Skip to comments.Changes Add Up for Priesthood
Posted on 05/23/2005 8:32:12 PM PDT by wallcrawlr
Men Turn to Service After Other Careers
COVINGTON - While the number of active priests in the Diocese of Covington has dropped in the last 10 years, there are signs the numbers could be improving.
Ryan Maher will be the only priest ordained this Saturday, May 28, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, but next year at this time the diocese anticipates two more priests being ordained. One of them is Mario Tizziani, 51, with a U.S. Navy and teaching career behind him.
The other is Ray Enzweiler, 43, who is completing his third year of theology studies in Rome, and, with a doctorate in physics, was teaching physics at Northern Kentucky University when he entered the seminary in 2001.
He'd thought about becoming a priest while still in high school, but chose college and a degree in physics. After earning his doctorate, he taught in upstate New York and then at NKU beginning in 1990.
"The decision to leave my tenured teaching position was not easy," Enzweiler wrote the Sunday Challenger in an e-mail from Rome. "I truly loved teaching physics. Gradually I came to realize I needed more...My story is a gradual realization of who I was called to be. I can now see that what I learned will be a great benefit to me and will make me a better priest...For me, God called me along a path that included teaching physics."
While the number of diocesan priests here, and nationally, has been diminishing, the Catholic population has been increasing. The Covington diocese believes those numbers may continue to increase as more Latinos arrive in Northern Kentucky from Latin America.
In 1995 there were 75 active priests in a diocese with a Catholic population of 79,000. By 2000, there were 58 active priests and 87,000 Catholics. Three years later, 49 active priests and 88,600 Catholics. Currently, still 49 priests and close to 90,000 Catholics.
Different Paths, Same Destination
Tim Fitzgerald, diocesan spokesman, said the diocese is encouraged by the 12 seminarians in various stages of preparation for the priesthood.
"This is among the largest groups in recent history," said Fitzgerald. "Bishop Roger Foys has taken a special interest in increasing all religious vocations, especially to the priesthood."
The Rev. Gregory Bach, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Falmouth, was ordained in 1999 and is vocations recruiter.
"It's a mixed crowd," he said of seminarians and those expressing an interest in the vocation. "We have some guys who are young, some may have had part-time jobs. We also have some guys who are older, in their 40s, maybe even 50s. I recently had inquiries from guys who are seniors in high school. It used to be older, but maybe now it's swinging back."
Across the river, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is also seeing signs of growth. Walt Schaefer, communications director for The Athenaeum of Ohio, which includes Mount St. Mary seminary in Cincinnati, said that while three men will be ordained as priests this year, they anticipate a class of eight next year.
"It's never going to get back to where we were in the 1940s and '50s," he continued. "I am seeing a trend where more and more guys are considering the priesthood. People are saying I want to take a look at the church, I want to take a look at faith."
"Strengthened by Science"
Enzweiler majored in physics at Thomas More College and then earned a doctorate in physics at UC. In 1987 he began teaching at the State University of New York College at Cortland, where he taught for three years. He then returned home and taught at NKU until 2001. He took a leave of absence to enter the seminary, then resigned in 2002.
He wrote in his e-mail from Rome that he felt moved to address his journey from hard science to the priesthood because it may seem unusual to some and because of the ongoing national debate over intelligent design/creationism vs. evolution/science.
"For me, science is not the end all. It is one element that helps me understand the world. Physics is a big part of who I am and it always will be. But, it has its place, it can't answer everything. It complements, as does every other field of study. There is no contradiction for me. Natural science is a study of physical reality. Anything beyond the realm of physical reality is beyond the realm of natural science. It is just one of the complementary ways that we know and understand. Science helps me better appreciate who God is and what God has done. I can look at the sky with awe at its beauty and at the same time marvel at the understanding I have of God's creation. My faith is strengthened by science."
Creation ping list
See my profile for info
Secondary vocations is definitely an area that needs to be trumpeted.
Low Priest rate...results from Vatican ll.
Every state and out of state nearly has a Latin tridentine Mass group with priests..and growing back to the beauty and tradition of the Catholic Church..lets hope this new Pope puts it ALL BACK the way it was!
And return the altars to the Church,the Altar rails ,the holy pictures and stained glass windows the FAITH the way it was and the way it is suppose to be, OLD handed down and KEPT! With NO COMMUNION IN THE HAND!
The errors of Vatican II. Talking to those who are blinded and strictly adhere to these documents is like talking to a wall. The liberal mind is much more rigid than that of a conservative. I read a great article called "The conservative movement needs a brain" by a Traditional Priest. As Traditionalists, as seen by SSPX-they are willing to settle for half of a loaf until the liberal comes back and takes it all from them.
The church will not go back to the true teachings because it is convinced that it is teaching the true teachings and that it has not defected at all.
