Pre-Vatican II "Sunday only Catholics"
#1
This is a question for those of you old enough to remember the 1950's (or perhaps have heard from their elders). Prior to the Council were there many "Sunday only Catholics" - that is Catholics who went to Mass on Sunday but neglected their Faith the rest of the week. What I'm trying to find out is if the post-Vatican II period has resulted in a much smaller number of committed Catholics, or if when the cultural matrix fell away in the sixties the cultural Catholics fell away with it.
Reply
#2
(02-03-2012, 09:55 PM)Aragon Wrote: This is a question for those of you old enough to remember the 1950's (or perhaps have heard from their elders). Prior to the Council were there many "Sunday only Catholics" - that is Catholics who went to Mass on Sunday but neglected their Faith the rest of the week. What I'm trying to find out is if the post-Vatican II period has resulted in a much smaller number of committed Catholics, or if when the cultural matrix fell away in the sixties the cultural Catholics fell away with it.
[Image: JohnKennedy-10Years.gif]
Reply
#3
(02-03-2012, 09:55 PM)Aragon Wrote: This is a question for those of you old enough to remember the 1950's (or perhaps have heard from their elders). Prior to the Council were there many "Sunday only Catholics" - that is Catholics who went to Mass on Sunday but neglected their Faith the rest of the week. What I'm trying to find out is if the post-Vatican II period has resulted in a much smaller number of committed Catholics, or if when the cultural matrix fell away in the sixties the cultural Catholics fell away with it.

An interesting question.  I suspect there may be some sociological data but I’m not familiar with it.  I was born in 1951 and back then it seemed most people were Catholic or Protestant, and went to church on Sunday.  It was the socially acceptable thing to do.  Also, before more modern transportation and communication the church was a social hub for many people.  It was the one day some people “got off the farm” or the one opportunity for the family to go out and do something together (middle class families didn’t have the kind of disposable income families seem to today, especially large Catholic families).  Likewise many communities and even states had “blue laws” requiring bars, retail and entertainment establishments to be closed on Sunday.  There wasn’t much else to do, so might as well go to church and visit at the coffee hour.  When I was in college (1969 – 1973) a lot of fellow students quit going to church but most that I knew had been raised going to church.  Catholic students back then were a bit more likely to continue going to church than protestants (even if they had spent Friday and Saturday night fornicating with wild abandon).  Today I now work at a public university and it seems a very large number of students I encounter have had no religious upbringing and many Catholic students I know have “successfully kicked the going to church on Sunday habit” except for when they go home for a visit.  So, my observation is that there are fewer “Cultural Catholics” at Mass on Sunday today than during the 1950’s and among those at Mass today a higher percentage are there because they want to be rather than because they feel obligated to be but would rather not.

Another personal unscientific observation is that there are more “Cultural Catholics” (and “Cultural Orthodox”) than “Cultural Protestants”.  Those baptized Catholic, though they rarely if ever attend Mass any more, when asked if they have a religious affiliation will mostly still say they are Catholic.   A person with a Protestant background is more likely, in my experience, to say either they have no current affiliation or say something like “I was raised Presbyterian but I’m not anymore”.

Here is an interesting article on Sunday Mass attendance in the 1950’s and today:
http://nineteensixty-four.blogspot.com/2011/03/sunday-morning-deconstructing-catholic.html
Reply
#4
To expand a little more from M O'neil. in the big city we didn't have very much disposable income. Food, rent, tuition, and the Sunday $2.oo in the basket was just about all of it. That means no one had books laying around, no Lives of the Saints, or Denzingers,  Amazon wasn't delivering yet.
Sunday was Mass, and the big meal in the ethnic parts of the big city. We called it Pranzo. Many relatives and folks we called uncle and aunt came. Six kids going to Catholic School was a big deal, so everyone asked questions about the Sisters, how we were doing, and the American priests. If you are judging by knowledge as in education, we were barely Catholic. If you are measuring by objective fruits were Catholics.

