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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The U.S. Ordination Class of 2008

Each year the US Catholic Bishops' Conference collects information on the men being ordained that year. This year's class was my class. You can even find a photo of me on the bishops' website! You'll also find some interesting commentary and statistics like this:

“We are blessed with the enthusiasm the newly ordained will bring to the mission of the Church,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “We pray that through their good work and example more men will generously respond to the Lord’s call to serve as priests.”

The report reflects a response rate of approximately 84 percent of the 401 potential ordinands reported to CARA. These 335 ordinands include 242 ordinands to the diocesan priesthood and 77 ordinands to the religious priesthood. Another 16 ordinands did not specify whether they were being ordained to diocesan or religious priesthood.

CARA also found
  • Most ordinands have been Catholic since birth, although close to one in ten (9 percent) became Catholic later in life.
  • Half of responding ordinands (51 percent) attended a Catholic elementary school, as have almost half (49 percent) of all Catholic adults in the United States. However, ordinands are somewhat more likely than other U.S. Catholic adults to have attended a Catholic high school and they are much more likely to have attended a Catholic college.
  • Ordinands were active in parish ministries before entering the seminary, with between about half and three-quarters indicating they served as an altar server, lector, and/or Eucharistic minister in their parish.
In other findings: the youngest ordinand is 25 and the oldest is 76 years of age. Five ordinands are being ordained to the priesthood at age 65 or older.

Get all the info here.