Monday, December 10, 2007

White Collar Jobs

Found this at A Concord Pastor Comments.
I have added some calculations according to the stats and facts.

Here are the facts. . . . .
Among national Church leaders, there is widespread awareness of the changing nature of parish staffing. Research data confirms what is experienced at the local level throughout the country.
The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) reports that “there are

  • 18,891 parishes in the United States and
  • 42,528 priests.
  • Of these, 28,374 are diocesan priests, and more than a quarter of those are retired, sick, or otherwise unable to minister actively. That's over 7,000 unable to minister actively! Which leaves us approximately 21, 280 diocesan priests.

Within the next twenty years, 29,000 of the priests serving in the U.S. today will be over the age of 75.
In the same twenty-year period, if the current rate continues, only some 9,000 priests will be ordained.”

Sister Katarina Schuth’s Priestly Ministry in Multiple Parishes (2006) shows that the percentage of worship sites being staffed by priests who serve more than one parish (or church within a parish) stood at 44% of parishes and missions.

Regional variations are notable. For a high, 48% of priests in Minnesota and the Dakotas serve more than one parish or worship site; on the low end, only 12% in Pennsylvania and New Jersey do so. In New England, 15.5% of priests serve in that way.

Currently, more than 30,000 lay ecclesial ministers have parish leadership roles, and some 15,000 permanent deacons are serving in parishes. . . . ."

The pastor says at the end of his post, "I am convinced that the best way for our or any parish to survive the times ahead is to be as informed and prepared as possible."

In the comments he says, "What individuals can do is to pray and personally encourage young men whom you think would make good priests to consider the ministry. Parents are in a unique position to do this but all might find opportunities for this."

I have a great bumper sticker on my car (I am not a "bumper sticker" person but this one is good!) It says, "Looking for a sign from God? This is it. Consider the priesthood!"

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