success stories

Posted June 7, 2003

The Latest Statistics on
Newly Ordained Priests and Seminarians

The average age of this year's newly ordained priests is 36.8 years.

A study by Dr. Dean Hoge of the Life Cycle Institute at the Catholic University of America reports that most seminarians ordained are born in the United States. Mexico is the birthplace of 7 percent of diocesan priesthood candidates, the largest percentage for a foreign nation, while Vietnam was the native land for 19 percent of all new religious-order priests.

Seventy-eight percent of the seminarians reported that a priest had initiated a conversation with them about a priestly vocation.

Respondents could select more than one individual who had talked with them about the priesthood: 26 percent said "friend," followed by religious sister (16 percent), mother (15 percent), parishioner (14 percent) and seminarian (12 percent).

Pamphlets were the most effective advertising technique mentioned, with half of all respondents calling them instrumental. In descending order, the other most effective techniques were magazines, posters, advertisements and newsletters (tied), and videos. Billboards and radio ads ranked at the bottom.