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1 in 3 Canadians say they will be attending Christmas Church services this year. Is this good news for the Church or not?

Here's an interesting story from the Holy Post discussing the fact that 1/3 of all Canadians state that they intend to go to Church this Christmas. A poster going by the handle of Whistlerskier responded with a different framing of this stat, pointing out that fully 2 in 3 Canadians didn't plan on going to Church. I wrote in response with how I viewed the issue as a Catholic priest. Do you agree with my answer?


Or to put it another way...." 2 in 3 Canadians don't plan on attending religious services this Christmas".

Fr_ Tim

Whistler: You are 100% correct. Let's also admit that of the 33% who will show up in a Church this Christmas that the majority of them are not regular church attenders.

Personally I look upon such stats as both a challenge and an opportunity. A challenge in as much as it reminds me of the work of evangelization that needs to be accomplished by all serious Christians throughout the other 364 days of the year to bring people into a personal relationship with the Christ whose birth we celebrate today and tomorrow. An opportunity because I will have the chance to try to begin that process with so many folks who still possess a sufficient residue of religious faith and understanding as to be open to celebrating Christ's birth by attending a religious service.

The happy fact is that any preacher that is worthy of the name will witness to the re-igniting of that ember of faith in more than a few folks every Christmas. Seeing how faith can come alive in people, moving them to acts of forgiveness, love, and charity during this season and beyond is the greatest gift God gives to us each year. In many ways, it's what keeps us going!

So yes indeed there's still a great deal of work to be done... but it's a truly graced and gifted time of the year for all Christians, clergy or laity when seen through the eyes of faith.

Merry Christmas to you and yours... and to all the regulars here on the HP!

Fr. Tim


  1. I think if it's what people want to do they should. I attended, if not a service, a superb TSO production of Handel's Messiah. I have it practically memorized. This production featured a counter tenor rather than an alto and although prior to the performance I had never heard a counter tenor I could stand, this one was perfect.

    As to the statistic, I question the number that a third will attend church. Here in Toronto, based upon statistics at the archdiocesan web site that would translate into an average attendance at each church of close to 3000 persons. That may be a bit high, or maybe it's the ice storm will keep numbers down,

    Either way Merry Christmas and best in the New Year.

  2. Rationalist: Happy Holidays to you and yours! May the season and the coming new year be marked with many highs of love and joy and as few low points of trial and trouble as possible.

    All the best!

    Fr. Tim


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