Mark M. Gray from CARA has some fascinating insight into which Catholics are most involved in church life—and it turns out, it’s the converts:
Do you want to know the best way to ensure your child grows up to be a faithful, knowledgeable, and active Catholic? It’s simple: 1) Raise them as a Protestant AND 2) Only let them date Catholics and promise to pay all their wedding and honeymoon expenses if they get married in the Catholic Church. That second step is key.
All kidding aside (…that was not a serious attempt at Catholic parenting advice!), there are hundreds of thousands of non-Catholic parents in the United States today raising children who will one day grow up to be extraordinary Catholics (…as shown below). Some will join in the coming week as the Catholic Church in the United States will welcome more than 100,000 new adult Catholics into the faith through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
…The differences between Catholics who entered the faith as adults and those entering in their infancy or youth are among the largest CARA sees in its more than 25 national CARA Catholic Polls (CCP). Adult converts are more likely than all other Catholics to…
- Attend Mass at least once a month (62% of converts compared to 48% of all other Catholics)
- Go to confession at least once a year (54% compared to 24%)
- Be registered with a parish (76% compared to 55%)
- Regularly contribute to parish offertory collections (59% compared to 43%)
- Be “somewhat” or “very” involved in their parish beyond Mass attendance (31% compared to 14%)
- Agree “somewhat’ or “strongly” that they are proud to be Catholic (87% compared to 76%)
- Agree “somewhat’ or “strongly” that they are a “practicing Catholic” (80% compared to 53%)
- Agree that their faith is either “the most important” or “among the most important” things in their daily life (59% compared to 40%)
- Regularly read religious or spiritual publications (29% compared to 18%) or books (10% compared to 6%)