By Matthew Janeczko, OFM Cap.
Here are some of the more positive facts:
- Ordinations are up slightly; ordinations to the permanent diaconate are quite strong;
- The Catholic population in the US has gone up – mostly because of foreign born Catholics
- “With a growing Catholic population that means nationally the Church has seen the number of Catholics who go to church every week increase by more than 2.6 million since 2000 (+17%).
Now, for the bad news:
- The number of parishes are down and the number of parishes without a resident pastor are up.
- There are fewer Catholic schools and a lot less religious sisters.
- Baptisms are down, but that may be a function of a much lower birthrate.
And really troubling:
“Although the number of deacons and professional lay ministers are increasing there may be trouble ahead as there are fewer preparing to add themselves to these ranks. The number of permanent deacon candidates has fallen by 19% and the number of people enrolled in lay ecclesial ministry formation programs has dropped by 27% since 2000.”
Read it all at the link above – there’s a whole lot more. Sound off in the combox.