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US ordination class of 2010: 31% foreign-born; 10% are converts

Catholic World News - April 19, 2010

A survey of US seminarians who will be ordained this year has found that 31% were born outside the United States, with most coming from Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines, Poland and Vietnam.

Among the other findings of the survey:

  • the average (mean) age of ordinands is 37; the median age of diocesan ordinands is 33
  • 10% are converts
  • 37% have a relative who is a priest or religious
  • 55% have more than two siblings
  • 49% attended a Catholic elementary school, and 39% attended a Catholic college
  • 60% completed college before entering the seminary; 92% held full-time jobs
  • 16% had a parent with career military service
  • 78% were encouraged by a priest to enter the seminary; few were influenced by vocational advertising
  • 50% were discouraged by parents or other family members from considering the seminary; 15% were discouraged by priests, while 4% were discouraged by religious
  • 19% attended a World Youth Day, and 8% attended a Franciscan University of Steubenville High School Youth Conference
  • 67% regularly prayed the Rosary before entering seminary; 65% regularly took part in Eucharistic adoration
  • the seminarians typically began to consider a priestly vocation when they were 18
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