Archdiocese of Philadelphia Reports Threefold Increase in Priestly Vocations

Some good news coming out of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Archdiocese just announced a three-fold increase in its priestly vocations from last year with 20 new seminarians enrolling in Saint Charles Seminary. One of those men is the godfather of my youngest child and we couldn't be prouder.

The increase is the largest in over ten years.

"It is extraordinarily gratifying to see these young men choosing a life of service to Jesus Christ and the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia," said Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior, Rector of Saint Charles Seminary in a press release. "With the servant leadership example of Pope Francis and Archbishop Chaput, these young men are once again experiencing the freedom that comes from this choice over a society that is increasingly secular and experiencing the emptiness of a world without God."

The archdiocese is also quick to point out the diversity of the new seminarians which includes four Vietnamese seminarians in the theological seminary and many more of Hispanic background.

"Our church must continue to reflect the ethnic diversity of our world and especially our region," said Bishop Senior in a release. "These new seminarians will make us even more sensitive to the spiritual needs of our parishioners."

The archdiocese of Philadelphia has had a rough decade. But this should give us all some hope. The archdiocese has also announced a new vocation recruitment program titled "Called by Name," which will be launched following Pope Francis' visit next month which we're all very excited about. The program will ask Catholics to suggest the names of potential candidates which will be followed by offers of discernment program including dinners as well as "Come and See" weekends for high school and post high school individuals. The program will reportedly be supported by parish coordinators; bulletin announcements and ads; as well as homily talking points.

Keep these seminarians in your prayers. They'll need it. And we need them.