Polish priest checks fingerprints for mass attendance

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Here’s a really kind of creepy development for the church. Did you know that in the Archdiocese of Toronto the Sacramental Guidelines direct parishes NOT to take attendance of students preparing for the Sacraments. I prefer the approach of the Archdiocese.  The same applies for couples preparing for marriage. If you create a “game” come to church “X'” number of times and then you can have the sacrament, then you invite people to play the game.  I really believe that a welcoming parish will challenge people to come to church… and that their experience of the liturgy and community will draw them back. Perhaps I am too hopeful. I prefer it that way!

Here’s another approach thanks to Reuters:

Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:37am GMT

WARSAW (Reuters) – A Polish priest has installed an electronic reader in his church for schoolchildren to leave their fingerprints in order to monitor their attendance at mass, the Gazeta Wyborcza daily said on Friday.

The pupils will mark their fingerprints every time they go to church over three years and if they attend 200 masses they will be freed from the obligation of having to pass an exam prior to their confirmation, the paper said.

The pupils in the southern town of Gryfow Slaski told the daily they liked the idea and also the priest, Grzegorz Sowa, who invented it.

“This is comfortable. We don’t have to stand in a line to get the priest’s signature (confirming our presence at the mass) in our confirmation notebooks,” said one pupil, who gave her name as Karolina.

Poland is perhaps the most devoutly Roman Catholic country in Europe today and churches are regularly packed on Sundays.

(Reporting by Kuba Jaworowski, editing by Paul Casciato)

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