Priest Shortage

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traditionMike

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Is anyone not experiencing a shortage of priests? If not Why?

I have heard that there is no shortage of young men entering the seminary in the Denver area because of a dynamic archbishop?
 
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traditionMike:
Is anyone not experiencing a shortage of priests? If not Why?

I have heard that there is no shortage of young men entering the seminary in the Denver area because of a dynamic archbishop?
Interesting you should mention…Third world nations are eperiencing a boom in vocations.In fact they are now sending Priest to Us… instead of Us sending priests to them…

I think is has to do with third world nations being less matreilistinc and more open to spiritual matters…
 
I saw a program talking about this on EWTN, The Abondant Life. In that particular episode, they were interviewing a guest who had performed an analysis of the enrollment in seminaries across the US. Diocese that held closer to a more othodox doctrine had a much higher number of seminarian applicants than those of a more liberal doctrine.

Chris
 
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ChrisDavis:
I saw a program talking about this on EWTN, The Abondant Life. In that particular episode, they were interviewing a guest who had performed an analysis of the enrollment in seminaries across the US. Diocese that held closer to a more othodox doctrine had a much higher number of seminarian applicants than those of a more liberal doctrine.

Chris
True.

Places like Lincoln NE, Denver, Philadelphia are growing as Albany, Rochester NY, Los Angeles are hurting.
 
Seems to me like its the more orthodox diocese that are getting vocations, while the more unorthodox ones are hurting. When will they figure it out? If people see the beauty of their church teachings then they may want to devote their lives to serving it. In places where moral doctirines and disciplines are attacked, people will grow up thinking that their church is wrong on something. Who would want to serve a church that is wrong? I wouldn’t.
 
In the unorthodox places maybe the shortage is a blessing. There are no students for the dissenting teachers to teach. However, they are still influencing the laity because our Diocese requires us to go to the local Seminary to get a degree to be in ministry.
 
Place like LA have a severe priest shortage. In an archdiocese that has 4.2 million baptised Catholics, only 5 men were ordained to the priesthood this year. In Denver, a see 1/10 the population of LA, 3 men weer ordained to the priesthood this year.

Also, traditionl orders have done quite well in terms of vocations. The FSSP has to turn away over 80% of applicants due to a lack of space, and the SSJC in Chicago, an order that for now is in just one parish, 2 men were ordained to the priesthood this year.
 
Hmmm I guess we are doing OK. Our diocese is pretty large, because of where we are and the more orthodox churches have at least one seminarian each. The one with the TLM, has two.

The formula is simple. I call it the faith solution.

Orthodoxy + regular prayers for vocations + perpetual adoration = parish with vocations

I even know of liberal churches with perpetual adoration and regular prayer for vocations who are seeing them. There is something to it. Our diocese is seeking (name removed by moderator)ut from the laity on the matter and if anyone has some hard numbers I would appreciate it. I collected some informtion on it that I will try to post tonight.

Also, we need to get back to the idea that CHASTITY is a very noble and beautiful thing. A saint once said that marriage is beautiful in that it produces virgins. 🙂 How many of you with kids really fear them becoming a priest because of the celibacy requirement? Be honest … we need to discourage that thinking. It is wrong.
 
Look at this site: The Sisters need a bigger convent! On August 22nd, 1997 Feast of the Queenship of Mary, the first new candidates were received into the community. Currently the community has 40 young women in formation. These young women come from all over the United States.

sistersofmary.org/sitefs.shtml
 
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weunice:
…Also, we need to get back to the idea that CHASTITY is a very noble and beautiful thing. A saint once said that marriage is beautiful in that it produces virgins. 🙂 How many of you with kids really fear them becoming a priest because of the celibacy requirement? Be honest … we need to discourage that thinking. It is wrong.
Hi, weunice!

I agree with you that chastity is, indeed, a very noble and beautiful thing. Chastity is not, however, a universal prerequisite for all vocations to the priesthood of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Catholic Church has allowed for a married priesthood since day #1. It was only when these Eastern priest arrived in America in the late 1800s to minister to the growing Eastern Catholic congregations that had immigrated to America that the fact they were married became an issue.

Since their was no Eastern Catholic Church heierarchy in place in America at that time, these priests became subject to the rule of the Roman Catholic bishops in their areas. These bishops, wishing to avoid a “scandal” (their word) vis a vis their own celibate Roman Catholic priests, disallowed the married EC priests to minister to their flock and, in many cases, even had them shipped back to the “old country,” often stranding entire congregations of Eastern Catholic faithful without a priest. Many of these faithful, sadly yet understandibly, left Catholicism entirely in favor of Orthodoxy.

