A possibly "lost generation" of vocations?

I am wanting to say I read this elsewhere, but is there an entire generation which due tor earthly influences are not suited to religious life?


I suggest you read “Goodbye, Good men” by Michael S. Rose


He talks about the decline of vocations, the terrible and unforgivable way in which the seminaries were run (and how some still are ran) and the watering down of the faith in relation to the evil of liberalism and it’s advancement on the Church.

It’s very true, and quite scary at first, but I do suggest you read it!!
“Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church”

God be with you,
Deus, Salus Nostra :gopray2:

I don’t think that’s it. I thought I saw an actual article stating that there was a good pool of older vocations, and the upcoming JPII generation, as its called, and then the middle group which had been lost to such influences as Harry Potter, etc.


I live in Denver,Co… We are blessed to have two seminaries.Being that my home parish is very large,We are fortunate to have many of these young priests as our parochial vicars for as long as three years at a time. If the priests we have been blessed with are any indication of the formation of priests overall,we the Catholic Church as a whole have much reason to be excited and grateful. Our former Archbishop Chaput was very instrumental in shaping the curriculum.:slight_smile:

I think young kids were lost to much more than Harry Potter. I ought to know; I read those books growing up, and I’m still considering becoming a religious. We need to pray for our young people; this world makes it tough to keep the faith. We are being attacked every day by the secular media and just about everyone else. It is an age of moral relativism, and age of me and mine, an age of selfishness beyond compare. We cannot hear God when we are too busy listening to ourselves.

Yeah, Harry Potter is NOT the problem. To me, the magic in those books was more like the magic in Narnia or LOTR or standard fairytales. It contributed to a lovely fun fantasy rather than making me want to engage in the occult. I LOVED Harry Potter growing up, and I was very open to a religious vocation. (I’ve discerned that’s not God’s will for me, but that’s not Harry Potter’s fault!)

We’ve lost more kids to the mentality celebrated on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “The Real World”.

As a writer, I enjoyed Harry as well. I know that kind of ‘magic’ is fairytale, but Occultists have said that they had little kids coming to them because of “that wimp Jesus Christ who let Himself be crucified.” Then said the kids being virgins was “gravy.”

The Vatican exorcist said Harry and other novels (being written by actual pagans) have turned the hearts of children against God.

Terrible stuff to discuss, but I have seen adverse affects of modern culture on vocations. Not to mention abortion and birth control.

Back to my original question, though. I honestly thought I had read somewhere that a generation had been lost as far as vocations are concerned, due to the horrific apostasies flailing the world today. Has anyone else seen this?


I get the feeling that maybe our generation is somewhat lost, but I feel that there are more quality vocations coming up through the ranks. I know at least 2 seminarians around my age (i’m 24) and they are great men. Sure there may not be strong numbers, but I feel we have more quality vocations coming through, and they are orthodox so there i’m not worried much about apostasy within the church

I forgot to mention in my prior post that my parish alone has produced five ordained priests in the past few years. We currently have three young men from our parish in the seminary. I believe this is in large part due to the wonderful Life Teen program at my parish. Additionally,we have a Purpetual Adoration Chapel. I have heard it said that many miracles and blessings occur within parishes blessed with 24 hour adoration.:slight_smile:

I can’t help but wonder if the said exorcist has every actually read Harry Potter!

The themes in the HP books aren’t too different from those in Lord of the Rings:

  • Suffering servant
  • Good versus evil
  • “Ordinary” hero who has to carry a burden
  • Great power and the choice of using it for good or evil
  • Sacrifice (both physical and metaphorical)
  • Friendship / loyalty

All of these are of course also Gospel themes. Yes there’s magic in HP but the same is also true of Narnia and LOTR as well as many other children’s books.

While I wouldn’t disagree with the suggestion of a “lost generation” what I would say is that it’s very hard to pinpoint the exact reasons for this, and I would very much doubt that it would be possible to identify a single cause. Regardless, more needs to be done to promote vocations - once dioceses and orders had the luxury of an abundance of applicants. Now that this is no longer the case, it seems to me that there are two options - either be more pro-active in promoting and attracting vocations, or sit around wondering why it’s so quiet.

Yes, I agree with this. The only thing I’ve sen in parish regarding vocations is a pamphlet or two about the priesthood. Sure, Father is happy to talk with anyone about vocations, but they aren’t really “advertised.” In the back of our minds we all know it’s an option, but sometimes that promotion is the extra step needed for some to consider a religious vocation.

I saw an actual article stating that there was a good pool of older vocations

Well, I beg to differ. These are the worldwide figures issued in 2002 from the Vatican for Priestly Vocations.

Notice how the decline really began in 1970, when the New Mass was introduced - I am not demeaning the Novus Ordo Missae, I am pointing out something here - and observe that Religious Vocations started to fall in about '77, when the Orders started ditching the Habits.

Personally, I think it is the departure from Catholic Tradition and Catholic Identity, in particularly for Young People, that has cause the massive drop in Vocations. Although, in the last five years surprisingly they have started to jump back up on the rise.** All we can do is pray!**

I will re-iterate that one should read “Goodbye, Good men” by Michael S. Rose. It talks about statistics and figures etc. explains about how people were denied places in seminaries because they were too orthodox (i.e. they were faithful to Church teaching and did not want to progressively change it). There were people tossed out of seminaries on the basis that they were to obsessive and devout. Then there was the massive fear of so-called “clericalism” - which is really just hatred for Priests having to wear the uniform they are instructed to wear - Oh, those hippy rebels, they do crack me up! :shrug:

Might I add, there was (and is in some places) a rife homosexual movement within some seminaries - to the extent where some seminaries were referred to as “Pink Palaces” - and we are seeing the results of this gay culture erupting in the Church today. Here in Scotland, we are having it bad, especially since our dear Cardinal was exposed for having sexually abused the seminarians under his authority when he was a rector. In Scotland, it has became so bad that a Priest has written a book to try and expose a little truth about the horrid way in which these seminaries were run, although the book is highly inaccurate in some cases and also seems to condemn people who are not guilty.

