WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Evidence from a study on the candidates for ordinations this year shows that the vocations are a result of the collaboration of clergy, families, and the entire People of God.
The U.S. bishops’ conference reported Friday on “The Class of 2010: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood,” an annual research project commissioned by the conference and conducted by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the conference’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, affirmed, “Most ordinands have been Catholic since birth.”
He continued: “Four in five report that both their parents are Catholic. Almost eight in 10 were encouraged to consider the priesthood by a priest.
“This speaks to the essential role the whole Church has to play in fostering vocations.”
The cardinal pointed out that the almost three-quarters of this year’s class reporting serving previously as an altar server, lector, Eucharistic minister or other parish minister.
“One important trend evident in this study is the importance of lifelong formation and engagement in the Catholic faith,” he stated.
Some 92% of the men held a full-time job before entering the seminary, with education being the most popular field.
Three out of five of the ordinands completed college before entering the seminary, and one in five also received a graduate degree.
A third of the class entered the seminary while in college. On average, they reported first considering a religious vocation when they were 18 years old.
The youngest person due to be ordained this year is 25, and 11 men are age 65 or older.
Around 37% of the ordinands have a relative who is a priest or religious.
Two thirds of the class stated that they regularly prayed the rosary and participated in Eucharistic Adoration before they entered the seminary.
The majority of the men have more than two siblings, with 24% reporting five or more brothers and sisters.
Some 70% of the ordinands are Caucasian/European American/white, while 13% reported their ethnicity as Hispanic/Latino, and 10% as Asian/Pacific Islander.
Almost one third of the class was born outside the United States, the majority coming from Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines, Poland and Vietnam.
The survey was sent to 440 candidates for the priesthood. It was returned by 291 men who will be ordained for the diocesan priesthood and 48 who are belong to religious orders.
The bishops’ conference is publishing the entire report on their Web site, as well as on a new page dedicated to the promotion of vocations.
This new site will be launched on Sunday, which is Good Shepherd Sunday and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
It contains resources for men and women discerning a vocation, as well as for parents, educators and vocation promoters.
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On the Net:
New Web site for vocations: www.ForYourVocation.org