Since that time, the Eastern Catholic Churches in America have, for the most part, respected the wish of their Roman Catholic brethren to avoid a “scandal” and have maintained, in most cases, a celibate priesthood, even though by Eastern Catholic Canon Law they would have been completely within their rights to ordain and institute a married priesthood for their parishes.

The recent acute shortage of priestly vocations, however, has forced the Eastern Catholic Church in America to reconsider its long-standing respect for the celibate traditions of their Western brethern. Also, our Holy Father, John Paul II, has mandated that the Eastern Catholic Churches take whatever steps may be necessary to reinstitute the treasures of their traditions that may have become “diluted” in an effort to “fit in” with the Roman Catholic Church in America - one of these traditions is, in fact, the allowance for a married priesthood! As I understand it, there are currently two seminarians representing the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, one of which is a married man. Since this is a matter that impacts nothing short of the very survival of our Church, I believe (hope!) that we will soon be seeing many more married men accepted into seminary programs of study for the Eastern Catholic priesthood.

Maybe we’ve come full-circle… maybe it’s now time for the Roman Catholic Church to follow the lead of the Eastern Catholic Churches…

😉

a pilgrim
 
It’s funny how the Roman Catholic Church has survived for so long without allowing their priests to marry. Suddenly, when there is a problem, we blame it on their vow of celibacy, a claim that history easily refutes.

I am entering a seminary next year, along with seven (maybe eight) other people. The next year promises to produce at least five seminarians out of high school (that I know of). In the archdiocese of St. Louis, my archdiocese, vocations are beginning to jump. After the liberal group of Vincentians [sic] left about 10 years ago, our seminary is on the verge of a huge recovery: with new vocational programs in place along with a strict orthodoxy taught by phenomonal priests, I have met more and more people who are pondering a priestly vocation.

Six years ago, my archdiocese began a week-long summer camp for young men who have thought of the priesthood. The program started at about 80 kids (none of them were highschoolers) to over 230 young men. If you factor in the sexual problems our Church has faced in the passed few years, which really cut down on applications to this program, the program has grown at a very large rate. Not only are 5th-9th graders looking into the priesthood, but we had 54 high-schoolers attending this program this year. + 10 of these highschoolers are seniors, and 4 of them are entering our seminary next year (another one is heading to Notre Dame’s seminary next year). And while we have four people who are 99.9% sure about entering the seminary next year, those aren’t the only people entering. While myself and one other person in my class agree that this program was the determining factor in turning in an application, six people completely unassociated with the program also joined. There is still time for more, too. In addition, in the past ten years, 70% of people who join our seminary have gone on to become priests. All signs point to a jump in ordinations in the next few years in our archdiocese. We must be doing something right.

No one wants to devote their life to something that “could” be the truth. That is why heterodox teaching often fails. It is no coincidence that very small diocese are producing more priests each year than many larger dioceses.

If anyone wants to blame the lack of answered calls to the priesthood on the vow of celibacy, I have to ask why the overwhelming evidence points somewhere else. For one, I have heard that applications to Protestant seminaries are also down. There has been no spike in people who are becoming permanent deacons, even though they aren’t required to take a vow of celibacy. In addition, there is the undeniable fact that vocations have been high even with the vow of celibacy for hundreds of years (I say hundreds because some argue that the abuses of the 1300-1500’s where priests were openly living with women to be an exception). Finally, there is the statistic that the Director of the St. Louis Office of Vocations has produced, showing that 80% of Catholic parents would discourage their kids from even thinking about the priesthood. Ouch.

Could a married priesthood increase vocations? Perhaps. However, history shows that the Church will flourish even without a married priesthood. And, IMHO, the advantages of a celibate priesthood far outweigh the disadvantages. However, that discussion is for a different thread.
 
Hi, Sanosuke!

First things first…

May God truly bless you and your upcoming seminary studies. I believe we should all thank God daily that He continues to allows His call to service to be heard and answered by men such as yourself. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how sacred and blessed your vocational calling is - what I do feel I have to tell you, however, is how truly thankful I am (and I’m sure I speak for MANY!) that you are willing to answer that call! Mnohaja i blahaja l’ita!

Thank you, too, for your insightful post! It’s clear that your background allows you to bring a lot to the table with regard to this topic.

There is no question that the Roman Catholic Church has survived for hundreds – thousands – of years with an exclusively celibate priesthood. As to whether it will continue to survive with an exclusively celibrate priesthood, well… I haven’t a clue - nor will I even venture a guess! That wasn’t the point of my post.

