The story from Youngstown, Ohio:
The future of the Youngstown Catholic Diocese will likely mean fewer Masses and, possibly, fewer churches because there are fewer Catholics and an even smaller number who regularly attend.
Numbers - Friday - Participation - Diocese - Way
Numbers released on Friday show Catholic participation in the diocese is way down — in some cases, nearly 70 percent.
“I was surprised when you see the decline over 20 years,” said Pete Schafer, who compiled the numbers showing a steep drop in participation.
Number - Catholics - Weekend - Mass - Youngstown
Since 2000, the number of Catholics attending weekend Mass in the six-county Youngstown Diocese dropped 62 percent. Of the 234 masses, 77 percent were less than half full.
There have been 25 percent fewer funerals, 61 percent fewer first communions, 62 percent fewer weddings and 69 percent fewer baptisms than in 2000.
Schafer - Decrease - Baptisms
Schafer is most concerned about the decrease in baptisms.
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