The women we surveyed do not, for the most part, keep the Sunday obligation to attend Mass. A little over a quarter of the self-identified Catholics (26 percent) rarely or never attend Mass. Another quarter (27 percent) attend only a few times a year. Twenty percent attend every week (an additional four percent attend more than once a week).
Participation in the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) is also infrequent. A quarter of respondents (27 percent) went to confession at least once a year. A higher share (38 percent) reported that they had “never” been to confession. This is higher than might be expected, as confession in most dioceses is now required prior to making one’s first Communion.
Nearly all of the survey participants professed a strong belief in God. Seventy-eight percent of Catholic women said they believed in God and had no doubts about God’s existence, and an additional 16 percent said they believed but “sometimes” had doubts. Less than 1 percent of women said they were confident God did not exist and only 2 percent said they did not expect that God existed but that they considered his existence to be possible.
This article is one of four short explorations of the data found in the America Survey, commissioned by America Media and conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Read the other three here: