If you are actively discerning a vocation to the Priesthood, Diaconate, Consecrated Life, or Marriage and you are looking for information to help in your discernment, BE SURE TO CHECK the section at the bottom of the right sidebar for the "labels" on all posts. By clicking on one of these labels it will take you to a page with all posts containing that subject. You will also find many links for suggested reading near the bottom of the right sidebar. Best wishes and be assured of my daily prayers for your discernment.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Report to the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has published their annual survey of ordinands to the priesthood. If you are interested in vocations, vocations work, or are discerning a vocation to the priesthood or religious life it is an interesting read. It is important to remember that only about 60% of the potential ordinands for 2007 actually responded to the survey. My biggest complaint is that the survey fails to give us any kind of a snap shot of the spiritual history of the ordinands. The survey gives us information about various historical aspects of their life - whether they played sports, what are their hobbies, raised Catholic or not, etc., but it tells us nothing about the prayer and devotional life of the ordinands prior to entering seminary. I for one think that would be helpful. That said here are some interesting points (comments mine):

-the most important thing I saw in the survey - "The median age of diocesan
ordinands is 32, while the median age of religious ordinands is 33. This is a slight reversal of a
trend toward older average age at ordination that has been occurring over the last ten years..."

-80% were encouraged to consider the priesthood by priests, but 7% were discouraged from considering the priesthood by priests (???)

-42% were encouraged by their mothers, but only 28% by their fathers

-friends were the largest group to discourage considering the priesthood by an average of 28% for Diocesan and Religious combined

- Websites were the most influential source of information/advertising turned to by ordinands, with close to 1 in 5 responding that websites had influenced their discernment (I pray this site may become one of those sites!)

- "On average, the responding ordinands report that they were about 17 and a half when they
first considered priesthood as a vocation. Eight in ten were encouraged to consider the
priesthood by a priest. Close to half report that friends, parishioners, and mothers also
encouraged them to consider priesthood. Four in ten ordinands participated in a "Come
and See" weekend."

- "Relatively few ordinands say that TV, radio, billboards, or other vocational advertising
was instrumental in their discernment. About one in five says that websites influenced
their discernment. Nearly three in four report that they have seen the "Fishers of Men"
DVD, published by the USCCB."

- "One in five ordinands participated in a World Youth Day before entering the seminary.
Ordinands have also been active in parish ministries, with between about half and threequarters
indicating they served as an altar server, lector, or Eucharistic minister in their

To read the rest of the report: The Class of 2007: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

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