Where are the American born priests?

New priests in my diocese in southern NM have been from Nigeria for the last 7 or so years. Not an issue really except for some their accents and very thick and hard to understand. Who chooses where foreign priests go? I know the calling to priesthood is down in the U.S. but is it even occurring? Has the molestation scandals have anything to do with it?

1 Like

I have close ties to two seminaries that are overflowing with American born seminarians. Yes, the number of priests and nuns is down from its peak but they are still being called and answering that call. Be blessed that you have good priests. It does not matter what country they are from as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

6 Likes

We have MANY “Home grown” in our Seminaries here in Louisiana. They are there just takes time and who is in greater need.

2 Likes

I think that the life of service given my brothers and sisters who become Fathers and Sisters are special, indeed. Thank God for all of them, wherever they may come from. :pray::pray::pray:

3 Likes

We’ve gotten several new American priests in the last few years as well as one from Africa and one from Asia. One of the US born priests converted from Protestant faith and another became a priest later in his life.

I do think the scandals and the general atnosphere in some seminaries that didnt stress prayer, shoved Mary aside etc made a lot of young men shy away from seminary or drop out. In addition, people have smaller families now so there are fewer Catholic young people to even consider being priests or religious.

It’s the same in my dioceses. The newly ordained or seminarians are from either South and Central America, or Africa.

It’s not just their accents that are the problem, but the cultural differences.

I could go on, but will refrain from letting off steam in here.

Jim

Sorry y’all feel that way I am just thankful we have enough Priests to say Mass, hear Confessions and Anoint and prepare us for death. One day it may not be so.

11 Likes

The alternative is? Thank goodness they’re willing to come here, or we’d have more parishes having to shutter.
As for cultural differences, my parish has a lot of citizens with Spanish-speaking parents and grandparents. The priests from Spanish-speaking cultures know their Catholic heritage better than the priests born here, and it is a rich heritage. The same goes for the Vietnamese and Filipino priests. These are so of the most devout parishioners we have and some of the most generous with their time and resources. They have a very good influence on our parishes.

The way to fill the seminaries is to have devout priests. Sure, it is nice if those have a similar background, but the good influence on parishioners of a devout priest cannot be overstated.

3 Likes

Thank goodness they’re willing to come here ?

From what I see, most are coming willingly to escape poverty back in their home country.

To tell you the truth, I’d rather see my parish closed and merged with another larger parish, than what we have now.

Jim

1 Like

Then go to the bigger parish with the priest you like right now. It’s OK to do that.

One of the most awesome pastors I have ever had is from Columbia. Sure, he has an accent, but I could alway understand him.

Having said that, I know the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon now requires candidates for the priesthood to achieve fluency in English prior to beginning seminary. They also want English-speaking candidates to have a start on Spanish or Filipino or Vietnamese, though, because the English-speaking Catholics aren’t the only ones who need a priest they can understand.

1 Like

Rather than me assume something wrong, can you explain why you feel that way?

I hear you. We’ve had a couple priests from Nigeria and I don’t understand what they are saying. I won’t go to confession to them because I don’t understand my penance or their advice. The homilies are a guess.

One priest did ‘go home’ for a month a while back and I thought how very difficult it must have been to come to a foreign country and give up everything familiar. It must have been a big sacrifice.

1 Like

Why should I have to leave my home parish because the priest makes us feel like we don’t belong there ?

Jim

I’m glad they come. Without them our diocese would be in trouble. Our last priest, a wonderful holy man, was from the Philippines. His replacement is from India.

2 Likes

I’m sorry, I thought you just said that your pastor is so unwelcome to you that you’d rather your parish be closed than have him. Who’s telling who that they don’t belong? He’s “making you feel” he doesn’t belong because he’s not good enough at his second language yet? (How is your second language coming along?)

Our Lord did say that it would be hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Is it some surprise that it is harder for them to make the choice to go to the seminary?

2 Likes

I’m not comfortable getting into the details in this forum.

Jim

Fair enough. That I understand. Please know I wasn’t trying to be confrontational.

Vancouver is so multicultural that priests with accents don’t even register for me anymore… because it’s not just the priests, it’s the whole parish. And I thank God that our parishes are overbrimming with immigrants, especially Filipinos, because otherwise they would be pretty darn empty…
White Canadian born folk just don’t go to church anymore for the most part.

1 Like

I haven’t had any cultural differences with African or Asian priests, any more than I have cultural differences with Africans and Asians at my workplace.

I have noticed that the African and Asian priests are pretty no-nonsense and holy, which is frankly refreshing.

The African priest at my hometown parish is probably the only African or African-American person in the whole parish and is loved by all. It’s the American pastor that people sometimes complain about.

3 Likes

I’m sorry, I thought you just said that your pastor is so unwelcome to you that you’d rather your parish be closed than have him.

No that’s not what I said. He is welcomed and has been since his arrival. However, it’s many of us elderly parishioners who no longer feel like it’s our parish.

Jim

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.