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Monday, May 6, 2013

What Does a Typical Priest Look Like?

Most are from traditional Catholic families are not afraid of traditional devotions, according to a new survey

By Francis Phillips

Seminarians in New York. A new study paints an interesting picture of the type of men joining the priesthood    CNS
Seminarians in New York. A new study paints an interesting picture of the type of men joining the priesthood CNS

There was an interesting article on Catholic World News for 2nd May. The headline caught my eye: “Typical new priest: 32-year-old cradle Catholic who prays Rosary, takes part in Eucharistic adoration.” Reading down I saw this was a survey of 366 out of 497 men to be ordained in the US this year. The headline itself was uplifting: these are mature men who emerge from Catholic families and who are not embarrassed to take part in traditional devotions. Thank God for them.

There were other significant features to the survey: the overwhelming number (81%) has two Catholic parents; 20% have five or more siblings, 10% have four siblings and 22% have three siblings. 4% have been home-schooled – at a time when less than 2% of US children are educated at home. This – admittedly small – survey indicates that having two Catholic parents undoubtedly makes it easier to develop a vocation. Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis had Catholic fathers and mothers with a strong faith, who thus provided a balanced influence on their sons’ vocations. Again, larger families tend to produce more vocations than smaller ones. Perhaps this is because there are fewer material distractions in larger families, alongside greater opportunities for service? As it happens, I personally know of three priestly vocations from homeschooling families in the US. Again, such families tend to be large, counter-cultural and with a strong Catholic ethos.

Read more at the Catholic Herald >>



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