Showing posts with label Vocation Crisis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vocation Crisis. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

France: Clear Shift in Seminaries -- Diocesen Seminarians Decline, Traditional and Communauté St Martin Communities Increase

What will the priest of tomorrow be like? France shows a clear
(Paris) The trend of the figures about French seminarians shows some notable trends. Riposte Catholique compares the figures of the seminarians of May 2017 with those of May 2010. What changes can be seen during these seven years, the duration which consists of an entire period of priestly formation?
At the end of the 2009/2010 academic year (shortly before priestly ordinations) there were 918 seminarians in France. At the end of the 2016/2017 academic year, the figure was 853. This represents a drop of seven percent.
The numbers include the diocesan seminaries and all seminarians, whether French or foreigners, who study for a French diocese. Also included are the secular priestly communities of tradition (including the Society of St. Pius Xth ) and the Communauté St. Martin, which is playing an increasing role in France. The picture is therefore not entirely complete, since the Catholic orders are missing. The statistics, however, deliberately includes the world clergy.

Growth of communities of tradition and community of St. Martin

Seminarists in France: comparison between the academic years 2009/2010 and 2016/2017

The 94 French dioceses experienced a drop in French seminarians of almost a fifth (-18.2 percent). In the case of foreign seminarians preparing for a priesthood for a French diocese, the decline was even more pronounced and almost one quarter (23.1 per cent).
On the other hand, the priestly societies of tradition show an annual increase. The number of their seminarians rose from 140 in the academic year 2009/2010 to 160 in the academic year 2016/2017. This represents an increase of 14.3 percent.
During the same period, the Priestly Society of St. Martin (Communauté St. Martin), which was founded in 1976 by Jean-François Guérin, priest of the Archbishopric of Tours, was canonically erected with the help of the Archbishop of Genoa, Giuseppe Cardinal Siri. Guérin died in 2005, who was the Superior General until 2004, and was a member of the old-rite Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault. The mother house and the community priest's seminary are now in the former Benedictine Abbey of Evron.
The Priestly Society of St. Martin, who had 43 seminarians in France in 2010, had 98 in the past year. It was able to more than double its numbers. The increase is 128 percent.
The figures do not include the members of the Propaedeutic (Preseminary).

Clear shifts in the overall picture

The changes also mean shifts in the overall picture. In 2010, French diocesan seminarians accounted for two-thirds (66%) of all seminarians preparing for the priesthood in France. With the foreign seminarians who studied for French dioceses, their share amounted to 80 per cent. The seminarians of the priestly communities of tradition accounted for 15.3 per cent of the total number. The Communauté St. Martin had a share of 4.7 percent.
In 2017, the picture is clearly different: the French diocesan seminarists now account for only 58 percent of all seminarians who are covered. Together with the foreign seminarians for French dioceses, their share is 69.7 percent. The proportion of the priestly communities of tradition has increased to 18.8 per cent, and that of the Communauté St. Martin even to 11.5 per cent.
The proportion of diocesan seminarians are also distributed quite differently in the diocese. Eleven of the 94 dioceses had only one seminarian in the past year, five had no one. 13 dioceses had only two seminarians, 17 more only three, and another 18 dioceses between four and five seminarians. In other words, two-thirds of the French bishops do not even have a new priest every year.

Half of the diocesan seminarians are from 13 of 94 diocese - except Frejus-Toulon

More than half of all diocesan seminarians are from 13 of the 94 dioceses. Two diocese stand out: the Archdiocese of Paris and the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon. The largest number, with 70 seminarians, is the Archdiocese of Paris. At the lower end of the list, the seminarians of 42 diocese are to be counted in order to reach the number of seminarians in Paris. The archdiocese includes 3.3 per cent of the inhabitants of France, but accounts for 11.8 per cent of diocesan seminarians and 8.2 per cent of all seminarians.
The Diocese of Frejus-Toulon in Provence is a real exception. It has been headed since 2000 by the Bishop Dominique Rey. Although the Diocese is only 1.6 per cent of the population of France, the small diocese, with 42 seminarians, represents seven per cent of all diocesan seminarians and almost five per cent of all seminarians. On the whole, the seminary of Frejus-Toulon attracts most priestly vocations in proportion. At the seminary, 66 seminary participants were trained in the last academic year. In the past, Bishop Rey has promoted the establishment or founding of new orders and communities, including those with a missionary and traditional charism. The education at the diocesan seminary of Frejus-Toulon is also appreciated by priests of tradition.
27 dioceses had more seminarians in 2017 than in 2010. Not all of them signify a trend reversal, but some already. Worth mentioning was the increase, especially in the diocese of Lyon, Bayonne, Rennes, Montpellier, Meaux, Saint-Brieuc and Digne. The diocese of Bayonne is also headed by Monsignor Marc Aillet, a traditional bishop, who belongs to the Priestly Society of St. Martin.
Overall, a general shift can be observed. It leads away from the post-conciliar spirit and in a graded way towards the tradition.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: Riposte Catholique
Trans: Tancred

