Catholics need to share their gifts


By Frank Wessling

So we Catholics are the most tight-fisted religious people. This is what a Notre Dame University study found when it looked at financial giving by American church-goers.
A report in last week’s Catholic Messenger tells us that our average church donation is $175 a year. That’s $3.36 a week, less than the tip on an ordinary restaurant bill. Less than the price of a fancy coffee at Starbucks. Some of us spend more on our hair and much more on tickets to the game, whatever the game might be.
Other religious folks in this country give an average of $588. That’s not only more than three times the Catholic average, it’s embarrassing. No wonder there are still some evangelical Protestants who can’t believe that we’re really Christian. Mormons and Jews especially put us to shame.
Some of this disparity comes from different traditions in seeing church affiliation. For Catholics it’s enough to show up for Mass on Sunday and throw a loose dollar in the collection basket — or not. One can even be a regular in this manner and seldom, if ever, feel a connection to the ritual of thanksgiving and sacrifice at the altar or the Word proclaimed in the Gospel.

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