Behaviors and Perspectives of Catholic Students Regarding the Attendance in Holy Mass Celebration in the University of the Assumption

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I. Introduction

The research is centered upon the topic concerning the behaviors and perspectives of Catholic students of the University of the Assumption (UA) towards the attendance and celebration of Masses in the school.

UA is considered as the first established Archdiocesan Catholic University not only in the Philippines but also in the whole Asia. Thus, it should not come into surprise why it is the only learning institution in Pampanga, as well as in Region III which celebrates Masses thrice every school day. In fact, because of such the University itself is labeled by others as the “School of Religious Students”.

The researchers chose the topic because they want to know if UA students really have confidence in their Catholic faith by doing a study on their views about the Holy Mass. They want to delve deeper about the perspectives of UA Catholic students about the Catholic religion, nay; how faith, reason and behavior intertwine.

Meanwhile, the researchers believe that the topic is relevant to the University, as a Church-owned Catholic institution at large since it seeks to understand the real behavior and perspectives of students in matters of faith and religion.

Fifty (50) UA students baptized as Catholics from different departments were chosen as the respondents for the study. They were given questionnaires to answer, with their responses reflecting their views and behaviors toward the attendance and celebration of masses in the school. Moreover, some of them were interviewed personally.

II. Theories and Hypothesis

The Church accepts the fact that some of the Catholic youth today have wrong and negative perspectives and behaviors towards attending Masses. Catechism for Filipino Catholics (CFC), the official Catholic catechism for the Philippines approved by the Vatican, says:

“Personal motivation for going to Mass varies greatly. Some go simply because they think they ‘have to go’ to avoid mortal sin, or to obey parents [teachers and Church authorities]. Some go out of routine; others through social conformity, to be with their social group of friends, or even to show off their new clothes. Such weak motivation often leads to increasing rebellious reactions among the youth. ‘Why do I have to go to Mass?—I can pray better at home.’ Or ‘Why do I have to take Communion?’—it’s just a meaningless show anyway.’” (CFC 1672)

However, the Catholic faithful, including the students and youth are encouraged to participate actively at Mass and must value the sacredness of this celebration in the Church. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, one of the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council says:

“The Church desires the faithful at Mass: To take part in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration and to be instructed by God’s word.” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: Chapter II, Section 48- 49).

Based on the theory stated above, the researchers hypothesized that some of the Catholic students in the University of the Assumption, have wrong and negative behaviors and perspectives towards attending the Holy Mass being celebrated in the school regularly. However, many of the college students in the campus still value the sacredness of this important worship service and celebration in the Church as they participate actively and conscientiously. Hence, UA students do really have positive views regarding the attendance in the Eucharistic Celebration or Holy Mass.

III. Analysis of Gathered Data
Most of the respondents strongly agree (64%) that the Holy Mass is a very important activity or happening in the school while 24% agree, 4% slightly agree, 4% disagree and 4% strongly disagree. This shows that 92% of the Assumptionists value this Church celebration in the school while only 8% have a negative view about...
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