Mass numbers in diocese up 3 percent over 2016

The faithful were even more faithful in 2017.
A canvass of those attending Masses during October in the Diocese of Wichita showed an increase in Mass attendance compared to 2016.
According to data released by Father Michael Simone, chancellor of the diocese, an average of 55,400 persons attended a weekend Mass in October, an increase of 1,200 persons and a 3 percent increase from the previous year. Nearly 50 percent of the diocese attended Mass on a weekend, more than double the national average of 23 percent.
Here is additional data released by the diocese related to the annual count.
• The diocese has a church seating capacity of 110,500, an increase of 2.5 percent from the previous year.
• The number of Masses celebrated for the Sunday obligation in the diocese is up by six Masses compared to last year. A total of 258 Masses were available on a weekend in October.
• A parish priest is serving an average of 595 persons who attend Mass each weekend. That is down 8 percent from 2016.
• A parish priest is serving 1,300 persons counted as Catholic individuals in a parish – the same as 2016.
• Priests assigned to a parish or institution where Sunday Mass is offered are celebrating an average of two to three Sunday obligation Masses per weekend, about the same as previous years.
• There are 18 pastors without an associate serving in parishes with greater than 600 individuals attending Mass each weekend.
• The diocese has nine pastors, with at least one associate, serving in parishes with more than 595 individuals per priest attending Mass each weekend.