1 State of Catholicism 2018 Introduction Report by Jong Han, Religio Head of Research Peter Cetale, Religio CEO
2 Purpose To inform on the overall state of Catholicism and the Catholic church in the United States through generational divides and rising media and technological importance. This introduction report will demonstrate the effectiveness and resolve that technology brings to help solve current problems faced by the Catholic church. I. Background information Catholicism in the United States
3 Roughly 81.6 million Americans, 25% of the overall population, identify as Roman Catholic. Over the period of a half-decade, the Catholic population has suffered one of the greatest net decreases in population amongst religions at -3.1% change, only 0.3% behind the United States Protestant population. The United States has seen a general changing of its religious landscape for a multitude of factors, mainly concentrated within the upbringing of new and younger generations such as millennials in contrast to the uprisings of previous, older generations of baby boomers within the general American society. Boston contains the highest percentage of Catholics within any major metropolitan United States city. Roughly half of the people in Southern Louisiana are Catholic. Heavy concentrations of Catholic populations are also mainly located in central California, southern Texas, and the general Southwest region. The south and southeast are greater regions of Protestant population density.
4 Catholics are more likely than other Americans to be immigrants or children of immigrants, mainly Hispanic. More than 27% of U.S. Catholic adults were born outside of the country. Only 57% of Catholics born in the United States have two non-immigrant parents. The Catholic Church in the United States retains a high level of diversity and age throughout its demographics.
5 Changes in Catholicism The general age of the average Catholic has risen dramatically over the decades, with a -9% net decrease in the proportion of Catholic youth and young adults. In 2014, the median age of Catholics was 49 years old, which was up four years since In 2018 the median age for Catholics is 53 years old. Thus accelerating this trend of the church getting older and not getting as many younger people participating, the Catholic Church is in crisis. Catholics are significantly older than members of non-christian faiths or non-religious affiliations. There is a huge departure of Catholicism within millennials.
6 Almost half of those raised in church do leave at some point, with 20% of those becoming reverts, returning to Catholicism. About 15% of Americans consider themselves former Catholics. The net changes in the Catholic group has been a daunting -10.9% change, alongside the grand increase in the unaffiliated which lies at +13.6%.
7 There is an overwhelming departure of Catholics, mainly within the younger generations. The change by the group of Catholics leaving to those joining is at a dramatically high ratio of 6.5:1, the highest compared to all other religious demographics.
8 Over 25 million adults no longer identify with the Catholic Church. Many leave or abandon their affiliated religion altogether. Despite this grand turnover rate within the Catholic population, the Catholic Church possesses the highest retention rate amongst all other religions. There is a grand departure from affiliated religions, with Catholicism being hit the hardest. However, 43% of those who leave say they imagine returning to the Catholic Church, leaving room for improvement on retention. Giving an opportunity if the church can provide more value for those who leave.
9 II. Millennials and Catholicism Millennials, the young generation born between the 1980s to 2000s, represents the most significant generational cohort and most influential in the modern age. Only 16% of millennials self-identify as being Catholic. Simultaneously, barely 25% of millennials attend church services on a weekly basis, outlining a vast gap in church service attendance between younger and older generations.
11 Yet, four in ten millennials say religion is important in their lives. There lies a contrast in nature between generational cohorts as older generations increasingly rely on religion for guidance on questions of right and wrong. Millennials still retain spiritual nature, however, indicating no loss in a belief of faith but rather a lack of motivation and firm establishment of church-attendance and congregational participation. Millennials possess a more do-it-yourself attitude towards many subjects, including religion. While Baby Boomers express to their children that it is important to think for yourself and find one s own individual moral compass, the traditional institution of the church has utilized official teachings and obedience. This has created a cultural contrast for millennials who attempt to formulate their spiritual beliefs and values within a cultural context. There is an increase within the Catholic population that state their church/denomination should either adjust traditional or adopt modern beliefs and practices. Most of this increase derives from the younger generations. Millennials don t feel the same sense of obligation to attend church that previous generations may have. At the same time, being part of a faith community can provide young adults with exactly the mentorship and guidance they crave from older adults. Millennials are leaving the church due to the new nature of this generational collective. However, millennials are still retaining and exploring their spirituality. Thus there is a strong lack of coverage and adaptation for millennials, who have come of age during this modern time of technological change and globalization that has constructed a different set of behaviors and experiences than previous generations.
