595 men are expected to be ordained to the priesthood in the United States in 2015, an increase of 24.7% over last year’s figure of 477, according to data released by the United States …
This is good news!
I also hit on the link within the story for further data, for religious-stats junkies.
Looking only at the USA, I noticed interesting trends. The number of sisters is dropping very fast. At some point the slowly increasing number of priests in the USA will pass them. But it is hard to make generalizations about sisters, since there appears to be 2 sub trends; more liberal congregations dropping very fast, and more orthodox congregations growing, but they are still so small their growth doesn’t balance out the severe drop in the bigger congregations.
It is puzzling to see the drop in annulments (along with new marriages). Does this reflect the smaller numbers in this age group? Probably.
The number of US funerals has been dropping steadily too. Here, you can’t explain it by saying it’s just demographic, because that age group has presumably been growing. Are the surviving relatives simply less religious, don’t want to bother with the time and expense of church service?
The number of infant baptisms has been dropping incredibly, just since 2005 (929,545 to 713,302). This is consistent with my own experience of relatives and friends, Catholics just aren’t having babies anymore. This figure, more than any other statistic, trend, program, or papacy, will reshape the Catholic Church in the US in years to come. I wonder what proportion of those infant baptisms are for families that came to the US in the past generation.
I am very happy to hear this news!
This is very encouraging. The other statistics, not so much.