More U.S. Catholics are attending Masses at fewer parishes staffed by a rapidly declining corps of priests, according to a new report on The Changing Face of U.S. Catholic Parishes. Here are some notable stats from the report:
> The number of Catholic parishes has declined by 1,359 since the year 2000 to 17,784 in 2010, representing a 7.1 percent decrease. The 2010 number is roughly equal to the 17,637 U.S. parishes in 1965 and 1,836 fewer than the peak number of U.S. parishes in 1990.
> In terms of individual registered parishioners, the average for U.S. parishes was 3,277, an increase of 45 percent over the 2,260 average a decade ago, CARA said, adding that 40 percent of the growth in registered parishioners in U.S. parishes between 2005 and 2010 was among Hispanics.
> The total operating revenue in the average U.S. parish is $695,000, exceeding average expenses of $626,500 by $68,500. But 30 percent of parishes said their expenses exceed their revenue.
> There are approximately 38,000 lay ecclesial ministers serving in U.S. parishes who are paid for at least 20 hours of work weekly. It is estimated that the U.S. church is adding about 790 new lay ecclesial ministers to parish staffs each year. The total number of priests, men and women religious and deacons in the United States was 117,080 in 2010, a decline of 41 percent from the 197,172 in those categories in 1980. <image source>