US 20 year high for vocations to priesthood [Fr. Z]

There is a video interview on Wall Street Journal about a new book which explains that vocations to the priesthood are at a 20 year high.

The interviewer is surprised! *She wanted to know if the Church be being more progressive. *Quite the opposite is true.

As a matter of fact, stronger, clearer bishops seem to be able to foster more vocations. Imagine my surprise.

Of course we *know**this, don’t we! *But it is nice to hear this in the media.

It’s NOT rocket science, friends. Clear, strong, hard Catholic identity inspires that “YES!”

NB: There is a spectacularly annoying ad in the video before the interview starts.


Full entry…

Keeping to tradition does help vocations, in part because people don’t get confused by ambiguity when you stand for principles.

Of course, the Western media wants to inject its values in the Church. :rolleyes:

Very good news, I hope it continues.

Our diocese and seminary has definitely had a vocations increase. Our former priest said he was the ONLY priest ordained that year. Now we have 15 to 20 from the same seminary. What we have also seen is a number of second career priests in their 30s or even in their 40s as well as an increase in younger men. As was noted, the more traditional and orthodox the priesthood, the more attractive. It’s not, as the secular media seems to think, just another job :smiley:


I really think there is something to sticking to principles.

I don’t think the interviewer was surprised, so much as offering the the author an opportunity to present one of the major points in the book. Here is a little more on that point, from a Wall Street Journal print article which was written by the book’s authors.

[quote=WSJ article]What explains the trend? Nearly 20 years ago, Archbishop Elden Curtiss, then leader of the Omaha, Neb., diocese, suggested that when dioceses are unambiguous and allow a minimum of dissent about the male, celibate priesthood, more candidates answer the call to the priesthood. Our preliminary research on the correlates of priestly ordinations reveals that the dioceses with the largest numbers of new priests are led by courageous bishops with faithful and inspirational vocations offices.

[The] aging generation of progressives continues to lobby church leaders to change Catholic teachings on reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and women’s ordination. But it is being replaced by younger men and women who are attracted to the church because of the very timelessness of its teachings.

They are attracted to the philosophy, the art, the literature and the theology that make Catholicism countercultural. They are drawn to the beauty of the liturgy and the church’s commitment to the dignity of the individual. They want to be contributors to that commitment—alongside faithful and courageous bishops who ask them to make sacrifices. It is time for Catholics to celebrate their arrival.

Our diocese has gone from 13 seminarians 10 years ago to around 75 now. The difference has already had an impact, as there are few parishes with only one priest, and more and more parishes have as many as 3. Very little talk anymore about preparing for “priestless” parishes, communion services are becoming a thing of the past. Confession times at most parishes are being increased dramatically.

I think a big cause of this is a return of Eucharistic adoration. 20 years ago, it was the exception if a parish had a regularly scheduled benediction and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Now it is reversed. Almost all parishes have it at least weekly. That is a big deal.

It also helped us that the new Bishop a few years ago appointed a new vocations director and gave him 5 years to be up to 100 seminarians.

This seems to be true even among the Jesuits locally, and we know that until recently the Society has had trouble, some of their own making, attracting vocations. But yes, in recent years there have been significant increases in vocations. I just had no idea it was this good.:smiley:

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