12 I. Long term State of Catholicism Trends and Projections
13 There has been a majority downward trend in the percentage of American adults who are part of or directly affiliated with a church. Frequent religious service attendance is diminishing across all demographics.
14 However, those millennials who are affiliated remain faithful. More than one-third of religiously affiliated millennials say they are strong members of their faith, similar to other generations at their age, including Gen X-ers and baby boomers. These groups of millennials also retain some sense of spirituality, and the main issues can be seen in a tendency to withdraw from organized collectives within society. Millennials and Mobile App Engagement Trends Time spent on mobile devices is now significantly higher than overall time spent on desktop platforms. Time spent on mobile apps has grown to over 90% since 2013, with over 778,954 total minutes spent in % of millennials report never separating from their mobile devices, a trend projected to slowly increase each year with the heightened importance and dependence on mobile devices and applications for daily usage. Mobile Apps have become both an integral feature to daily life but also an asset to a multitude of professional and institutional uses.
15 Consumer app retention and engagement is increasing overall. 87% of millennials are reported to never separate from their devices, creating a heavy reliance on mobile devices and applications for anything that ranges from the trivial to the more significant. There is a 90% increase in overall time spent on mobile apps over the course of the past two years, exemplifying the necessary usage of mobile applications in all fields from educational, professional, to individual use.
16 Mobile app retention rates, which signify both the number of times an app is used as well as the number of times a user returns to use the app again, are rising globally at a powerful trend. This is growing alongside the subsequent rise in importance and dependence on mobile apps for daily usage. Mobile applications thus can serve as an effective and powerful community tool for Catholic churches and Catholic generations across the United States.
17 Similarly, the use of mobile applications goes hand in hand with the rise of the millennial generation s influence over socioeconomic and cultural factors. Millennials have arisen as the first generation of digital natives and hold a strong affinity for technology that shapes their attitudes and behaviors. Lack of access to technological channels leaves a gap for reaching and impacting millennials overall. The growing impact of millennials and both mobile apps leave a room for the use of mobile apps and websites as an imperative asset to community functions. Millennials have been grown in an age of technological advancements and the translation of societal features and functions online. Thus, millennials seek establishments in the form of mobile applications or online platforms in order to participate in or contribute to modern day activities. IV. Conclusion + Solution There is a huge decline and its happening rapidly. Currently 80% of Catholics leave the church by age 23. There has also been a 20% decrease in church membership across the board of different christian denominations the last four years. The main reason is that they feel that there is a lack of community. Back, in the 1950s churches were where people could go to network. People would look to the church as a way to make friends as well as even do business. The difference is currently people just go to mass and leave. Besides the sometime talking of saying peace be with you there is not an additional community. In order to solve this problem Religio, an enterprise software company helps churches enhance their community through technology. The declining numbers of members are only going to get worse if churches do not take action. The solution is clear: churches everywhere need to improve their communities for their parish or else their membership will continue to fall. V. What is Religio? Currently, churches are losing members dramatically due to a failure to engage with their younger communities. In the last four years, there has been a 20% decrease in church membership. Additionally, for the Catholic church, about 80% of Catholics leave the church by age 23. Religio is an enterprise software company that gives churches the tools to better connect, engage and retain their parishioners online through a mobile app, community engagement web platform, and management software. We are proud to be building the church of the 21st century.
