Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate has released the results of its annual survey of ordinands. The data shows that the trend of ordaining foreign-born priests is continuing. Another continuing trend is that the median age of priests is decreasing. A couple of other interesting figures to note… 78% were encouraged by a priest to enter seminary. Half of the ordinands were discouraged from entering the seminary by parents or other family members. 19% attended World Youth Day; and 8% attended one of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s summer youth conferences.
Here’s a look at some of the other findings of the survey:
• the average age of ordinands is 37; the median age of diocesan ordinands is 33
• 10% are converts
• 37% have a relative who is a priest or religious
• 55% have more than two siblings
• 49% attended a Catholic elementary school; 39% attended a Catholic college
• 60% completed college before entering the seminary; 92% held full-time jobs
• 78% were encouraged by a priest to enter the seminary
• 50% were discouraged by parents or other family members from considering the seminary; 15% were discouraged by priests, while 4% were discouraged by religious
• 19% attended a World Youth Day; 8% attended a Franciscan University of Steubenville High School Youth Conference
• 67% regularly prayed the Rosary before entering seminary; 65% regularly took part in Eucharistic adoration
• the seminarians typically began to consider a priestly vocation when they were 18
For a USCCB summary of the data, check out this press release.