After years of decline, Catholics see rise in number of future priests.

How appropriate that I stumbled upon this article just coming from a Seminarian Dinner Banquet!
Always great to see the Cardinal and owner of an NFL team present showing full support of future priests in the archdiocese!
And of course, nice to see young people answer the call to priesthood! Please keep our seminarians in your prayers.

Thank you Cathy Lynn Grossman for writing this article on Religion News Service.
Let in full here:
www.religionnews.com

Here are some highlights from the article:

- This year’s tally of 3,694 graduate theology students represents a 16 percent increase since 1995 and a 10 percent jump since 2005,

- Young men today “want to give their life for something that counts. These men are tired of living in a culture of relativism. They want to say there must be something true, beautiful and good. They have discovered the beauty of God,” said Latcovich.

- Between 2006 and 2012, the number of students enrolled in Master of Divinity programs at Protestant and non-denominational Christian seminaries fell from 31,532 to 29,249, Brown said.

New statistical look at the church shows the seminary-to-priesthood patterns and other shifts in American Catholic life:

- Annual ordinations have inched back up to the 1995 level of 511 new priests, still far below the peak of 994 in 1965.
- New ordinations won’t catch up to the thousands of retirements and deaths of ‘60s-era priests: the total number continues to slide from 58,632 priests in 1965 to 39,600 in 2013.
- The number of parishes without a resident priest is still growing – up from 3,251 in 2,005 to 3,554 now.
- A two-decade-long trend of parish consolidations and closings has led to fewer parishes where pastoral care is led by a deacon, religious sister or brother, or a layperson. Their number peaked in 2005 at 553 and now is down to 428.

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