April 25, 2007

U.K. Vocations Appear to Be on the Rise

From Zenit.org

Seminary Applications Increase for 4th Straight Year

London, April 24, 2007

The Catholic Church of England and Wales released statistics showing that the number of those entering seminary has increased for the fourth straight year.

In 2003 the figure stood at 28; last year this had risen to 44, bringing the total number of men studying for the priesthood for the dioceses of England and Wales to 150.

Father Paul Embery, director of the National Office for Vocations, welcomed the rise, but remained only cautiously optimistic.

"After several decades of decline in the number of those training for the priesthood, we have seen four consecutive years of growth, which is good news; however we have no guarantee that this growth will continue," he said.

Father Embery added, "After Pope John Paul II died we saw an increase of interest not only in the priesthood but in Catholic life in general. The challenge for the Church is to recognize this and build on it."

The recent immigration to the United Kingdom from European Union accession states, such as Poland, has boosted the Church's numbers there in the last few years. But according to Father Embery, as yet there has not been a large number of applications for priesthood or religious life from these groups.

"I think that when people first arrive in a country it takes some time to orientate oneself to the new culture, including the local Church," Father Embery explained. "Maybe in future years some of those who have moved to the United Kingdom might feel God calling them to serve as a priest or religious here."


Blogger Jeff said...

This is great news, Father!

But I have been thinking over the past couple of years that as we Catholics have dropped the ball by becoming (necessarily!) obsessed with putting our own internal house in order, we have allowed the larger society to become transformed.

As the restoration of Catholicism proceeds apace (and Spiritui Deo Sancto Gratias! it does!), it is being reborn, as it were, in a context that will be far more inhospitable to Catholic presence and witness and much more likely to persecute us than we might have imagined a few decades ago. I'm afraid we may well have problems raising and teaching our children; will they put up with us 'discriminating' against homosexuals by teaching Catholic doctrine on the subject? Will they put up with a ban on women priests? I'm not at all sanguine that things will continue as we are so used to them in Western culture.

Ah, well...

Father, what is the standard offering to have a Mass dedicated to someone at your monastery? And are you (corporately or singularly) backed up?

8:32 AM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

Jeff, persecution for authentic fidelity to Christ ... are we worthy?

Deo Trino gratias agamus!

Mass Intentions at my monastery.
I am in the process of packing up here at the parish (my assignment here has concluded) and will resume life at the abbey next Tuesday. I can easily offer Mass for your intention next week. If you wish me to do that, write me a new comment entitled (if you wish) "CONFIDENTIAL" and I will receive it, but it won't be posted.

Our system of fulfilling requested Mass Intentions at my monastery is as follows.

None of us receives an individual list of intentions. Rather the list is written and is set up in the sacristy. As we prepare for Mass each day, each priest goes to the list and takes any intention that is specifically requested for that day. If there is none that was requested for that specific day, then we take any of those that are not date specific.

As for a voluntary offering, we leave it to the suggestion of our local diocese, ten dollars.

8:49 AM  

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