Friday, July 1, 2016

Priestly Ordinations in France 2016: A New Low Point

Priestly Ordinations in 2016 in Traditional Rite:
FSSP, Bordeaux

Amand Timmermans

The ordinations in France take place mostly around June, near the Feast of St.. Peter and Paul (June 29)  who are regarded as two pillars of the Holy Church.
The Bishops' Conference of France (CEF) announced a few days ago that about a hundred new priests this year were consecrated for the Catholic Church: 79 diocesan for pastoral ministry - a little more than 2015 (68), but less than in 2014, where 82 diocesan ordinations already hit an absolute low for some centuries.
Particularly sad is the low ordination number of religious priests, whether connected to an order or a new community: one expects about twenty.
For comparison: in 2016 the Episcopal Conference expects about 100 ordinations; in 2015 there were around 120, in 2014 to around 140; 2002 was around 200.
The decline in vocations has seriously strained the age pyramid.
The number of priests in France has almost halved in the last twenty years: from 29,000 (diocesan and religious priests together) in 1995 to about 15,000 in the year 2015.
10,000 of them are older than 65 years, 7,000 are more than 75 years old.
It is estimated that every year about 800 French priests die.
This means that the number of priests will be halved again within less than 15 years. In the long term about 3,000-4,000 priests are expected in France.
The ordinations are distributed very irregularly over the diocese: the Archdiocese of Paris with 11 ordinations is, of course, in the lead; However, it is closely followed by the dioceses of Vannes (7) and Fréjus-Toulon (6), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bordeaux (5) and four in Lucon en Vendée, Saint-Denis and Versailles. There are also five ordinations of the Communauté Saint-Martin in Évron (Mayenne). This priestly community was once in talks to take over the monastery abandoned by Benedictines, Abbey Weingarten (Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart). The project was of course very quickly discarded because of the expected "lack of acculturation".
The other dioceses in western France follow the sad country trend: two new priests in Quimper, one each in Bayeux, in Rennes, Nantes and in Laval.
In the diocese of Coutances, Séez, Saint-Brieux, Angers and Le Mans there are no ordinations this year.

Ordinations in traditional rite 2016: Institute of the Good Shepherd, Bordeaux

It is striking that there are those diocese best known as traditional friendly diocese, have the most vocations: Fréjus-Toulon, Vannes, Lucon and  the more conservative communities such as the Communauté de Saint-Martin in Évron (Mayenne).
In addition,  the communities of tradition are brought in, including the Fraternity of St. Peter , the Institute of the Good Shepherd (Institute of the Good Shepherd) and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, whose new priests are to be ordained in the traditional form of the Roman Rite.
"The seminarians reflect the sociology of practicing Catholics."
This dynamic development as pleasing also, at the moment is rather limited; and it will not be enough to reverse the negative trend.
This slight optimistic situation seems not to be of interest to Church leadership anyway. In particular, there is no re-evaluation of recent modernist practice up for debate.
Some Catholic journalists are of a mind that only a complete zero would be reached before it can lead to profound reforms.
As the Belgian example shows that is very doubtful:
The number of priestly ordinations had fallen to zero in the four northern Belgian dioceses (except Bruges) years ago without  bringing any reaction from Cardinal Danneels.
At the same time, Danneels issued a decree by which the Flemish seminarians who were studying in neighboring countries (diocese 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands), - in spite of the shortage of priests returning to northern Belgium, was banned. The Dutch were incidentally very grateful for these Flemish priest exiles.
Danneels' successor, Archbishop DeKesel, is acting in the same spirit.
Although there is a shortage of priests in Belgium and particularly in Brussels, with the pending closure of churches in the coming autumn, Dekesel has expelled the Priestly Fraternity of the Holy Apostle established by his predecessor, Archbishop Msgr. Léonard, in Brussels  (with currently seven priests and 21 seminarians) on 30 June 2016 from the Archdiocese, ​​on the grounds that the majority are French.
They don't just want bankruptcy, they  want naked, yes a stark naked collapse.
Text: Amand Timmermans (adapted from an article on v 06.25.2016.)
Picture: IBP / FSSP (screenshots)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vanishing Faith in the Eucharist is Reason for Priest Shortage