Give the book a shot. The Church was in a strange place after V-II, people thought V-II caused a massive Liberal Revolution, but it’s documents speak Orthodoxy and Fidelity to Church Teaching through and through, and let’s thank God that this is finally starting to sort itself out now within the Church, and vocations are again on the rise.

God bless!

But doesn’t that support my hypothesis, though?

Those who did feel called to religious life were very turned off by the modernist changes. I am in contact with former nuns, and they said they left because the conciliar documents weren’t followed, and the founders were not read. So many wanted the habit, too, but were ridiculed.

I posted a pdf for parish vocations committees in another thread.


My dear Cloisters,

My sincere apologies - I have misread your hypothesis completely, but please take what i say into consideration.

Yes, I think you are about right in your hypothesis. St. Bernard of Clairvaux actually worked out that 1/3 people have a vocation the Priesthood or the Religious Life, but concluded that people are not exposed enough to God in general and to the greatness they could fulfill by pursuing such vocations.

Again, my sincere apologies :slight_smile:
Pax et bonum,
Deus, Salus Nostra :gopray2:

I think there is another factor that has to be taken in to consideration. Later vocations, age cut offs, and student loans. While it may be easier for people discerning the priesthood to get help from people with regards to sponsorship and helping to pay down debts, it’s more difficult if you’re dealing with the religious life which also often have an earlier cut off age too, particularly the more traditional orders.

I am grateful to see teenagers and twentysomethings with an interest in vocations, but those in their 30s through 50s are oftentimes requiring ‘wordly detox’. We not only have to teach them the Bible where SSA is concerned, but also their Catholic faith. I just saw on one California church’s website a shocking sign–an advertisement for a play called “When Di Met Sally.” Then there’s the occult trying to lure them. Wicca is actually a perversion of Catholicism and they are encouraged to participate in other religions and help humanity. They claim Catholicism stole their stuff when it’s the other way around.

And then we have the post-abortives who are rejected by religious communities. (Solution for that: cloisters.tripod.com/holyinnocents/


I’m in my late twenties now, but by the time all my student loans were paid off, I’d be in my 30s.

I don’t doubt the need for “worldly detox”.

I’d take the opposite view. In fairness, I am biased, but my preference vocations-wise those in at least their mid 20’s onward.

There’s something to be said IMHO for someone having spent time working and being in the world before embarking on priestly or religious vocation. The world is where we are called to be. We cannot escape or cut ourselves off from it - particularly the parts we don’t like. that doesn’t of course mean that we have to support, agree with or even condone those parts (in the world but not of the world) but we are nonetheless called, as Pope Francis has put it, to minister to people where they are. I just think that a bit of life experience is needed in order to be able to do this and also in order to be able to respond pastorally.

I do really wonder about those considering religious life as a means of escaping the world or of rejecting it - this is all negative motivation. A true religious vocation is all about positive motivations. Religious are called not to reject and despise the world, rather to embrace it in a new or different, way through their particular apostolate, including in the monastic vocation.

I dont think that the world is a place to be despised. After all, God created the world and He lived and died for it. He chose to live in the midst of the world (and as a lay person) with all its problems and distractions, even in His own day - and in His own day these problems and distractions were major, quite major. God still ardently loves and ardently longs to embrace His world and has never ceased and will never cease to do so.

I wonder what “due to earthly influences are not suited to religious life” may mean. I dont think that “earthly influences” (whatever it intrinsically means) is a problem situated in the world primarily of necessity - rather it might well be a problem of how The Church as a human institution is functioning in the world. Neither active nor contemplative religious life, I dont think, would necessarily favour an applicant whose ‘head was continually in the clouds’. Rather, they seek balanced personalities.

Religious Orders and seminaries can find that applicants are impoverished in their understanding of the Faith. No cause to throw hands up in horror nor to reject applicants - rather perhaps it highlights a need for the formative years in these vocations to really concentrate on Faith formation - perhaps even to lengthen formation in the early years to cover Faith formation alone. I absolutely doubt most any appicant is suitable per se for religious life per se on application - certain basic qualities need be present upon which to build in a process of formation in the formative years to final profession/ordination.

I sometimes wonder if the lack of vocations is due to the fact that we just don’t deserve them as yet. This is a question rather than a statement. In many areas, The Church is in crisis and seeking a way to negotiate and come out of crisis. This is going to take time and perhaps much time. It is going to take (to my mind) focus, informed intelligent identification and response, great patience and much confident trust in God. While our vocations may have dramatically fallen off, there is no need for any sort of despair or negative thinking and concepts, rather for striving to identify the problem if there is one and speaking to it. “The gates of hell shall not prevail”

Undoubtedly, the fall off in religious and priestly vocations has served to highlight and emphasize the role and vocation of the laity as vitally important - and as always intended by God - and as His call and personal vocation to be leaven from within the world.

I was told point-blank by a cloistered nun that hedonism was the biggest block to vocations. They couldn’t even give away their vocational literature.

Another cloistered monastery said on their website that candidates had to live pure lives even before coming on either a nun run or a retreat.

If someone has the attitude of promiscuity, they will have a harder time adjusting to the rigors of religious life. Monasteries take penitents on an individual basis, but the penitent has to be mentally stable.

Ever notice the abyss between educational administration and the vice in the student body?

In terms of what I originally meant, though, perhaps ‘it seems as if “modern day apostasy,” which has been adapted by many within our faith, has negatively affected vocations’ would be a better way of expressing myself?


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