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.