Bishop Klaus Küng with Graduates of the
Philosophical-Theological College of
St. Pölten
(Vienna) Bishop Klaus Küng of St. Pölten in Lower Austria has indentified that the decline of faith is the reason for the lack of priestly vocations. The bishop described the dwindling "faith in the Eucharist, that Jesus Christ himself is present, that the sacrifice he has taken on the cross is made ​​present," as the reason for the shortage of priests, which is a "'great tribulation" for  the Church.  Bishop Küng said last Wednesday before the Thomas Academy at the Philosophical-Theological College St. Pölten.  There are "astonished eyes" in the church "when we call priests from Poland, India and Africa to us." Often celibacy is responsible for the increasing shortage of priests, but the real reason was the "disappearance of faith," said Bishop Küng. It should also be less the Church, which - as often claimed - a "unintelligible language", but rather the "life of the people, consumer behavior and bustle" that they "hard receptive to the message of Christ" do.
Throughout history, the Church has often resembled a "wild garden". But it has ever been "newly planted and watered" again and again. So in spite of everything today, said the Bishop. "seeds" would germinate and bear fruit and that applies to every believer as well as  family, community and church.  God counted on  a "sower" to ensure "that we lend him voice, hands and heart and through our personal testimony to multiply the faith," said Klaus Küng, who has led, since 2004, the Diocese of St. Pölten. Previously, he was the  bishop of Feldkirch (Vorarlberg) for 15 years.   Küng who belongs to Opus Dei is going to finish his 75th year this coming September 17.  It is believed that Pope Francis is going to emeritus him in the fall.

Eucharist is the "Beating Heart" of the Church

As a consultant   the nun, Sister Maria Lisa Haim, also spoke on the Holy Eucharist as the "vital principle" and "beating heart" of the Church. The entire daily life of the Church would be strengthened and invigorated by it, such as preaching and diaconal life. The Second Vatican Council  Eucharist, therefore,  described the Eucharist as "the source and summit of the Christian life."  The  decree "Lumen Gentium", since it is the sacrament that love, "which comes from God and Jesus bids  his disciples do as he has" says Sr. Haim., who herself belongs to the  pontifically recognized Community, Pro Deo et Fratribus - Family of Mary,  while she is also a graduate of the Philosophical-Theological College St. Pölten. Her community  which belongs to the priestly community Work of Jesus the High Priest (OJSS) has taken over the former Servite House of Gratzen (Nove Hrady) and looks after the nearby pilgrimage site of Maria Brünnl (Dobra Voda) in the former German-South Bohemia (Sudetenland) near the border to Austria.

Protect Life from Conception to Natural death

As part of the Thomas Academy  two theses of the graduates from  the  Philosophical-Theological College  were also presented about the right to life. Julia Blaimschein spoke on "The moral Status of Human Embryos."  She showed five arguments, the "good reasons" there are to protect the human embryo after conception. 
Eva Doppelbauer, former spokeswoman for, spoke about "Euthanasia as a Conspiracy Against Life". The speaker warned of the "case of pity" and pointed out that  a slow but steady shifting of arguments and steps will lead towards the legalization of euthanasia.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Philosophical-Theological College of St. Pölten (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches....

Friday, September 30, 2011

Vocations Crisis in Anglican Church

Edit:  Wait, I've got an idea.  Why don't we ordain women and have married priests?

Just gone up on the main CofE website. Summary is here, full 62 pages of charts etc. are here. The main new stuff (it has the attendance figures which were published earlier this year) is about giving and vocations. Parish giving has risen, bucking the general trend across the charity sector, and over 500 people were ordained in 2010. However due to lots of retirements, overall numbers of full time clergy continue to fall. This is projected to drop a further 10% in the next 5 years.

