Enduring vocations crisis

Source: FSSPX News


The Osservatore Romano of May 10 and 11, 2005, made the following observations: in 1978 Europe supplied 37% of priests worldwide, America (North and South) 34%, Asia 18% and Africa less that 9%. Twenty-five years later, in 2003, Europe’s contribution had dropped to less than 22%, that of America remained more or less stable (33%), Asia has risen to 25% and Africa to around 20%. In the last few years, however, there has been a clear decline of vocations in Africa and Asia.

 Africa and Asia have respectively 72 and 60 candidates for the priesthood per 100 priests. “In Europe, where priestly vocations seemed very weakened with only 12 candidates for the priesthood per 100 priests in 2003 (even if in 1978 there were fewer still: less than 10), the situation is especially worrying,” affirmed the Osservatore Romano.

 In order to overcome this painful lack of vocations, initiatives are on the increase. In Switzerland, on the occasion of the Year of Priestly Vocations, the Swiss Romande Center for Vocations (CRV) in Lausanne is carrying out a program of “original and explosive” media events: after a priest in a Hunter jet plane, priests on board a galley “La Liberté” on a cruise on lake Geneva, and a DVD entitled “Priests at the service of everyone: it’s your move!”

 This film, Apic informs us, follows four young Swiss priests in their daily lives, putting forward the fully human dimension of their lives made up of meeting, listening, prayers, but also… sport and music” Skeptical, an onlooker may ask himself if we will see more vocations “now that priests are putting on a show.”

In France, in the context of its “Year of Calling”, the diocese of Metz has also produced a DVD to present vocations as a whole “in a dynamic and interactive way.” It includes two video clips, a 55 minute emission entitled Vox Dei, an animation for 7-9 year olds, other short features, and 25 minutes on the liturgy of ordinations of deacons and priests in 2004.