The good news is that we're getting 5 "baby" priests! The Holy Spirit is continually calling men to the vocation of ministerial priesthood, and some are hearing and responding to the call. And this year's ordination represents a 500% increase in new priests over 2007....which means that we only had one last year. Still, it's an improvement, and from what I've been told by our associate pastor (who was that sole ordained priest), good priests are coming.
The bad news is that, out of a large Catholic population in the metro Detroit area, there are only five new priests. It can be disheartening when considering that in the six counties of the archdiocese, there are nearly 1.5 million Catholics (according to the July 2007 Demographic Profile of the archdiocese). Granted, not all 1.5 are eligible for priesthood, but the fact remains that more prayers and more fasting and deeper faithfulness to the Church in all her teachings are required, to increase priestly (and all religious) vocations.
Meanwhile, the nearby Diocese of Saginaw has 21 seminarians in various seminaries in the US at different stages of study. When Bishop Carlson was assigned to the diocese in 2005, there were only 3. So that is excellent news.
But of course, in the eyes of the Wandering Tribes, any male celibate priest is Not A Good Thing. The Michigan chapter of Call-to-Apostasy is staging a silent protest. I'll have more to write about this a little later today.
UPDATE MAY 8 2008
Couldn't update last night due to a power outage at home. According to the Spring 2008 Issue of the Call-To-Apostasy newsletter, chapter members are asked to silently protest the ordination service outside the Cathedral. To further "celebrate" the ordination, a letter was sent to each of the 5 ordinandi:
Call to Action of Michigan congratulates you on your call to serve God in the priesthood. Our prayers and
good wishes are with you and your family on this special day.
However there is deep sadness in the hearts of many people. Call To Action of Michigan members believe
there are countless other men and women who have been called to priesthood, but are denied ordination
because of man-made laws and prejudice. This attitude of the institutional Church is a form of elitism
similar to a country club that refuses admission to women, people of color or homosexuals. We find this
We are concerned for the faithful who are not ministered to because of the shortage of priests and the
clustering and closing of parishes. We believe that the very sacramental life of our Church is at stake.
Call to Action of Michigan members cannot in good conscience stand by and not speak out.
Michigan Call To Action Board of Directors.
What a thoughtful gift to give a priest on the most important day of his life, huh? These people are the Debbie Downers of the Catholic Church; just as funny, but unintentionally so. They really really need prayers.
Thanks be to God for sending us priests! Without them, we don't receive Jesus in the sacraments. Without them, there is no Mass. Continue to pray and fast so that more men will answer the call of the Holy Spirit.