The point of my post was to illustrate the widely-accepted assumption that the term “Catholic” automatically equates to the term “celibate priest.” While this may be true for the Roman Catholic Church, it most certainly is not true for the Eastern Catholic Churches, as I had indicated. These are Churches that are every bit as “Catholic” as the Roman Catholic Church but tend to get kinda “lost in the cracks” of public perception, primarily because their combined size doesn’t even come close to that of our Latin brethren. As an Eastern Catholic, I feel an obligation to do my part to counter these misconceptions whenever I encounter them.

Thank you for understanding!

a pilgrim
 
a pilgrim:
The Eastern Catholic Church has allowed for a married priesthood since day #1.

Maybe we’ve come full-circle… maybe it’s now time for the Roman Catholic Church to follow the lead of the Eastern Catholic Churches…
Thanks for the info. I did know that the Eastern Catholics have this provision. That said, I do not think allowing married priests is necessary. We have a formula in place that has shown increases in vocations. To me it isn’t about getting warm bodies in the priesthood, it is about Christ cleaning His Church up and right now the only folks willing to be priests are mostly the ones who know this isn’t going to change, meaning they understand the authority structure of the Church. What they have to give up, and knowing they are unlikely to change it, is keeping the flippant decisions on this matter at bay. I personally think with Vatican II a lot of folks had hope that they could change it, but if it didn’t change in the 70’s, it isn’t going to change now.

Return to the Eucharist. The more we have on their knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament, the more who will hear the call God has in their lives.

That 80% number is humbling but I have a sneaking suspicion that these days that 20% happens to be Catholic families that we WANT priests to be coming from.
 
I live in the Toledo diocese (nw Ohio) and we were just told by the bishop that there will be 23 parishes closing in the next 3 years, mostly due to the priest shortage, but a few due to population shifts. One parish not too far from here is closing after 140 years of continous service . We have been told that when our priest retires, he will not be replaced So it doesn’t look good for our parish, either. Pray every day for vocations.
 
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weunice:
The formula is simple. I call it the faith solution.

Orthodoxy + regular prayers for vocations + perpetual adoration = parish with vocations
I agree. A faithful young priest in our diocese said to me, “Now that our parish has perpetual adoration, I know we’ll have vocations.” He said it with all confidence in God! --KCT
 
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davy39:
One parish not too far from here is closing after 140 years of continous service.
If only we could get the beautiful old buildings trucked to the parts of the country where the population has grown so much. (Not that we have the priests to put in them, either.)
 
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traditionMike:
Is anyone not experiencing a shortage of priests? If not Why?

I have heard that there is no shortage of young men entering the seminary in the Denver area because of a dynamic archbishop?
Define “shortage”.😉

Seriously, my parish has three regularly assigned priests, one retired priest who helps out on Sundays and in one of the chapels, one priest who is assigned to help out on Sundays, two deacons, and usually at least one vacationing priest (that is, a priest who is vacationing in our parish) who helps out by offering one or two Sunday Masses.

Now, before you say we must have an abundance of priests, they are responsible for 7 weekend Masses in the parish church and another 7 - 10 weekend Masses held in the various chapels (every section of the parish has at least one chapel for those who cannot make it to town for Mass). This means we have at least 3 (usually 4, and maybe as many as 6) priests for between 14 and 17 Masses. The parish has something over 30,000 Catholics.

John
 
a pilgrim:
Hi, weunice!

The recent acute shortage of priestly vocations, however, has forced the Eastern Catholic Church in America to reconsider its long-standing respect for the celibate traditions of their Western brethern.

Maybe we’ve come full-circle… maybe it’s now time for the Roman Catholic Church to follow the lead of the Eastern Catholic Churches…

😉

a pilgrim
Remember where these ‘traditions’ came from though: In the OT the Levite priests were required to abstain from sexual relations while they were at the temple offering sacrafices for their tour of duty. In the NT All of 1st Corinthians 7, especially verses 32-35 show the superiority of celebacy for those who wish to be completely dedicated to the service of the Lord.

Perhaps it is time for the Eastern Catholic Church to follow the lead of celibate ministers like the Roman Catholic Church.
 
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traditionMike:
Is anyone not experiencing a shortage of priests? If not Why?

I have heard that there is no shortage of young men entering the seminary in the Denver area because of a dynamic archbishop?
I believe that the “Priest Shortage” will keep on getting worse if the Roman Catholic church never lets the “priest” get married once again.
 
I was just thinking, I wonder how may priests are in administrative jobs that could be done by somebody else. They should be out in the trenches where they are really needed.
 
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