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Monday, June 14, 2010

"Australia: Significant increase in ordination of Catholic priests"

From Spero News

Six new priests ordained in Sydney and others ordained in Melbourne in 2010; a significant increase in seminarians throughout the country... These are the figures that make up the "miracle that occurred in the Year for Priests," says Fr. Brendan Lane, Rector of Corpus Christi Seminary in Melbourne, noting that the phenomenon goes against the trend of decline in vocations and priestly ordinations in recent years. "Twenty years ago, we may have thought we were headed into extinction," he said, but now the prospects are quite different.

The Australian Church is experiencing this moment of joy that offers new hope for the future. The Catholic community in Sydney is preparing for the ordination ceremony for six new priests, which will coincide with the closing of the Year for Priests, Friday, June 11 at Saint Mary's Cathedral, presided by Cardinal George Pell. The Archdiocese also has 63 seminarians, a significant increase considering that in 2000 there were only 17.

Six new priests will be ordained in Melbourne, home to more than 50 seminarians from the states of Victoria and Tasmania. In Brisbane, where a new seminary was built in 2008, the number of seminarians has doubled in two years, from 16 to 32 today. The same phenomenon is noted in the Seminary of Wagga Wagga (which houses 20 students) and in the two existing seminaries in Perth (with around 40 students).

The figures show great hope for the future of the Church. "Confronted by a postmodern world lacking in beliefs and values, many young people are seeking something solid and I would like to think they find it in the Catholic faith," said the rector of Sydney's Good Shepherd seminary, Father Anthony Percy. "I also think Pope John Paul II and the World Youth Days inspired this generation," he said.

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