Skip to comments.No shortage of priests in Atlanta, more than 50 seminarians
Posted on 08/11/2007 6:09:42 AM PDT by NYer
Metro Atlanta's Roman Catholic churches are keeping their pulpits filled better than many regions of the country.
Across the nation there is a shortage of priests, but the Archdiocese of Atlanta's 95 churches and missions have 262 priests and more than 50 seminarians in training.
"We have one of the strongest vocational programs in the country," said Father Luke Ballman, the director of vocations.
About 600 Serrans, lay Catholics dedicated to supporting and educating those choosing church vocations, are in Atlanta this weekend for a national conference.
Serra clubs across the country raise money for scholarships, organize prayer chains and support for priests.
While the U.S. population of Catholics swelled from 45.6 million in 1965 to 60 million in 2006, the number of priests dropped from 58,632 to 41,794. Some U.S. churches have no priests.
Seminarians dropped from 8,325 to 3,306 during that time.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta, which covers north Georgia, will need as many pastors as it can churn out. Catholic adherents here more than doubled in the last ten years, growing from 256,000 to an estimated 600,000.
Pat Chivers, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese said the surge came from Catholics moving to the region from around the U.S. and the world and from evangelism.
"Our churches are bursting at the seams," she said.
The influx of Latino immigrants, traditionally Catholics, has affected Georgia.
St. Thomas the Apostle church in Smyrna holds nine masses each weekend, five in English and four in Spanish, Chivers said.
Other churches hold masses in foreign languages such as Vietnamese.
Ballman said the influx of Catholics has helped bring many young men who are interested in becoming priests, and the archdiocese has traditionally had a strong emphasis on religious vocations.
"But we can always use more," he said.
Prayers answered bump!
Prayers answered bump!
The 12 million illegals, many of whom are Catholic and Mexican, aren't total losses to our culture. They are filling the Catholic Churches.
I have always bashed the illegals. Darn. Now I see great value to them in this respect.
The Hispanics, like the rest of us in the Americas, are culturally Christian and culturally Western. That’s a huge plus (+) followed by a Question Mark (?).
They have problems within their communities, of which illegality is only one. The fact that 2 out of 3 Hispanic children is born out of wedlock is another; and it’s much more troubling, in my estimation, than their frequent lack of legal status.
I just read the recent survey that showed that American Catholics are practically identical to American non-Catholics in beliefs, attitudes and behavior, (voting patterns, income, education, sexual cohabitation, divorce, contraception, homosexuality, addiction to pornography, etc.) and differ in only two respects from American non-Catholics: compared to non-Catholics, we recycle more. And we tithe less.
If the Catholic Church in the USA were really, robustly Catholic, we’d be in an excellent position to welcome huge numbers of newcomers, to our immense and mutual enrichment.
As of now, it’s a little chancy on both sides.
Some numbers for you:
**The Archdiocese of Atlanta, which covers north Georgia, will need as many pastors as it can churn out. Catholic adherents here more than doubled in the last ten years, growing from 256,000 to an estimated 600,000.**
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No shortage of priests in Atlanta, more than 50 seminarians
Now of course, we have the Bernardin protege, Wilton Gregory as the incumbent.
If he does absolutely nothing and just leaves things as they were, he'll be doing the archdiocese a great favor.
So perhaps the vocations crunch in other parts of the country is reflective of population decline as young residents move to cheaper, economically opportune areas.
Fr. Luke used to be our parochial vicar! He heard everybody's first confession (except mine!) and he's great. A really nice young man, no nonsense about him, very devout, also a "man's man" - runs marathons and plays basketball. We really are sorry to lose him to being vocations director, but he's a great leader and a good example for the young men, he's a perfect fit for the job and he'll encourage vocations like mad.
The fact that he's every bit as handsome as Msgr. Gänswein is just icing on the cake!
Also, Abp. Donoghue has stayed on as "Archbishop Emeritus" and is assisting Abp. Gregory. Which should also encourage a minimum of USCCB nonsense.
At least we can hope. I haven't heard of the new archbishop doing anything very awful . . . and when he has come to our parish or I have heard him elsewhere, he has been very orthodox in his homilies and addresses.
Didn't realize you were in Atlanta. For some reason I always think of FReepers as being far away. I'm down the road in Augusta which is actually part of the Savannah diocese.
We were at my parents' house this past week and met a guy from Augusta, used to be a lawyer and then became an Episcopal priest. We had a very cordial conversation even though we left ECUSA for Rome! (the Episcopal Diocese of GA in the south half of the state is much less problematic than the Diocese of Atlanta, until recently Bishop Louttit was very conciliatory, although I think the national church threatened him in some way because he has begun to get ugly. It doesn't matter to my parents' church, though, they own their own land and have an independent endowment.)
I know the general part of the cemetery to which you are referring, without recalling the actual graves.
Back when I was between jobs and ancestor-hunting, the Internet was in its infancy and NOTHING was on line. If you wanted to find burials in Magnolia, you had to go to the cemetery office and riffle through file cabinets full of little 3x5 cards. They were pretty well maintained, if somewhat cryptic and brief. I was able to locate most everybody, except for one guy who didn't have a marker.
You'd probably need a metal detector to find my grandparents now, because their flat bronze markers keep getting covered up by the centipede grass . . . darn that stuff is persistent once it gets going! Whenever we're down there we cut it away, but I haven't been over to Augusta in years.