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JesuiticalNovember 11, 2022
Photo by Sebbi Strauch on Unsplash

It’s no secret that the priesthood in the United States is aging, quickly. But what if part of the solution to the priest shortage is actually ordaining more older priests? Deacon Steve Kramer thinks the church should get serious about late-in-life vocations—recruiting men in the 40s, 50s or even 60s who have had another career, who maybe have been married and lost their spouse, for the priesthood. On the other hand, he thinks we should be encouraging men in their 30s and 40s to consider becoming a deacon—a vocation usually associated with more “mature” gentlemen.

During National Vocation Awareness week, we ask Deacon Steve about the growing role of deacons in the U.S. church, his experience joining the diaconate in his 30s (and with four young kids!) and what questions someone discerning a call to the priesthood or diaconate should ask themselves.

In Signs of the Times, Zac and Ashley talk with Colleen Dulle, the host of America Media’s “Inside the Vatican” podcast, about French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, the former head of the French bishops’ conference who admitted to abusing a 14-year-old girl 35 years ago. They ask: Have reforms aimed at combatting clerical sexual abuse really brought accountability to the highest levels of the church?

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