18 Increase Community With Religio, parishioners can utilize software to find friends with similar interests. The most pressing issue for millennials is loneliness. A study from U.S. News and Report in 2017 revealed that millennials are the loneliest generation. Another concern is student debt, and these younger people are very busy trying to find a job to pay off their college loans as well as move their career forward. Religio helps these young adult parishioners through a mentorship finder which helps students be mentored by more experienced people in their church, as well as get them jobs through a job portal. If parishioners can get a job or increase their salary due to the help of their church, it will lead to a boost of donations for that parish. Additionally, Religio creates a community where people can volunteer readily and also have tasks displayed. On top of that, the software has a seamless system so for example if a person goes to mass and has the app it would keep track of mass attendance rates. If people feel that they have more ownership over the community, then they will also give more.
19 Increase Engagement Our software creates an ideal community for mentorship, volunteering, and even people doing business within the church. Religio s Ladder technique constantly pushes members further up the ladder of engagement. This way your church isn t only on Sunday, it s every day.
20 Increase Donations Our robust giving platform will make giving easy with recurring donations as well as insights into each person. Additionally, because the parishioners will now have more involvement and ownership in the community, they will want to give more. By actually helping members network they will be able to be more successful in their jobs and allow them to donate more.
21 Increase Membership Religio helps to create an environment where every member is constantly involved within the church. Our retain technology has put a focus on the youth, so you are investing in the future of your church. Our evangelization algorithm will automatically pinpoint new members to constantly get your masses packed with people.
22 Religio helping churches nationwide increase engagement Source: Peter Cetale, CEO of Religio, was interviewed on EWTN, the world s largest Catholic TV network in the world Religio has been receiving nationwide praise for technology that is helping churches increase their membership, engagement and donations We can also do the same for your parish
23 About the Author Peter J. Cetale is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Religio, Inc. as well as the President of Ivy League Catholic. Ivy League Catholic, is an organization that connects all the Catholic student groups across the ivy league. Mr. Cetale is a devout Catholic and is an undergraduate Ivy League Senior at Cornell University where he studies business, history, and law in a specialized program. When Peter was younger he was very sick as a child and had four lifethreatening kidney surgeries. Because of these adversities, he grew closer to his faith. Peter s Priest and church were integral in giving him strength and peace throughout these experiences. Peter realized the importance of faith in this complex world and therefore mission is to help churches grow through technology. When Peter first started to help churches, he thought the main problem was that there needed to be an easier way to get donations. To solve this issue, he created his first start-up, Church Deposit, during his freshman year in college. Church Deposit is a platform for mobile donations where members can donate to the church of their choice and receive tax deductions easily. This platform also helped churches keep a record of all donations. Additionally, as the younger generation is moving away from cash and checks, there is a bigger need for the church to adapt its giving system. However, after speaking with many churches, he realized that the main problem is the fact that parishes are losing members at a very fast rate. Peter decided to merge the technology of Church Deposit into Religio but to specifically create a technology that would solve these issues. Religio is an enterprise software company that helps churches improve through technology by increasing membership, engagement, and donations. With the declining numbers of parishioners, Peter feels a great need to bring more members back to the church. He envisions the Catholic church in the 21st century thriving with connectivity and community through the enhancement of technology. Peter is a thought leader for the Catholic church and is a frequent speaker on mainstream channels on the topic of Engaging Millennials in the Church. Peter has spoken with over thousands of churches, Priests, Deacons, Volunteers, Vatican Officials, Bishops, Parishioners, and Catholics to truly learn how to fix the problem. The declining numbers of members are only going to get worse if there is no action. The solution is clear: churches everywhere need to utilize technology to create thriving communities in their parish, or their membership will continue to fall.
24 Religio helping churches nationwide increase engagement Religio helps churches increase their membership, engagement, and donations. We also help churches simplify worship group organization, create recurring donation systems, receive insights on donations and analytics, direct communication both within your own parish, and with the global Catholic community. Religio bridges the growing gap between the Churches and millennials by bringing the faith community. Being able to provide constant communication and contact with the millennial group is imperative to reducing departures from the Catholic Church. You can get a free Church engagement assessment to grade how well your church is doing as well as speaking with one of our church growth experts by ing for a free church analysis consultation.
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