Reblogged from Daily Signal
Move over, flash mobs. Mass Mobs are here.
Inspired by flash mobs, groups of Catholics have started Mass Mobs, an effort to gather the faithful to a specific church via social networking to attend Mass together.
“This group is bringing back the community,” says the Rev. Ravi Marneni of St. Francis D’Assisi.
The Detroit Mass Mob says on its websitemembers were inspired by flash mobs as a way to increase Mass attendance and that their “intention is to show solidarity of our Catholic faith through respect for our old historic churches.”
The Detroit Mass Mob recently attended mass at St. Florian in Hamtramck, Mich.
The Rev. Mirosaw Frankowski, St. Florian’s priest, told The Daily Signal the Mass Mob had a positive impact on his parish.
“It’s a Polish, ethnic parish, but we serve the local community as well,” said Frankowski. “We have Mass in both languages because about 75 percent of our parishioners are Polish. The church is so beautiful and magnificent.”
Frankowski said that St. Florian’s typically has about 1,000 parishioners attend its weekend services, but the Mass Mob brought more than that to a single Mass.
“Our church can seat 1,750 people, and there were people standing all along the sides and in the vestibule. We think we had about 2,000 people there.”
After the Mass Mob attended St. Florian, Frankowski said there seemed to be a few more people at Mass, and that their weekly collection “is better than it was before,” a blessing for a church that is renovating.
“We have a few new faces,” said Frankowski. “I hope they can organize another.”
According to NPR, “The day of the Mass Mob, St. Florian’s collection basket brought in more than $19,000—about 10 times the amount donated at a typical Mass.”
Frankowski told NPR the amount of people present “nearly brought him to tears”:
Because, I mean, such a big crowd, it’s impossible to see these days in any of the churches. But thanks to the mob Mass, we have this feeling of what it was so many years ago, when the churches were filled with people.
The Rev. Ravi Marneni, St. Francis D’Assisi’s priest, told The Daily Signal the Mass Mob’s presence helped contribute to a “wonderful celebration.”
“They came in a big group,” said Marneni. “We really appreciate them participating in the Mass.”
Marneni estimates that 1,600 people attended the Mass, many of whom were first-time visitors to his parish.
“The Mass, the celebration, really touched many of them,” said Marneni.
Marneni says that faith groups such as the Mass Mob are having a positive influence on the community.
“Many people think that Detroit has fallen down,” said Marneni. “This group is bringing back the community. It’s bringing back hope for the people, hope for the neighborhood, and hope for the city. You can have a nice future here in Detroit.”
The Detroit Mass Mob’s next event is the noon Mass on Nov. 16 at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Hamtramck, Mich.