Friday, September 10, 2010

The Coming Explosion in Vocations: Seminaries & Convents Filling Up Fast!

Tim Drake is one of my favorite Catholic journalists--he always seems to have the inside scoop. Now he has another great article, this time about the explosion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Here I'll post his story. Later I'll tell you about my friend Brother Cajetan, who made his "simple profession" of vows last month in August. I was there and it was a glorious! But before the anecdotal account, here's the bigger story Brother Cajetan is a part of:

Take a look at some of the good news coming from various seminaries across the U.S. and you’ll find that the Holy Spirit is still at work in the Church.

The St. Paul Seminary is welcoming 33 new seminarians this fall, bringing its total number of men studying for the priesthood to 92. It’s the largest group the seminary has had since 1981. The seminarians for the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis are from 14 dioceses and three foreign countries.
“Our strong enrollment reflects the growing number of men who are answering God’s call to the priesthood,” said Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan, rector of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. “Their witness offers hope for the future of our Church.”

The Diocese of Saint Cloud, Minn., currently has more men in formation than it has had in more than 40 years.
Meanwhile, at Sacred Heart School of Theology – a seminary for men over the age of 30 – in Franklin, Wis., has accepted their largest enrollment class in 20 years. Forty-two new seminarians have signed up for the fall, putting enrollment at 210. The incoming class is nearly double last year’s.

“A lot of guys…[have] decided that all this stuff they’ve been chasing all of their lives is not as important as they thought it was,” said Father Thomas Knoebel, vice rector for the seminary.

The Dominican order, too, – both male and female – is experiencing what Sister Joseph Andrew, vocation director with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Mich., describes as a “spiritual explosion.”

On Aug. 28, the teaching order of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, welcomed 22 new young women as aspirants to their community. The average age of the aspirants who just came in is 21. The average age of the entire group is 26. Founded in 1997 by four sisters originally from the Nashville Dominicans, the order presently has a total of 113 in the community.

The order is looking at the possibility of starting another mother house in either California or Texas, where land has already been donated.

Other Dominicans are experiencing growth as well.

On Aug. 2, the Dominican Province of St. Joseph accepted 21 men as novices. That’s the Eastern province’s largest novitiate class since 1966. As evidenced both in diocesan seminaries and religious orders, those entering religious life are trending younger. The average age of those coming into the Eastern province is 24.

The Nashville Dominicans thought that last year’s class would be their largest group of incoming postulants at 23. However, during the order’s 150th Jubilee, they had their biggest incoming class ever this year with 27 women entering. The order’s average age is 24.
Overall, the order is comprised of 274 nuns teaching in 34 schools across the country.
Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Michael said...

This is very good news Michael. I saw this yesterday from New Advent. It seems like the prayers for new vocations are starting to pay off. I hope it continues.