My Aunt Marie had a very good job, because she had gone to a Commercial High School. She was the Comptroller for Hilton Hotels, and Sunday after Mass she rested and stayed home. When she came she always brought little gifts for our birthdays, communion, or confirmation, etc. Oh and a $1.oo for all of us kids, ten kids with my cousins upstairs. She was a big deal because she worked for and was friends with the Hiltons. She knew lots of important people, and she'd have them bring back medals from Italy when they returned. Me and my cousins that lived upstairs thought she was very very rich. She wasn't.

One of my grandmother's prized possession was a statue of the Infant of Prague, she kep ti in the tiny bedroom in the back where she slept. My ma had a 3' tall statue of the BMV, which my little brother knocked over accidently and chipped up pretty good. She tried to paint it up so you couldn't see, but eventuall she realized every one saw it, and she put the BMV in the closet. When the changes came everyone talked about the old neighborhood and the Parish Church where I was baptized and they grew up and lived for many years. Fr. Tom our pastor there would not cave to Cardinal Cody. All of the Italians that came from there did what ever they could to support him, either with work or money, no mtter what Parish they now lived in.

We were not saints, and we had friends and relatives that had stopped going to Mass long before Vatican II, but the changes shook the foundation of the community. Fr. Tom our priest and friend was attacked by the Cardinal. The Mass eternal from all time changed.  People quit. Priests quit. The Sisters quit. No one knew from week to week, what new innovation would be sprung on us at Mass. Many felt betrayed. No one knew which end was up.

It was a cultural upheaval. We were in diaspora. Where we all had moved people couldn't speak Italian, the Church was what we called American. No more Latin, no Anichini the butcher, no more Brodi and Nassi the pharmacists, no more Fathers, Tomas, or Gaitano, now it was James or Brian. At first no more Italians, and later no more Catholics.

For us it was from every direction. There was nothing left to hang on to anymore.

tim
Reply
#5
(02-03-2012, 11:42 PM)Tim Wrote: For us it was from every direction. There was nothing left to hang on to anymore. tim

Je me souviens.
Reply
#6
In the old days the parish was the 'hub' of a Catholic's existence whether it was Saturday confession, Sunday Mass, First Fridays and First Saturdays, Benediction, Adoration, etc. Unfortunately with a loss of faith and the worry of our global economy the parish is no longer the hub of a Catholic's existence but more like a 'rest stop.'
Reply
#7
Some just go to a parish to see the scantily clad women at mass.
When women stand up after sitting and they start "adjusting" their spandex pants and tight jeans/shorts, you know they didn't go because they believe in the Real Presence of the most Blessed Sacrament.
Same goes for guys in t-shirts and bermuda shorts at Mass.
Reply
#8
(02-04-2012, 12:49 AM)Tapatio Wrote: Some just go to a parish to see the scantily clad women at mass.
When women stand up after sitting and they start "adjusting" their spandex pants and tight jeans/shorts, you know they didn't go because they believe in the Real Presence of the most Blessed Sacrament.
Same goes for guys in t-shirts and bermuda shorts at Mass.
That could also be blamed on feminism and the idea that women should be just like men (which they aren't). Of course the Church is at fault here as well.
Reply
#9
(02-04-2012, 12:51 AM)Traditional Guy Wrote:
(02-04-2012, 12:49 AM)Tapatio Wrote: Some just go to a parish to see the scantily clad women at mass.
When women stand up after sitting and they start "adjusting" their spandex pants and tight jeans/shorts, you know they didn't go because they believe in the Real Presence of the most Blessed Sacrament.
Same goes for guys in t-shirts and bermuda shorts at Mass.
That could also be blamed on feminism and the idea that women should be just like men (which they aren't). Of course the Church is at fault here as well.
Exactly!
If the parish priest is silent before this. What can we expect from him? (They might not believe in His presence.)
Because if they did, they would shun those people at mass and call them out!


It is no wonder that the NO mass is doubtful (at best).

Reply
#10
(02-04-2012, 12:56 AM)Tapatio Wrote: Exactly!
If the parish priest is silent before this. What can we expect from him? (They might not believe in His presence.)
Because if they did, they would shun those people at mass and call them out!


It is no wonder that the NO mass is doubtful (at best).
Thank goodness I don't go to NO Masses unless I have to! Grin (no TLMs here on Holy Days of Obligation) But you know the flock of sheep is only as good as the shepherd so to speak so that should tell you who really is at fault here as I said.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)