Tradition = vocations – It isn’t rocket science
I contend that the shortage of vocations is a self-inflicted wound.
Yesterday, here in the Diocese of Madison, the Extraordinary Ordinary and the seminarians concluded a week of praying together, talks, activities, hanging out with each other and priests. Among other things, we distributed a terrific book which you readers bought for them and the new guys were measured for birettas. If there is one thing that these guys understand: the bishop and vocations director have their backs. The bishop and director know that seminarians will play it straight with them. The whole diocese knows how much care the bishop puts into vocations. They are conspicuous. Result: young men answer invitations to consider the priesthood.
Marco Tosatti, in First Things, opines about a sharp downturn in vocations to the priesthood. My emphases and comments:
RETURN OF THE VOCATIONS CRISIS
by Marco Tosatti
The recovery in priestly vocations seems to be over. Between 1978 and 2012, after the great crisis of the 1970s following Vatican II, seminaries around the world enjoyed a season of growth. The growth was not constant, nor was it uniform across countries and continents. But the trend was clear. Numbers revealed recently by the Central Office of Statistics of the Holy See show that in the past five years, the vocations crisis has returned.
The greatest gains came under John Paul II. In 1978, the year Karol Wojtyla was elected pope, vocations worldwide totaled 63,882. In 2005, the year he died, they totaled 114,439. The numbers continued to rise during the reign of Benedict XVI: Vocations reached their modern peak in 2011, with 120,616—an increase of 6,177 since the papal transition year. After 2011, they drifted downward: to 120,051 in 2012, and 118,251 in 2013, the year of Benedict’s resignation. Thus, vocations in 2013 were down 2,365 from their height under Benedict, and up 3,812