Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sociologist Determines That Donuts Fuel Contemporary Catholic Religiosity

Megapolis, USA: In a double blind study that stands to become a landmark in the sociology of religion, American sociologist and RBCU* professor James Thurber has discovered the hidden source in contemporary practices of Catholic religiosity: donuts.

"After visiting randomly selected Catholic parishes around the United States, we noticed that the common denominator among those 'hyper-involved Catholics' in parish life was the presence of donuts," announced Thurber. "Whenever we found donuts present, we found prayer, we found faith-sharing, we found Bible studies. Therefore, we are positing that there is a cause and effect between donut ingestion and deeper walks with Christ."

When asked if the flavor of donut seemed to create a different religious effect upon the human subjects, Thurber said, "It depends. It's true that people did seem more psychologically depressed if the parish didn't pony up for something other than plain cake donuts. And inspiration and commitment seemed to move up a few notches if chocolate donuts were served. But the clearest result was that refined sugar of any sort seemed to be necessary to initiate any kind of faith-sharing in Catholic parishes. We compared this to the presence of rosaries at any given para-liturgical event in the 1950s. Just as rosaries seemed to inspire Catholics to deeper community, donuts have filled that role in 2009."

Thurber closed his conference by suggesting that a wise Catholic religious goods company should manufacture rosaries that smell like donuts to promote intergenerational community in parishes.

The ecclesiastical press received the announcement in a seeming state of shock at yesterday's press conference, but recovered quickly after Thurber handed out some Bavarian Creme donuts.


*RBCU= Really Big Catholic University

UPDATE: Part of Thurber's evidence: a new blog, Will There Be Donuts?
It made me smile.


ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Blessed are you, O God of All Creation, through Your Goodness we have these Donuts to offer; Fruit of the fat and work of the fryer, they shall add inches to the thighs.
Blessed are you, O God of All Creation, through Your Goodness we have this Coffee to offer; Fruit of the Bean and brewed by human hands, it shall become our Heavenly Drink.

RJW said...

Thus the depth of our faith reflected in apple fritters at our church.

Sieglinde said...

Through totally unscientific methods of my own, I have also discovered that the frequency with which parishioner-baked goodies appear in the social hall after Divine Liturgy or Mass is directly proportional to the catechetical depth and orthodoxy of the homilies at the same parish.

Suzanne said...

Coffee ought to be considered a sacramental.

Ray from MN said...

Does the failure of the Krispy Kreme company to make great inroads into Catholic and Lutheran Minnesota mean that they are more of a Baptist treat?

I wonder if the methodology would allow a determination of a distinction between "peace 'n justice" parishes from "kneeling 'n Latin" parishes?

BaltoCath said...

There is a pizza shop and a donut shop a block from our church.

Is it any surprise that I've put on weight after getting more involved in the parish?

Biteofpunkinpie said...

What if someone got really smart and figured out a way to string up 10 donut holes in the form of an edible 1 decade rosary.

Paul Cat said...

I wonder if the brand of donut has any effect upon the religiosity: Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts or just a box of those little white powdered ones from Wal-Mart. If they are hot and fresh does it impact the expression of said religiosity?

Many things to consider. Perhaps the Communion of Saints might know.

Jeff Miller said...

Donut onto others as you would have other donut onto you.

tamtam said...

@ biteofpunkinpie:

thats a good idea! and it would certainly be a creative (not to mention delicious) way to teach your kids the rosary. what kid doesnt like sugary sweets?

Allen's Brain said...

Oh! SUGAR! We've been serving bagels. Maybe that's the problem.

And Suzanne, here at SEOJ's (St Espessus of Java,) we DO consider coffee sacramental!

PraiseDivineMercy said...

The funny thing is, this might actually be true.

Let me explain:
If you give people a simple reason to sit around and talk after mass, you get wider participation in the parish and better communication between the parish priest and his staff and those in the pew. Naturally, this communication also leads to better donuts.
In parishes without social ministries like donuts, you get the same small group of people doing everything.
Also, parishes tend to look to small family bakeries rather than Krispy Kreme.