Summer 1965

Page 66

Parnh

177

Chart 3 Churdl membership •t time of

P.,.centage

~,;;nwWisittn ·

of <on••r'-

Baptist _________________ 18.4

Methodist -------------- 9.1 Other ------------------ 2.9 No answer --------------22.0 No church _____________ _47.6

. 60.5 55.3

66.7 53.8 55.8

i.••

39.5 44.7 33.3 46.2 44.2

The reasons .people gave for their conversion and the way in which these various groups practiced the faith were very revealing [see chart 4]. For example, of those born in the South, attendance at a Catholic school had a much greater influence in converting them than it had on those hom in the North. There was no appreciable difference in reasons for entering the Church and in practice among those converted in Chicago and in other northern urban areas. A disillusioning fact which appeared in the canvass was that priests and nuns influenced people so little in joining the Church. Only about 4% said they were influenced by religious. Chart 4 Reuon for convenion

Plerc..,t•a•

To 11et married ---------- 2.8 In Catholic school ________ 18.9 Child in school ---------- 9.0 Friends, priests and nuns __ 13.5 Family _________________ 21.9 Own initiative or not specified ___________ 20.3 No answer ______________ 13.6

Acti•e

40.0 62.7 64.9

...

66.7 46.2

60.0 37.3 35.1 33.3 53.8

50.0

50.0

60.7

39.3

The age at which people entered the Church agrees with all studies that the age of conversion is early. Most people enter the Church between the ages of 20 and 39. Among the converts, 45.4% were converted between the ages of 20 and 39 as com· pared to 29.7% who were under the age of 20 (including school children) and 24.9% who were over the age of 40. Perhaps we should ask ourselves what we can do to make the faith appeal to people once they are past 40 and especially once they are past

50. We find that Negro Catholics in general follow the same