US Parishes Increasingly Multicultural

New Study Estimates 38%

Washington, D.C., (Zenit.org) | 1587 hits

The percentage of multicultural parishes in the U.S is on the increase, according to research by the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).

CARA located parishes that self-identify as serving or are known to serve racial, ethnic, cultural, and/or linguistic groups in the nation to create the first comprehensive listing and mapping of multicultural parishes. Some 38% of U.S. parishes are estimated to be multicultural.

This research was commissioned by the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop (USCCB). The study can be found atwww.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/upload/cultural-diversity-cara-report-phase-1.pdf

CARA estimates there are approximately 6,700 multicultural parishes in the United States, many located in the South and West. The Official Catholic Directory lists more than 17,400 parishes in the country. In a second phase of this study, CARA will conduct in-pew surveys of parishioners in a national random sample of these parishes.

CARA’s research on multicultural parishes has found these to be, on average, larger than parishes in general. Multicultural parishes average 1,445 registered households, compared to 1,168 for parishes in general. Overall, about three in ten U.S. parishes (29 percent or 5,000) celebrate at least one Mass a month in a language other than English or Latin.

Nationally, CARA estimates that:

•  Approximately 42.5 million U.S. residents who self-identify as non-Hispanic white are Catholic, which represents 22% of people in the nation of this race and ethnicity.
•  Some 29.7 million U.S. residents who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino are estimated to be Catholic, representing about 59% of the 50.5 million people of this race and ethnicity in the country. 
•  Approximately 3.6 million U.S. residents who self-identify as Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander are estimated to be Catholic, representing about 20% of this race and ethnicity in this country. 
•  Approximately 2.9 million U.S. residents who self-identify as black, African American, African or Afro-Caribbean are estimated to be Catholic, representing about 8% of the 38.9 million people of this race and ethnicity in the U.S.
•  Some 535,500 U.S. residents who self-identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native are estimated to be Catholic, representing about 18% of the 2.9 million people of this race and ethnicity in this country.