At some stage the CofE will seriously need to reckon with this: the number of churches, expectation of a weekly Sunday communion, heavy clerical dependency etc. But since the change is all incremental, it feels like a slowly boiling frog scenario, and there's a danger we don't respond until it's too late. Maybe it is too late already.

The main stats document also has lots of info on confirmations, baptisms, weddings, funerals, chaplans and cathedrals.

Link to Opinionated Vicar... 

Visit sunny Cambridgeshire, or not... 

H/t to Ruthie Gledhill, except they want you to join them for a Pound.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

German Protestant Church Faces Vocations Crisis

Editor: But wait, the Evangelical "churches" in Germany haven't had clerical celibacy, and have Pastoresses. Surely they can't be having a vocations crisis.... Their preoccupation with "social justice" is certainly part of the problem, but a wry lone comment was made on the page which points to the utterly man-centered orientation of protestantism, which is its downfall:

"When liberal Protestantism demands religious reverence for the man Jesus, it is disgusting and shocking. They cannot themselves believe that the respect in which Jesus is held by the people and which they have made use of in such an unprotestant manner, can be maintained for any length of time after the nimbus of divinity has been destroyed, and they may reflect on the insufficiency of the momentary subterfuge. The Protestant principle in its last consequences, disposes of all kinds of dogmatic authority in a remorseless manner, and its supporters must, whether they like it or not, dispense with the authority of Christ."

The Protestant Church has secondary growth concerns: The number of students for Evangelical Theology is in decline since the beginning of the nineties.

[Die Zeit: Online] 10-15 years it will still go well, then however, Germany will be threatened by a shortage of ministers, fear the Union of Evangelical Pastors and Pastoresses. The number of young men, who want to be Pastor, has been declining for years: 1992 still had 8500 young people studying for the ministry, at the present there are only 2300, said Union President Klaus Weber. From 2020 on the Pastor-boom will fall into silence.

Not only is the number of candidates sinking, but simultaneously the number of members of the Evangelical church as well. These were estimated by 2030 to be a quarter of what they are today, said Weber. For this reason Pastor's positions are being closed. Already is a Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Pastor responsible for a dozen communities. The all-important personal contact is broken down. The church relies more on volunteers to hold its divine services.

Simultaneously, the requests of the Pastor grow, says Weber. In order to manage the requests, the ministers must be put in center points. These are for him as before the carefully prepared accompaniment of people in the turning points of their lives, like baptism, confirmation and marriage. "There is no other occupation, in which the doors of homes are so open."

Weber criticized also, he missed the engagement, to find a new way to people. It is also hard not to recognize, that in the country churches there is much effort to invest in the construction of financially sustainable structures.

From the 20th to 22nd September more than four hundred Theologians will meet for German Pastoress and Paster-day. The Germany-wide largest theological professional congress stands beneath the motto "The Evangelical Church and the Social Question".

Link to original, Zeit.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Whithering Beatnik Nuns Devoted to Environmentalism not Vocations

The following article actually mentions something key that:

As religious orders took root across the United States in the 19th century, they built networks of schools, hospitals and orphanages to provide services to the poor and marginalized. The rise of government and private programs, however, made many of these institutions obsolete.

It's not a question of going into obsolescence, but it's a question of auto-leisionism, or self-destruction. These gnostico-pantheists ought to be sorted out, given severance packages and sent packing. These Religious orders are becoming irrelevant because no one believes they are anything more than social workers.

The loyalty of these Massachusets Sisters rests more with Marxist pet causes like environmentalism than it is to their founding principles and their interest in things like this will be inversely related to the numbers of vocations they receive, which is a fairly good indicator of success.

Shrinking religious orders take up land conservation [Surely, it couldn't be as important as teaching Catechism to the poor or making altar breads]

Looking over the wooded parcel her Catholic order sold in 1992, Sister Chris Loughlin stood with arms folded, the regret on her face plain to see.

But Loughlin and her fellow Dominican sisters in Plainville, Mass., about 30 miles southwest of Boston, have more than made up for the loss of 10 acres from the former orchard that was bequeathed to the order in 1949.

Gesturing to surrounding fields and forests, Loughlin explained: "Now we have these 42 acres, and 32 of them are in a conservation restriction. So no matter what happens at this point, at least the land is preserved."

The old orchard is now home to the Crystal Springs Earth Learning Center, and the rambling farmhouse is the unassuming headquarters of a remarkable land conservation initiative, the Religious Lands Conservancy.