I ask all to print out the changes in the mass, anything to do with Vatican II and after mass go to various Novus Ordo Parishes and hand them out. Put them on cars, in the vestibule, mail them whateever as 90% of the attendees at the NO mass think the only change was from Latin to the Vernacular!
Educate them as the early Apostles did, it is your duty and a way of expiating your sins
"Low Priest rate...results from Vatican ll."
This argument does not follow. There were many other events occuring simultaneously with Vatican 2. Remember the 1960's? Sexual revolution? Vietnam (bringing disdain for authority)? Dissent not disciplined?
Vatican 2 was not the problem. It was not implemented. And the above problems were developing. THESE are why the priest rates continue to be low. Our current culture remains a difficult obstacle to those who are considering the priesthood.
As to altar rails, communion in hand, etc., rather than concentrating on such disciplines and rules and regulations, perhaps we should worry more about conversion to Christ. It goes without saying that most Catholics have not had a conversion experience, and don't see the relevance of the Church in their lives. We are free from the Law, according to Paul, so why are you concentrating so much on it? Is having communion in the mouth going to cause a conversion to Christ? A transformation that brings an adult to minister actively in the Church? I doubt that.
"The errors of Vatican II"
Are you saying the Holy Spirit is in error? Vatican 2 was an ecumenical council. The Church has declared that ecumenical councils are guided by the Holy Spirit. Do you mean Vatican 2 was not implemented correctly?
And well should it be so.
Kingdoms and empires have passed away; peoples once renowned for their history and civilization have disappeared; time and again the nations, as though overwhelmed by the weight of years, have fallen asunder; while the Church, indefectible in her essence, united by ties indissoluble with her heavenly Spouse, is here today radiant with eternal youth, strong with the same primitive vigor with which she came from the Heart of Christ dead upon the Cross. (St. Pius X, Iucunda Sane, §8)
It is heartening to know that men such as this are entering the priesthood.
The Catholic Church..was cast into a protestant way in Vatican 2 along with the virtues and morals of those of many unfortunatley...No excuses,then as now sin is sin ,Heaven is there and so is hell,you chose your own path no one else to blame..fear God and love Him in His Church...conversions mean Convert to Christ..then as now...ask the martyrs of the Catholic Church. Would they recognize the Church today..I don't think so!!!!!
Priests used to know why they became priests to save souls, to CONVERT souls to His Catholic Faith founded by Christ...they need to be reminded now....sad.
Vatican 2 is not a dogma,it was NEVER stated in EX CATHedra...so how do you know these drastic changes all these years were brought from the Holy Ghost....Would He throw out the altars and replace them with a table? Would he do away with the statues and holy stations of the cross, the crucifixes,the confessionals,devotion to the rosary or to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Would He tell people there is not to wear the scapular?Take out the pews from the Catholic Churches and move the tabernacle to the side somewhere??? Well
You said "...Vatican 2 is not a dogma,it was NEVER stated in EX CATHedra..."
No new doctrine was defined at Vatican 2. However, other Council meetings of Bishops still came together and they, too, were guided by the Holy Spirit. Pastoral councils such as Vatican 2 are meant to be followed. Remember "he who hears you hears Me"? The problem was that many of the counciliar documents were ignored or misinterpreted by liberal heirarchy in the Church.
You said "...Would He throw out the altars and replace them with a table? Would he do away with the statues and holy stations of the cross, the crucifixes,the confessionals,devotion to the rosary or to Mary, the Mother of Jesus"
Of course not!!! And Vatican 2 never said to do that! Vatican 2 said we are to emphasize Christ. Some devotions had gotten away from that. Unfortuantely, the pendulum swung a little too far in the stripping of altars and so forth. Now, it appears that the pendulum is swinging back. Is this caused by Vatican 2? I don't think so.
I think what we are seeing is our typical modernism creeping into the Church. Whether Vatican 2 happened or not, it still would have and continues to do so.
I have been reading a book by Father Ronald Knox, "The Belief of Catholics", a classic apologetic book. The very first chapter goes on to say the very same things that you imply: Reduction in church goers, reduction in priests, etc. THIS WAS WRITTEN IN THE 1920's!!! So the fact of the matter remains that Vatican 2 DID NOT cause the problems we have, despite what others think about the Mass being said in English, etc. The problem is the devil! The devil has continuously tried to get a foothold into the Church, not only since the 1960's!
Our modern culture is continuously pushing religion away. These problems have nothing to do with Vatican 2. Vatican 2 was an attempt to make the Church more relevant to the Modern World - not by becoming part of the world, but by calling out to the world in today's language. Christ's message is for everyone and all times. It is the Church's mission to reach out, to bring about conversion, to change the culture if possible.
Do you really think that would happen if the Church would have continued to celebrate the Mass in Latin??? To concentrate on devotions to Mary, not Jesus??? To teach people about God by memorizing the answers to 100 questions??? THAT is your idea of conversion to Christ???(I teach RCIA, and I can tell you that expecting adults to memorize such things as their meeting with Christ, a conversion and a means of enacting a life-changing view on the world - is amazingly naive!) To continue its polemics of the 1500's against the Protestants??? To continue de-emphasizing the Bible??? I am sorry, but the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing - have more trust in Him. God will continue to work good for those who love Him.
