Bishops Aren’t Important – II

After writing this post, several people asked about stats on some other diocese statistics. First, I need to make a clarification regarding St. Louis. In the stats for each diocese I included diocesan and religious seminarians for the diocese which in the case of St. Louis really made the numbers look incredible. There are 48 diocesan seminarians and 290 religious seminarians. Does anyone know what the religious seminaries are (there are 2)? Several diocese on these lists were taken from Gerald’s “Bishop Hall of Fame“. Based on the numbers I have calculated so far, it seems like a few general hypothesis can be made. First, a diocese with a priest/parishioner ratio of under 1000 is downright amazing because that basically means that every parish could have a pastor. Numbers under 2000 show a relatively healthy diocese as long as the number of seminarians is steady or increasing year to year. Numbers over 2000 should be a warning sign. Places like Dallas and LA with off-the-wall numbers of 12,000+ Catholics to priests should be marked on a map with “There be dragons here” and considered hostile mission territory.

One thing to note about stats like this is that what you see is the result of long term administration. A solid bishop coming into a situtation in decay can’t fix everything in a couple of years. For example, Colorado Springs is at the bottom of this list because for twenty years the bishop wasn’t concerned about vocations and said he saw himself in the mold of Cardinal Mahoney. Three years ago, when our new bishop arrived, there were only 3 seminarians and the vocation director position was a part time job filled by a parish pastor. We now have 13 seminarians and six more going through discernment. The vocation director is a priest working full-time in this position.

If you are in a diocese with a good bishop and also with a vocations shortage, please get involved with your local Serra Club. If there isn’t one there, start one. You should also start a vocations committee in your parish. The bishop can’t do it all by himself.

Active Priests: 63
Seminarians: 7
Ordinations in 2005: 3
Total Catholics: 40,000
Catholics to Priests: 216

Active Priests: 50
Seminarians: 17
Ordinations in 2005: 1
Total Catholics: 55,400
Catholics to Priests: 1108
Active Priests: 47
Seminarians: 14
Ordinations in 2005: 3 (2 diocesan)
Total Catholics: 67,000
Catholics to Priests: 1426
Active Priests: 103
Seminarians: 6
Ordinations in 2005: 0
Total Catholics: 197,000
Catholics to Priests: 1913

Active Priests: 60
Seminarians: 10
Ordinations in 2005: 0
Total Catholics: 137,000
Catholics to Priests: 2283

Active Priests: 508
Seminarians: 112 (95 diocesan)
Ordinations in 2005: 12
Total Catholics: 1,320,000
Catholics to Priests:2598
Active Priests: 185
Seminarians: 35
Ordinations in 2005: 3
Total Catholics: 500,000
Catholics to Priests: 2703
Active Priests: 119
Seminarians: 6
Ordinations in 2005: 1
Total Catholics: 342,000
Catholics to Priests: 2874
Active Priests: 576
Seminarians: 503 (340 are diocesan)
Ordinations in 2005: 28 (17 diocesan)
Total Catholics: 2,348,000
Catholics to Priests: 4078
Active Priests: 364
Seminarians: 35 (21 diocesan)
Ordinations in 2005: 6
Total Catholics: 1,557,000
Catholics to Priests:4277
New York
Active Priests: 534
Seminarians: 49 (37 diocesan)
Ordinations in 2005: 7
Total Catholics: 2,542,000
Catholics to Priests:4760

Active Priests: 73
Seminarians: 17
Ordinations in 2005: 0
Total Catholics: 356,000
Catholics to Priests: 4877

Colorado Springs
Active Priests: 32
Seminarians: 13
Ordinations in 2005: 1
Total Catholics: 167,000
Catholics to Priests: 5219

4 Responses to Bishops Aren’t Important – II

  1. Chris from St. Mary's says:

    The two religious seminaries in St. Louis are

    Aquinas Institute of Theology (Dominican, of course) (in 1997 there were 180 seminarians)
    St. John Neumann House (Redemptorist)

    According to Kenedy 1997. Since there’s only two in that listing, I’m assuming they’re still open.

  2. Chris from St. Mary's says:

    One more, please. Detroit.

  3. Chris from St. Mary's says:

    When I do the math for Steubenville, I get 634 Catholics to priest (still a good #). ??

  4. Julie says:

    For St. Louis, they may also be counting the Jesuits in formation at Saint Louis University.

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