Ordinations dip; other trends hold

Ordinations dip; other trends hold

USCCB releases report on ordinations


Members of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph are ordained in 2017.  Photo CC license.

The 2018 report on U.S. ordinations shows a decline in the number of ordinations but steadiness in many of the trends noted in previous reports regarding age, ethnicity, education, etc.

A total of 430 potential priestly ordinands were identified by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which conducts an annual study for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops of men slated for ordination. The number of ordinands is 20 percent less than the average of 540 over the last five years. Just under one quarter of  this year's ordinands are members of a religious institute (23 percent), a proportion that has held steady for several years.

Other characteristics of the ordination class of 2018 are similar to patterns in previous reports, including the following findings for men being ordained in religious orders.

Facts for 2018 religious order ordinands

  • The average age is 36.
  • 68% are Caucasian.
  • 49-54% attended Catholic school or college.
  • 71% took part in a Come and See weekend. The proportion of religious order ordinands who have taken part in these weekends has been steadily rising for the past five years.
  • 66% prayed the Rosary regularly before seminary.
  • 62% took part regularly in Eucharistic Adoration prior to seminary.
  • 48% took part in high school retreats, 36% in college retreats.
  • 47% were active in a parish youth group.
  • 26% participated in a World Youth Day.


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