Brother in Christ
You said "...The Catholic Church..was cast into a protestant way in Vatican 2 along with the virtues and morals of those of many unfortunatley"
I disagree. And the virtues/morals of people in general have declined, even before Vatican 2.
You said "...conversions mean Convert to Christ..then as now...ask the martyrs of the Catholic Church. Would they recognize the Church today..I don't think so!!!!! "
Yes, but the Catholic Church itself has never considered that a person must be enrolled in a Catholic Church to be saved. Father Fenney's declaration was determined to be incorrect, before Vatican 2. The Church Fathers have considered that the Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, were "pre-Christian" and were saved. The beginning of Romans talks about a Law written onto the Gentiles heart that acts as a law, even though they didn't have the Jewish Law. If you read the Constitution of the Church, you will find that even those who are not Christian can be saved, if they follow their conscience. Of course, they are saved by Christ, albeit unknowingly. But all the same, they don't have to even know who Christ is, if they do what Christ did...LOVE.
As to the martyrs, there have been more martyrs in the Church of the 20th Century then any other time. Would the Apostles have recognized the Church of 1900? I doubt it, although it would have been very familiar to them.
You said "...Priests used to know why they became priests to save souls, to CONVERT souls to His Catholic Faith founded by Christ...they need to be reminded now....sad."
The Church was in this state BEFORE the Protestant Reformation. Most of the priests then had unclear motives for becoming a priest, and most did not know the faith - which explains such things as the sale of indulgences and the major focus on Mary, often to the exclusion of Jesus, during the Medieval period.
The Church goes through high and low points. I am convinced, after studying Church History, that these things going on today are typical of what happens throughout its history. There are up's and down's. These low periods are incentives for renewal and reform within the Church. Human nature cannot remain at a high point throughout history. Forgeting the parable of the wheat and the weeds, the Montanists to the Jansenists to the SSPX have thought that the Church should be more holy. This thinking has led to schism. Beware of this Pharasaical thinking, Rosary. The Church is a hospital for sinners. Trust in God and continue to have faith that He is guiding His Church, the same one that has the power to bind and loosen what has been already determined in heaven.
Brother in Christ
So the fact of the matter remains that Vatican 2 DID NOT cause the problems we have!!!!!!!
There you said it Brother! Do you really think the devil would have half a chance if all the reverence,piety,respect,love and fear of God,through HIS founded Catholic Church,HIS Latin Tridentine Mass and the Seven Sacraments were kept as they were ???? Who do you think Did all that Vatican 2..NOT THE HOLY GHOST! Why did the priests and nuns suddenly forget why they became religious and put away their habits? The Catholic Church is the biggest religion in the world BECAUSE Christ founded IT HIMSELF.
You don't have to answer 100 questions to be a Catholic , Jesus said to enter the Kingdom of Heaven you must be like a little child...simple,honest,innocent ect. He never said you all goota be all knowledge and wisdom ,read books, know all answers! Christ said I will be with you always..Vatican 2 caused this world to fall....the day the Churches cast out the altar and faced the people instead of the tabernacle,the little house where Jesus was! He gave mankind Seven Sacrments and Ten Commandments to live by.He sent His Apostles to teach all nations Baptizing them and He left us Himself in the Bread of Life...where is the love of God???
YES, go to the nearest Latin Tridentine Mass and then tell me it doesn't penetrate your very soul...It is the Mass that matters!
May the Holy Ghost open your eyes....Go to a Latin Tridentine MasS...
Vatican 2..did cause the problem and still does..not the Holy Ghost.
"HIS (Jesus's) Latin Tridentine Mass"
I didn't realize that Jesus instituted the Last Supper (the First Mass) in Latin. Nor did I realize that He faced away from the Apostles when He said "take and eat, this is My Body"...
I wonder if those who spoke Aramaic complained like you are when the Mass began to be spoken in Greek. And I wonder if the Greek speakers complained that the Mass switched to Latin...
If you think that God can be worshipped ONLY in Latin, you have a twisted idea of what Catholicism is...It is meant to reach out to all cultures, not just Western Europe. You are focusing on a result, not the cause of the problem in our churches.
I think we will have to agree to disagree on the causes of the declining numbers at the Mass, etc. You believe it is the language spoken during Mass. I believe it is that many American Churches don't preach the dogma of Catholicism. When the priests don't believe in Transubstantiation, why would the lay people? This goes back to before Vatican 2, and accelerated due to the lack of discipline of those dissenting from implementing Vatican 2. Do you really think people are falling away from the Church because of faulty translations, and other such things? Hardly. There is no conversion to Christ.
Brother in Christ