US Catholics see rise in number of future priests

A report said the Catholic Church in the United States is seeing a growing number of men enrolled in graduate level seminaries.

Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate noted that this year’s tally of 3,694 graduate theology students represents a 16 percent increase since 1995 and a 10 percent jump since 2005.

Religion News Service reported that seminary directors cite more encouragement from bishops and parishes, the draw of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and the social-justice-minded Pope Francis, and a growing sense that the church is past the corrosive impact of the sexual abuse crisis that exploded in 2002.

“I always had an inkling that I might want to be a priest and my parish priest told me he thought I might be called,” the report quoted student Kevin Fox.

Fox said the secular path “wasn’t filling my soul with joy.”

Rev. Mark Latcovich, president and rector of St. Mary Seminary, said current seminarians and priests are “our best recruiters.”

“If they are happy and witnessing their faith and opening their hearts, that enthusiasm and joy is contagious,” he said.

Source

Religion News Service

Image: Patheos

News category: World.

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