The following comes from an April 29th Catholic San Francisco article by Christina Gray:

After a full year of discussion, Marin County parishes are getting closer to announcing a collective action plan this summer for revitalizing the Mass and reversing the dwindling numbers in their pews.

On April 25, parish leaders from 11 of Marin’s 13 churches met at St. Sebastian Church in Greenbrae for the sixth time since last March to find solutions to a deanerywide decline in eucharistic celebration.

“One of the things that has happened for this generation is that the baton got dropped,” said St. Hilary pastor Father William Brown. “Many people who sit in Mass don’t actually know what we are doing or why, or they don’t remember.”

Father Brian Costello, pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Novato, singled out one Marin County church for its welcoming community, full pews, music and ongoing catechesis as having a “template” that works.

“Without incurring the wrath of my brother priests, I think we have a very good model here in Marin County, and that’s St. Vincent’s,” he said. “I know it’s not a parish, but people are driving miles and miles to go to Sunday Mass here.”

Few in the room disagreed.

St. Vincent’s Church in San Rafael is not a self-standing parish but is affiliated with nearby St. Isabella. Still, it “attracts people from all of our parishes,” said St. Anselm parish coordinator Anne Roggenbuck. She said she and her family often attend the 9:45 a.m. Sunday Mass there and said, “I hate to admit it, but I see lots of St. Anselm’s people there,” including school nuns and parish lectors.

Under the direction of Mgsr. Robert Sheeran, director of ministry at Marin Catholic High School, the congregation has grown dramatically. She said he makes the Mass relevant and riveting to people of all ages and by integrating brief explanations of readings or rituals.

Paul Gallagher of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Novato said that while other parishes are struggling with what he called “casual Catholics,” or irregular Massgoers, he doesn’t believe that is who St. Vincent is attracting and the deaneries should take a closer look at what they are offering.”