According to a count based on the combined data of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF) and La Croix, 129 French deacons will be ordained in 2019, with most being ordained on June 29, the feast of the holy apostles Peter and Paul.
The number of priests ordained this year has increased 10% over the previous year (114), explained Arnaud Bevilacqua and Gauthier Vaillant in the June 25, 2019 edition of La Croix.
In fact, the number of diocesan priests ordained remains the same: so the increase was picked up in religious institutions, led by the Community of St. Martin, which accounted for nine ordinations this year.
The number of ordinands from the “Ecclesia Dei” communities was subject to a certain inflection according to La Croix, which—once is not a habit—integrated them in its count, unlike the CEF. Four Frenchmen were ordained for the Fraternity of St. Peter, one for the Institute of the Good Shepherd, and another for the Institute of Christ the King.
To be complete, the Society of Saint Pius X ordained four French priests on June 28, 2019, on the feast of the Sacred Heart, at the seminary of Saint Pius X in Ecône, in the Valais.
To put these figures in perspective, 800 or so French priests die on average each year. In other words, these new ordinations do little to hold back the ongoing crisis in the French Church.