Some surprising and encouraging news out of England and Wales:
New figures for 2012 show numbers of men and women entering religious orders have risen for the third year running, while ordinations to the priesthood have reached a ten-year high. There were 29 people entering religious life in 2010, rising to 36 in 2011 and 53 in 2012. Meanwhile, 20 men were ordained to the diocesan priesthood in 2011 and 31 in 2012, with 41 diocesan ordinations projected for 2013…
..If we add together the diocesan and Ordinariate ordinations for 2012, we have a figure of 52 — higher than the 1950s, which some look back to nostalgically as an era of vigorous Catholicism.
If ordinations to the priesthood are a sign of religious vitality, in other words, the Church in England and Wales seems to be in robust good health.