This week, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University released its 2019 Survey of Ordinands, a national survey of seminarians who will be ordained to the priesthood later this year.
As a college seminary, the most interesting statistic to us was that the average age when these future priests first considered a vocation to the priesthood was 16 years old. This underscores the importance of vocation programs such as Quo Vadis Days and having a college seminary in our diocese for young men to discern their call to the priesthood during the college years.
Some other interesting facts about this year’s diocesan ordinands:
- Almost all were baptized Catholic as infants
- Three in four report both parents were Catholic when they were children
- 1 in 10 were homeschooled; 4 in 10 attended Catholic school; and 6 in 10 participated in a religious education program in their parish
- 56 percent participated in a high school youth group
- Nearly 80 percent served as altar servers
- 72 percent were encouraged to consider the priesthood by a parish priest; 42 percent were encouraged by a parishioner
The statistics above really underscore two vital sources of support for our future seminarians:
- Parents committed to raising their families in the Catholic faith (we know they didn't drive themselves to church, religious ed classes, and youth group)
- Parishioners who encourage and support vocations to the priesthood
This Sunday is Mother’s Day…a special day for mothers, godmothers, and grandmothers. It’s also the day we will celebrate a Baccalaureate Mass for two of our seminarians who graduate next weekend and will continue their priestly formation at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio in the fall. Please join us Sunday at 10:30 am at St. Ann in Charlotte.
On behalf of everyone at St. Joseph College Seminary, we extend our wishes for a blessed and happy Mothers' Day to all mothers and our gratitude to all parents who labor unceasingly to raise their families in the Catholic faith so that they may gain eternal joy in Heaven. Most especially, we offer thanks and praise to Our Blessed Mother, Mary Most Holy!