Launched by Loughlin in 2002 with the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, the Religious Lands Conservancy has been instrumental in placing hundreds of acres owned by religious communities into conservation. With a faith-based mission to protect the Earth, Loughlin has approached congregations throughout the Northeast to broach the spiritual value of conservation.

It's not just a feel-good spiritual mission. During the past 40 years, the number of Catholic nuns has plummeted 66 percent, and the number of Catholic brothers by 60 percent. The financial strain of dwindling membership has resulted in lucrative -- and often attractive -- offers to sell the orders' land to developers.

Loughlin said that although religious orders are fading, their land could yet be a lasting legacy.

She is among a growing network of Catholic sisters who have reexamined their connection to the Earth in the context of their faith. Mary Evelyn Tucker, a professor of environmental and religious studies at Yale University, said the increasing involvement of religious groups in preservation is not simply a trend but also "the rediscovery of ancient traditions." [Wow]

"All the rituals of world religions are very much nature-based," she said.

The green-sister revolution is rooted in the teachings of the Rev. Thomas Berry, who before his death in June fostered the idea that the environmental crisis must also be understood as a spiritual crisis. Sister Miriam MacGillis, a Dominican nun who has been at the forefront of the movement, said Berry's perspective shifted her work "quite radically" to encompass a respect for all life on Earth.

Ever since MacGillis helped found the 226-acre Genesis Farm and its Earth studies center in Blairstown, N.J., in 1980, Catholic sisters across the United States and Canada have woven environmental justice and community-supported agriculture into their religious vocation.

Living in Massachusetts -- the nation's third-most densely populated state -- the Dominican sisters of Plainville are helping to save a critical habitat, said Bob Wilber, director of land protection for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and their foresight has helped spark conversations with other orders.

Read further...

Friday, November 20, 2009

French Bishops Confronted with Vocations Crisis: Dici

Le Figaro, in its November 9 issue, related the disturbing discourses of some bishops during the assembly of the Episcopal Conference held in Lourdes from November 2 to 8. “When I ordain two priests per year, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, I bury twenty others…” “40% of people contributing to the “denier de l’Eglise” (a free donation given by Catholics to support the Church which receives no State subsidies in France, translator’s note) are over 80 years old,”Bishop Roland Minnerath, of Dijon admitted. So it is no surprise that confronted with such bleak prospects, Fr. Bernard Podvin, spokesman for the bishops, observed that “ a phenomenon of wearing down touches all states, priests, deacons, and committed lay people.”

Read further...Dici

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Increasing numbers of Traditionalist Clergy point to Restoration underway in France [Pastor in Valle]

This article on Pastor in Valle cites some of the stats for the declining number of priests in France and the increasing number of Traditional priests. He speculates that the number of Traditional seminarians would be greater if they had the benefit of Diocesan structures.

Asphyxia on its way

1. The number of French diocesan priests working in France is fewer than 9000. For a number of dioceses, (Digne, 25 priests, Nevers, 38, Auch, Saint-Claude, Gap, Digne, Viviers, Verdun, Pamiers, Langres, etc) in ten years time the number of priests in active ministry will be ten at the most. In Bishop Gueneley’s diocese of Langres, the most liberal of French dioceses, one frequently finds one sole priest for 60 churches.

2. The number of seminarians has now fallen below the mark of 750 (740 in 2008, and this number includes a good hundred seminarians from non-diocesan communities). Pamiers, Belfort, Agen, Perpignan, &c, have no seminarians.

3. The number of ordinations remains fewer than 100 (90 in 2009—Paris, which is one of the best situated, had 10, 2 for the Emmanuel Community; 7 are predicted for 2010, and 4 for 2011)

4. 120 vocations have been declared for the class beginning in 2009.

The conclusion is dramatic: a third of French dioceses will cease to exist but will have to regroup within the coming 15 years.

Yet the majority of bishops, above all Archbishop Vingt-Trois, do not despair. Despite everything, the Church remains visible; she remains alive despite appearences. Archbishop Vingt-Trois has given a marvellous example of ‘visibility’ which was heard on Radio Notre-Dame (interview of 5th November): in a parish without a priest, the laity got themselves together to say the Rosary in a village hall: there they also had the idea of cleaning the church to recite the rosary in; so, nothing is lost; this church will live again…

Entire article...