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New figures reveal slide in Mass attendance has bottomed out
    New figures for attendance at Mass in the Adelaide Archdiocese show a 20-year slide in the numbers of people attending regularly has been stemmed, with a 'marked drop' in the fall-out rate.
    While Mass attendance figures continued to decline over the past five years, the figures for the 1995 to 2000 period show the rate of decline has slowed markedly, returning to levels not seen since the mid-1980s.
    And those who do attend Mass are more likely to be older, married, Australian born, not in the work force, with a lower income and Catholic school educated, but without a tertiary education.
    Catholics with jobs, those who are divorced and separated and those aged between 15 and 39, are "under represented" at Mass.
    The snapshot of Catholic Mass patterns is drawn from data compiled by the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Team and includes 1996 Church Life Survey information, official Common-wealth Census data and the June 2000 Mass count in Adelaide's parishes.
    The figures show that while Mass attendance figures continued to decline over the past five years from 1995 to 2000, when 3894 people stopped attending Mass, the rate of decline has fallen to below the levels recorded in the 1985 to 1990 period, when 4415 stopped attending and are now almost half the significant slump recorded in 1990 to 1995, when 6460 stopped going to Mass.
Southern Cross