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Can Catholicism make a comeback in Quebec?

When Paul and his wife started the car for church on Sunday mornings, the neighbors complained about the noise – and then had the Malvern’s car banned from their apartment complex. 

“I guess it woke up all the other residents, and they basically had our car kicked out,” Malvern told The Pillar.

Just two generations ago, the Malverns would have been part of a long line of cars leaving the complex on the way to church on Sunday – in particular, heading to Catholic Mass.

But since the 1960s, the number of Quebec Catholics attending weekly Mass has dropped like temperatures in a Canadian February. 

While 75% of the population of Quebec identified as Catholic in the 2011 census, officials in the Archdiocese of Quebec City estimate that fewer than 5% of those are weekly churchgoers. The numbers are significantly lower than the rest of Canada: between 15-25% of Catholics in the rest of Canada are estimated to attend Mass weekly, according to the Catholic Register. 

The dramatic decrease in churchgoers is reflected in a major consolidation of Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Quebec City, which announced last month that their 29 “pastoral units” – already consolidated from 200 original parishes – would be further consolidated into less than 20 “pastoral centers.” 

Read more at The Pillar

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