The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University conducted a survey in February 2008, the results of which were published in the report, Sacraments Today: Belief and Practice among U.S. Catholics. There are numerous interesting statistics, many of which are heartening, while others show that there is much work yet to be done. I want to focus on the section on The Mass and Eucharist.
Let's start with the question, "How important are each of the following aspects of the Mass to you?" For the aspect, "Receiving Eucharist/Holy Communion," for respondents who attend Mass at least a few times a year, 92% responded "Somewhat" or "Very Important". 74% responded "Very Important" only. This is good news that the Eucharist is such an important draw to Mass for Catholics, even those who attend only a few times in a year. While ideally the number of "Very Important" responses should be much higher than 74%, this is still a good sign. For those who identified receiving the Eucharist as "Somewhat" or "Very Important", the breakdown by how often the respondents attended Mass was as follows: Weekly or more - 97%; Less than weekly but at least monthly - 89%; A few times a year only - 88%. To no one's surprise, the more often one goes to Mass, the more one grows in love for Jesus in the Eucharist.
In the next post I'll continue through the Mass and Eucharist section of the study.