Vocations to the priesthood

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Are there many vocations to the priesthood in your diocese? Why or why not, do you think? What is being done in your diocese to foster vocations to the priesthood?

-- Anonymous, July 06, 1998


Respose to vocations to the priesthood

Paul - our diocese encompasses about 5 million people, I know at least 50% of those are Roman Catholic. This year, they ordained 5 priests. Last year, they had no ordinations at all. I don't get the impression that they are doing very much to foster vocations - if they are doing anything, it's not working. One thing I have noticed is that while we had a shortage of altar boys before, we now have a glut of altar servers...they are all female. The boys don't want to be bothered, they have no example to follow, no priest they admire that they want to imitate and it's not "cool". When the boys are serving, they are, with a few exceptions jittery or yawning. The girls, on the other hand serve with an impressive reverence, and they all seemed to jump at the chance to serve. One of the mothers of a female server told me her daughter is now torn between nursing or a religious vocation, though she'd prefer the priesthood! My 13 year old talks about the priesthood sometimes and we are always supportive of that...and he likes the teen retreats, but who knows what will happen? On a related issue, though, we seem to be seeing a small...almost imperceptable but it is there, rise in the number of women looking at religious life. They are usually older, in their 30's and 40's, but it is happening. I know of (not personally) 9 women from our diocese who have entered orders in the past year, 5 active, 4 contemplative. As people begin to realise that political correctness and much of the "free thinking" of the last few decades has been "a bill of goods", I think we will see more and more woman looking at the religious life. Here in America, though...all we get all day, in every medium is "sex is good, we should all be having sex, a guy needs a lot of sex and celibacy is a perversion - a lifestyle for misfits and latent homosexuals"...not exactly a message that gets men thinking about the priesthood. Very sad...but I know the Holy Spirit will help out with this...she's handled the last 2,000 years pretty well. (And yes, I call the Holy Spirit she...just as wisdom is referred to as She in scripture!) Ave Maria, Dana

-- Anonymous, July 07, 1998

Paul, I am a seminarian studying for my diocese for three years now. before I entered ther were only two sems, but after we got a new archbishop, within three years we have fourteen sems. WOW! God works through Holy Shepards!

-- Anonymous, July 08, 1998

I've heard that in more orthodox diocese' the number of vocations is increasing while in more liberal diocese' it is not. I'm not sure this is true, but I find the idea comforting.

-- Anonymous, July 08, 1998

In our diocese, the only parish which can be identified as really producing vocations is one in Southampton (South Coast of England) which also, by an amazing (ho-ho) coincidence, happens to be the only parish in the diocese which has Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 10 am to 9 pm every day of the week. Our bishop, who's about as liberal as they come (lovely man, but desperately keen on 'Community' and very unkeen on any traditional practice), is a bit twitchy about this, and thinks it's because the parish priest makes a habit of asking likely candidates if they've ever thought about it. That might be true, save that in most parishes there aren't any likely candidates, because there's no one there between 14 and 35.


-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998

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