WASHINGTON (July 16, 2002) -- Holiday and summer travelers are making increased use of 1-800 Mass Times, the free service that helps Catholics find a nearby church and the times of its religious services. Mass Times is available by both telephone (1-800-Mass Times or 1-800-627-7846) and on the Internet (www.Masstimes.org).
The service is sponsored by the Daughters of St. Paul, an order of sisters who operate a network of religious bookstores around the country, in partnership with the Catholic Communication Campaign of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The increase in system usage has gone from just 66,000 inquiries by telephone in 1998, to 670,000 in 2001–more than 500,000 of them on the Internet. For January-April 2002, use of the Internet option is well over twice what it was in the first four months of last year, and telephone usage is up by more than 10 percent.
Some areas of the country are far more likely to use the system than others. Below is a comparison that shows the ten states with the highest percentages of the 65 million U.S. Catholics in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the percentage of total national Mass Times usage by that state.
|State||Percent of U.S. Catholics||Use of Mass Times|
The states that make disproportionately high use of Mass Times are Virginia (0.91 percent of U.S. Catholics but 3 percent of usage), Maryland (0.80 percent and. 2 percent of usage), Georgia (0.54 percent and 2 percent of usage), and North Carolina (0.49 percent and. 2 percent of usage).