Annual Ordination Class Study Released as Church Prepares for Global Day of Prayer for Vocations

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WASHINGTON – The 59th edition World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be celebrated by the Catholic Church on May 8. The Fourth Sunday of Easter is commonly known as “Good Shepherd Sunday” for the Gospel reading of the shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep, as Jesus did for us. While supporting all vocations, the Church places particular emphasis on this day each year to pray for vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life, and to support those currently living one of these vocations.

Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations (CCLV) said, “The Church is grateful to God for continuing to call men and women to serve his people as priests. , deacons, religious and consecrated persons. As the Church in the United States begins its three-year revival of devotion to the Holy Eucharist, I encourage the faithful to pray to Our Eucharistic Lord to send more “workers into his harvest” (Mt. 9:38 , Lk. 10:12) and to keep those who are set apart for his service faithful to their calling.

In conjunction with the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the CCLV committee has released the study on the ordination class of 2022, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostleship (CARA) at Georgetown University. Here are some of the key findings of the report:

  • On average, the ordinands who responded first considered the priesthood at age 16. Responding ordinands were to be ordained an average of 18 years later (at age 33).
  • Three out of five (60%) Ordinand respondents are Caucasian. One in five (22%) is Hispanic/Latino. One in ten (11%) are ethnic Asian/Pacific Islander/Hawaiian. Relatively few (4%) are African/African American/Black
  • A quarter (26%) were born abroad. The most common countries of birth are Mexico, Vietnam, Colombia, Brazil and India.
  • One in ten (9%) say they have been homeschooled. Between 39 and 42% of respondents attended a Catholic school from K-12 and/or college.
  • Before entering the seminary, 74% participated regularly in Eucharistic adoration and 72% prayed the Rosary.
  • Half of the responding ordinands (50%) participated in a parish youth group, three in ten (28%) participated in Catholic Campus Ministry/Newman Center, and 25% participated in Boy Scouts.
  • Seven in ten (74%) served as altar servers before entering seminary. Other commonly cited parish ministries are those of lector (51%), extraordinary minister of Holy Communion (37%) and catechists (37%).
  • Nine in ten (90%) have been encouraged to consider the priesthood by someone in their life (most often the pastor, friend or fellow parishioner).
  • Unfortunately, half of the responding ordinands (48%) were discouraged from considering the priesthood by one or more people. Most often, this person was a family member (other than parents) or a friend/classmate.

CARA’s full report and profiles for the Ordination Class of 2022 can be viewed here: https://www.usccb.org/committees/clergy-devoted-life-vocations/ordination-classes

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

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