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

Editor’s note: originally published at LiturgyGuy.com, we are reprinting the following TLM survey results here at the author’s request, as we believe they are of interest to our audience. 


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.

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