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Posted August 21, 2005

Some New Facts and Figures on the Priesthood

Taken from “Report on Survey of 2005 Priestly Ordinations
by Dr. Dean R. Hoge

The mean age of ordinands was 37 for diocesan priests, 41 for religious priests, and 37 for all priests. This is an increase from the average age of 35 reported in 1998. Twenty-seven percent of this year’s total surveyed was below 30 years of age, 64 percent below 40, and 84 percent below 50.

Seventy-three percent of all ordinands were born in the United States, 27 percent in other countries. The foreign-born percentage rose this year by 3 percentage points. The four principal countries of birth are Vietnam, Mexico, the Philippines, and Poland.

Before entering the seminary, 32 percent had graduate or professional degrees, a notable change from the 13 percent in 1998. Another 41 percent this year had under graduate education, 4 percent trade/technical school, 21 percent high school, and 3 percent elementary school.

Fifty-three percent attended Catholic elementary school, 40 percent Catholic high school, and 45 percent Catholic college or university.

This year, for the first time, the ordinands were asked whether they were converts to the Catholic faith. Six percent each of the diocesan and religious groups said they were converts. The average age of conversion to Catholicism was 22 years of age.