‘The challenge of indifference is a challenge to every believer. Through prayer and pastoral action a revival of religion is still possible – beginning with renewal of prayer and worship.’ ~An t-Athair Michaél MacGréil
A recent national religious survey of adults eighteen years and over threw up some interesting findings. Almost half (47%) said they prayed daily or more often. Nearly three quarters (72%) prayed weekly or more often. One in ten (10%) said they had given up on prayer. The level of closeness to God came in at a high 86%. Just 4% said they did not believe in God. Weekly Mass attendance came in at 43% while going to confession once a month came in at just 9%. The survey also noted that there was a higher level of religious practice in rural areas compared to urban areas. When asked for the reasons for not attending Church more frequently the main reason given was ‘just don’t bother’ (indifference). Some of the most obvious conclusions from this survey are that people’s spirituality or connection with God is still strong. Seven out of 10 people pray once a week and many feel a close bond to God which is encouraging. With only 4 out of 10 people attending Mass on a Sunday, the challenge is to find new ways of connecting spiritually with these people.