Three ways parishes can experience a revival of faith: Better music, preaching and a broader knowledge of why we go to Mass can help refill church pews by John Michael Talbot, OSV Newsweekly

For concerts and talks, I travel to more than 150 parishes a year, mostly in the United States. Through my work, I get to see so much good and meet so many saints.

But I’ve also witnessed a disturbing pattern. Where a decade ago I used to see churches filled to standing room at two Sunday Masses, now I see most 50-60 percent full. This breaks my heart. The Dynamic Catholic Institute estimated some years ago that 17 percent of Catholics in America come to Mass regularly. If we counted up all the missing as a separate category, the second-largest denomination in America would be nonpracticing Catholics. There are some 30 million of them. And 50 percent of the people sitting in the seats of the non-Catholic megachurches are nonpracticing Catholics.

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Reprinted with permission.