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Posted June 10, 2008

What do our newly ordained look like?

Taken from the CARA Report

The average age for the Class of 2008 is 37.

The youngest ordinands are 25, and five are 65 or older.

On average, diocesan ordinands lived in the diocese for which they will be ordained for 14 years before entering the seminary. Religious ordinands knew the members of their religious institute an average of seven years before they entered the seminary.

Seven in ten of the respondents identify their race as white. Compared to the overall U.S. adult Catholic population, ordinands are more likely to be Asian but less likely to be Hispanic/Latino.

One in three was born outside the United States, with the largest number coming from Mexico, Vietnam, Poland, and the Philippines. Religious ordinands are more likely than diocesan ordinands to be foreign-born. The foreign-born proportion has increased from 24 percent reported in 1999 to 32 percent today. On average, those born outside the U.S. have lived here 13 years.

Half of responding ordinands attended a Catholic elementary school, as have almost half of all U.S. Catholic adults.

However, ordinands are somewhat more likely than other U.S. Catholic adults to have attended a Catholic high school. They are much more likely than other U.S. Catholics to have attended a Catholic college.

About two-thirds of ordinands report having full-time work experience before entering the seminary, most often in education. One in ten served in the U.S. Armed Forces and the same percentage reports either one or both parents were career military.

On average, the responding ordinands report that they were about 18 when they first considered a vocation to the priesthood. Eight in ten were encouraged to consider the priesthood by a priest. A substantial number report that friends, parishioners, and their mother also encouraged them to consider priesthood. Four in ten ordinands participated in a “Come and See” weekend.

One in five ordinands participated in a World Youth Day before entering the seminary. Ordinands have also been active in parish ministries, with between about half and three-quarters indicating they served as an altar server, lector, or Eucharistic minister in their parish.