Saturday, July 15, 2017


If you are afraid of love, don’t ever become a priest, and don’t ever celebrate Mass.  The Mass will cause a torrent of interior suffering to pour down upon your soul, with one purpose only– to break you in half, so that all the people of the world can enter into your heart.”  - Thomas Merton

Having our two new young priests who minister to us, makes me see the need to do more for our them and other priests. In recent Blogs we introduced the new priests of our Archdiocese. One, will come next week to say Mass for us and give us his blessing.

There was recently an article in Mother Dilecta’s Catholic paper regarding the increase of priestly vocations. I think I have said in the past that where there is Eucharistic adoration, there is an increase in vocations to the priesthood. But as one can see by the following statistics, it takes a lot to propel one into the priesthood.

The typical member of the priestly ordinations in 2017 is a 34-year-old cradle Catholic.  This was from a recently released survey of 444 of the 590 men slated to be ordained to the priesthood in the United States. The survey was conducted for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

The typical ordinand also prayed the Rosary and regularly took part in Eucharistic adoration before entering seminary. 77% of the men were preparing for the diocesan priesthood. Among religious ordinations, the Jesuits (27 men), Dominicans (12), and Capuchin Franciscans (8) have the largest ordination classes. (Where are the Benedictines?)

25% of the ordinands are foreign born, with the most typical foreign countries of birth being Mexico (4%), Vietnam (3%), the Philippines (2%), and Colombia (2%). On average, these foreign-born seminarians have lived in the United States for 12 years and arrived in the US at age 25.

50% attended Catholic elementary school,  41% a Catholic high school or Catholic college (40%).  70% of ordinands are white, 14% are Latino, 10% are Asian, and 4% are black. 7% are converts, with the average age of reception into the Church being 21. 35% have a relative who was a priest or religious and in 80% of cases, both parents were Catholic.

69% prayed the Rosary, and 77% regularly participated in Eucharistic adoration before entering the seminary.

Ordinands typically first began to consider the priesthood at 16. 70% were encouraged by a parish priest to consider a vocation; 45% were encouraged by a friend, 44% by a parishioner, 40% by their mother, and 32% by their father.

43% had earned their undergraduate degree before entering seminary, and 16% had earned a graduate degree. 57% worked full time before entering seminary. 48% took part in a parish youth group, 31% took part in Boy Scouts, and 23% took part in the Knights of Columbus or Knights of St. Peter Claver.

15% took part in a World Youth Day.  75% had served as altar servers, 52% as readers, and 43% as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion before entering seminary.

A lot of statistics, but it is obvious that a vocation must be nourished if it is to flourish.
Eucharistic devotions such as adoration and visits to the Blessed Sacrament
are forms of prayer that increase our interior union with Christ. They help us gain
more benefits from the Mass and deepen our desire to serve others. and open our heart to the Heart of Christ.

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