2019-20 TLM Survey: What We Learned About Latin Mass Attending Young Adults

Traditional Latin Mass National Adult 18-39 Survey by Fr. Donald Kloster
Diocese of Bridgeport, CT revfrkloster@yahoo.com
Contributors: Sha Balizet Fisher, Ph.D., Steve Tschopp (Statistics), Brian Williams-liturgyguy.com, Jon Alsenas (Consultants), James Chessman (Webmaster)

Introduction

Let us consider Kevin Cotter’s review of Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell which appears on the Focus Blog. He lists some alarming statistics. Here are four notable Novus Ordo Mass formed statistics:

1.) Only 30% of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing (p. 24).

2.) 10% of all adults in America are ex-Catholics (p. 25).

3.) 79% of cradle Catholics become unaffiliated and cease using “Catholic” by age 23 (p. 33).

4.) In the early 21st century, for USA raised Catholics, becoming Protestant is the best guarantee of stable church attendance as an adult (p. 35).

Method

In early October 2019, a pre-survey in person written questionnaire was administered to 25 adults aged 18-39 at St. Mary’s Parish in Norwalk, CT. That questionnaire helped hone the wording and number of the questions to be asked in the Study.

The subsequent Kloster 2019-2020 Survey was conducted October 22, 2019 – March 1, 2020. The Survey consisted of 14 questions administered exclusively online to 1,779 respondents. Each respondent answered every question. The contributors were unfunded and the respondents had no incentive to answer the questions.

This second and follow up Kloster 2019-2020 Survey was an attempt to measure the amount of interest and participation in the Traditional Latin Mass from the demographic of the Traditional Catholic adults 18-39 years of age. Many samples were collected as a result of two large Traditional Latin Mass gatherings.

On February 1, 2020 in Philadelphia, PA over 800 were in attendance for a Sarum Rite Vespers. On February 15, 2020 in New York, New York 950 gathered for a Solemn High Mass at the Lepanto Conference with Cardinal Zen. A great number of the attendees at these two events were in the target age group (300+ online samples gained) of the Kloster 2019-2020 Study.

The social networking throughout the just over four months of the survey was incredibly successful and yielded the overwhelming bulk of the number (1,400+ online samples gained) of respondents from all over the country. There were also about 250+ samples deleted because they were not in the desired age group.

Gallup polling reports that 12% of 20-29 year old Novus Ordo attendees go to weekly Mass. This Kloster 2019-2020 Survey had an average age of 27.4.

Online Survey States

The following states had an unnumbered participation count by the Google survey application: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Analysis

There were 39 states included in the Study whose number was unintended but helpful for a wide measure of the subset of the 18-39 year olds within the 150,000 total Traditional Catholics of all ages that attend the TLM on any given Sunday.

Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont were the 11 states without a sample.

The average number of total children was 3.5, which closely mirrored the 3.6 birth rate of the Kloster 2018 Study.

The male participation in the Study was 57% or fully 8 percentage points higher than males in our USA population. Men are an important barometer of any Liturgical Rite’s attractiveness.

The respondents had an average of 4.02 academic years after high school. The Mass attendance was 97.6% compared with the 99% of all TLM adults in the Kloster 2018 Study.

80% of the respondents thought about a priestly or religious vocation. This number confirms the surge in entries to TLM seminaries and convents.

45% of the respondents of this Study came back or came into the Catholic Church. 90% of the respondents were not raised from at least the age of 7 in the TLM. The Survey confirms that the Traditional Latin Mass is experiencing a high volume of participation and interest in the 18-39 demographic; a demographic noticeably underrepresented in modern Novus Ordo Mass parishes.

Posted on May 26, 2020, in liturgy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Franklin P. Uroda

    I love the form of the Old Mass, but not in Latin. I prefer either Hebrew or Greek

  2. This is truly great news. I belong to a Traditional Roman Catholic Parish (FSSP) and my experiences are very consistent with the results of the poll; the reverance and spirituality is unlike anything I’ve experienced for at least 50 years. My concern is this- the typical modern Catholic Bishop doesn’t have much experience with the Latin Mass or even understand its majesty or our loyalty to it, and I do not think many dioceses whole heartedly support Latin Mass parishes. My suggestion in many forums is for the Tradtional Latin Mass priests form their own rite with their own hierarchy (like the Byzantine or other Eastern Rite Catholics) that is independent of Novus Ordo Bishops. I think a major conflict is inevitable with a schism if some autonomy is not established.

  3. Fr. Kloster, next time you want a Montana sample let us know at Latin Mass Montana. Good growth happening in the Helena Diocese.

    • A priest friend of mine wants me to do a third Study comparing the theological convictions of priests attached to the Novus Ordo Mass as compared to those who are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass. I’d definitely be interested in getting priest samples from Montana at that time.

  4. This is great news. This is the only source of light in these dark times we’re experiencing. I am so happy to have found the Traditional Mass and converted in 2017. Who will rebuild civilization? The Catholic Church as it’s always done throughout history.

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