Skip to comments.In Graying Priesthood, New York’s Grayest Keeps Faith in Bronx
Posted on 07/18/2012 3:44:12 PM PDT by NYer
It was the bell that first called to him. It was a Sunday afternoon in the mid-1920s, and his family was living in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx. When his priest rang the bell during Mass, Gerald Ryan, then about 4, thought the beautiful sound was coming from the monstrance that held the host.
At age 7, he was hit by a car, and lost his hearing in one ear. The bell remained in his memory, as if Jesus were calling him in stereo.
Now, he is a monsignor, and he has been a priest for 67 years. He still runs a parish, St. Luke’s in Mott Haven, and he is 92, making him the oldest working priest in New York City.
“Maybe in the country,” Father Ryan said recently in his broad, courtly accent that is part Bronx, part Fred Astaire. “Maybe anywhere! I’ve been here forever.”
The priesthood is graying: the average age of Roman Catholic priests in the United States rose to 63 in 2009 from 35 in 1970, according to a recent study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. And with fewer young men entering seminaries, more priests are working past 75, the formal retirement age under canon law. In the New York Archdiocese, for example, where only one man was ordained into the priesthood this year, about 25 men over age 75 are still working as priests, and several are older than 85.
In Father Ryan’s tiny office, shaded by a burgundy roll-down shade held up with a paper clip, he reflected recently on his nearly 70 years in service.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Glory to God.
At least we had a public interest start.
I’ve had over thirty friends enter the priesthood, after loooong prayer and hitting the daily masses, or others after kicking, screaming, running like Jonah, only to realize their calling (LOL). Some of my friends, male and female, are scared to hang out with me. It’s not me, God’s will be done.
Between pre-V2 and the JP 2 generation is precious little worth having.
Jesus says that if you remain in Him, He will make you fruitful. So I can only think that Father Ryan has --- whether he knows it or not --- many more with him than he thinks he has. Like Elijah, who said "I'm the only one left" and God answered, "No, there are 7,000 whose knees have not bent down to Baal."
I recently attended the 60th anniversary of one of our priests.
He is 88 and wonderful.
Be that as it may, it seems it would not be in our interest to argue with the One initiating a true vocation.
Who’s arguing? I’m stating a fact: the personnel of church of the last generation have, seemingly, served Satan as much as God.
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