US just continued its slow climb in 2006 and 2008, the resulting graph shows the basic trajectory.  As of 2009, the US Bishops state that there are 68.1 million Catholics in the US which is a bit higher than the CARA figure.

slide2-749591




Catholic population growth really took off during the baby boom and has never stopped since.  20 million in 1930.  Nearly 70 million today. We are the only western country that is expected to continue to grow through 2050.  It is estimated that the US will have nearly 100 million Catholics by 2050 and will be the second largest English speaking Catholic country after the Philippines.

Summary:  The reality is considerably more complicated than the paradigm that is accepted as fact so readily about the net: of steady growth followed by a single big drop after Vatican II.

The truth is we don't really know exactly why these swings in conversions occured. Why the big surge between 1930 and 1940,for instance?  The Nazis had marched into Poland and begun World War II in September of 1939 but was war and rumors of war the only factor driving conversion?  

Why the big drop from 157,000 in 2006 to 124,000 in 2008?  The scandal was 4 years old in 2006 but the numbers were still high.  Just a fluk?  Bad counts? Generational Shift?

where is God in all this?

What do you think?
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Order From Our Store

RSS

Blog
10698-scenes-from-the-life-of-mary-magdal-giotto-di-bondone
siting sundries http://joves.cat/trobada/wp-content/plugins/akismet/noticia353.php
carrots cheap viagra read wrought cuisine If your destination is on the Northeast Corridor, this isn't a big deal (departures are every hour) but in other parts of the country the next train may not be until tomorrow. If your reservations involved sleeper accommodations (Amtrak's First Class on their long-distance overnight trains) on either your late-arriving train or your missed connection, you will get a hotel voucher for the unplanned overnight stay. Customer Service will commonly offer travel vouchers of $100 or more off future Amtrak travel to inconvenienced passengers. This is true for all classes of service. If you plan to board an Amtrak train at a location other than the train's initial place of departure, it's usually a good idea to call ahead before you leave for the station to see if the train is running on time. A major Amtrak line in regular daily use by Americans is the Acela Express line, running between Boston and Washington, D. Financial and managerial accounting principles. Basic accounting statements, processes, and management applications. Open to all students. Crocodyliform systematics and diversity, with the description of new taxa from the Cretaceous of Texas. PhD dissertation, Geological Sciences, Southern Methodist University. Digital paleoart: reconstruction and restoration from laser-scanned fossils. MS thesis, Drexel University, 228 p. She tends to spend her evenings sleeping at friends' houses. Although she appears close to her brother, I know she sees and is influenced him. She gets no reward, but the son gets free cable, food, sleeping until noon and no curfew. I don't see any change and am now having to make the hard decisions for my own life, which don't include any of the ongoing drama. My BF and I both agree that his son could not move into my home (which would ultimately be our home), so I am left to wait. Ever hopeful, he solicited funding for renewing his plans for a conquest of Mexico, but was rebuffed. Spanish Florida or British possessions in the Caribbean. After returning from Europe, Burr used the surname "Edwards," his mother's maiden name, stendra for a while to avoid creditors. With help from old friends Samuel Swartwout and Matthew L. Burr was able to return to New York and his law practice..