|St Thomas Seminarians|
As Catholics in many parts of the United States mourn parish closures because of priest shortages, the world’s priestly vocation boom is an underreported story. According to the Vatican’s statistical yearbook, the number of major seminarians worldwide rose from 63,882 in 1978, when John Paul II was elected pontiff , to 115,919 at the beginning of 2008—an increase of 81 percent, far outstripping world and Catholic population growth. During the same time period, however, the number of seminarians in the United States fell from 14,998 to 5,029, according to statistics published in The Official Catholic Directory—a decline of 66 percent.The rest at Cleansing Fire
Nonetheless, many of America’s dioceses are taking part in the worldwide vocation boom. The number of diocesan seminarians in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis more than doubled from 63 in 2003 to 148 in 2008—the highest number in the nation. The Diocese of Lincoln, with 43 seminarians and 93,989 Catholics in 2008, remains the nation’s most vocation-rich diocese, with a ratio of one diocesan seminarian for every 2,186 Catholics, a statistic that does not include the 54 religious-order seminarians who live in the diocese but will be ordained for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
Overall, the nation’s 20 most vocation-rich dioceses in 2008, based on statistics published in The Official Catholic Directory, were Lincoln, Tyler (Texas), Duluth, Wichita, Tulsa, Steubenville, Rapid City (South Dakota), Alexandria (Louisiana), Bismarck, Nashville, Mobile, Fargo, Memphis, Owensboro (Kentucky), Amarillo, St. Paul and Minneapolis, Covington (Kentucky), Lexington (Kentucky), Lafayette (Indiana), and Sioux Falls (South Dakota). . . .
In 2008, Las Vegas was the nation’s most vocation-poor diocese, ranking 176th with a ratio of one diocesan seminarian for every 175,000 Catholics. Overall, the nation’s 20 most vocation poor dioceses were Las Vegas, Rochester, San Diego, Honolulu, New York, Los Angeles, El Paso, Dallas, Metuchen (New Jersey), Rockville Centre (New York), Tucson, Laredo (Texas), Orange (California), San Bernardino, Santa Rosa (California), Fall River (Massachusetts), Manchester (New Hampshire), Detroit, Brooklyn, Buffalo, and Hartford. . . .
Sconnie seminarians, looks like your somewhere in the middle. Minnesota has some very good looking numbers!
HT Stella Borealis