Catholic College and the Priesthood

What influences men to enter the priesthood? How does college impact this decision? Thanks to a new report issued by Boston College (h/t Tim Muldoon), we now have a lot of data on this question.  

Boston College has issued its summary report of the 2013 Summit on Vocations to the Priesthood. This Summit was convened to discuss the results of a study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). This CARA study, commissioned by Boston College and the Jesuit Conference USA, sought "to assess the impact of Catholic higher education on the vocational discernment of men entering the seminary and religious life in the United States, seeking to determine variables related to what led them to the seminary and/or eventual ordination." 

Advertisement

The goal of the Summit, says the report, "was to communicate new insights into what promotes and what hinders vocations to priesthood, and to facilitate dialogue toward developing a national strategy for fostering such vocations."

The 40-page report contains helpful information and data about the makeup of the men entering the priesthood and the reasons for their decision, especially as it relates to college. For example: "The men who entered priestly formation were just as likely as the broader Catholic population to have attended Catholic elementary or high schools, but they are significantly more likely to have attended a Catholic college. Forty-four percent of ordinands attended a Catholic college, in contrast to only about 7 percent of the overall U.S. Catholic population."

"Simply put," says the summary report, "if a Catholic college provides more experiences of encouragement of vocation to priesthood, it is likely that such encouragement will bear fruit."

Click here to access the full report, an excellent resource for educators, counselors and campus ministers at all levels.    

 

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Chris Sullivan
4 years 6 months ago
"Forty-four percent of ordinands attended a Catholic college, in contrast to only about 7 percent of the overall U.S. Catholic population." Does that mean that ordinands are disproportionately from wealthier backgrounds ? Is that a good thing ? God Bless

Advertisement

The latest from america

In preparation for the gathering in Abu Dhabi, I find myself asking why my conversations with the future Pope Francis so powerfully affected both of us.
Abraham SkorkaJanuary 15, 2019
Photo: iStock
Included on the list is John T. Ryan, S.J., who from 1989 to 1994 was an associate editor for development at America.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 15, 2019
Did you ever wonder why Jesus was baptized? What sins did Jesus have to repent of? Nothing.
James Martin, S.J.January 14, 2019
Tourists stand at Rome's Trevi Fountain Aug. 2, 2017. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)
"No one ever thought about depriving Caritas of these funds," Raggi told L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Jan. 14. "The diocesan agency plays an important role for many needy and for the city of Rome, which wants to continue to be the capital of welcome for the weakest."
Catholic News ServiceJanuary 14, 2019