Making history: In St. Patrick’s see, Irish archdiocese ordains its first permanent deacons

Details: History was made in the Archdiocese of Armagh yesterday when the Primate of All Ireland ordained the first five Catholics to become permanent deacons in the ancient see of St Patrick. Welcoming the five men, all married with children, into the ministry, Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Sean Brady described it as an occasion of [Read More...]

Catholic seminary enrollment highest in two decades

From Religion News Service:  After decades of glum trends—fewer priests, fewer parishes—the Catholic Church in the United States has a new statistic to cheer: More men are now enrolled in graduate-level seminaries, the main pipeline to the priesthood, than in nearly two decades. This year’s tally of 3,694 graduate theology students represents a 16 percent [Read More...]

Ka-ching: the salaries of priests

Actually, it’s Orthodox priests. But, this gives an interesting window into what some clergy get paid.  The site breaks down salaries and benefits for both married and single priests. Details from Orthodox Christian Laity:  A newly-assigned priest that has just graduated from the Seminary should make an annual salary of $49,128-$66,528 plus extra benefits such [Read More...]

Ordination update: 12 new deacons for Boston

From the Boston Pilot:  At the ordination Mass of 12 new permanent deacons at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Sept. 21, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley described their ministry in terms of the ministry of Pope Francis. “The deacon has got a special call to be a bridge builder, a peacemaker, an artisan of community [Read More...]

“Why celibacy is right for me”

A prominent Jesuit writes in the Washington Post:  There has been much talk recently about priestly celibacy. Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s new Secretary of State, gave an interview to the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, in which he discussed continuity and change in the Catholic Church. The interviewer raised the question of celibacy, and the archbishop [Read More...]

“What an extraordinary act of courage to become a priest!”

A terrific appreciation of priests—and a tremendous affirmation of hope—by Jeffrey Tucker in Crisis:  What an extraordinary act of courage to become a priest! It means embracing to the fullest extent the very thing that the world today completely rejects: the possibility for holiness to exist in any form. I don’t mean just the possibility [Read More...]

What would a married priesthood look like?—UPDATED

With all the raised eyebrows and dropped jaws over recent statements on priestly celibacy, some people may think it’s time to redecorate the rectory to make it ready for the pastor’s new bride when they return from their honeymoon. Deep breaths, people. There’s less to this than meets the eye. And there are many unanswered [Read More...]

Report: pope stops naming monsignors

 Details:  Pope Francis has stopped granting priests the honorary title of “monsignor” in advance of an October meeting with several cardinals on possible reforms in the Catholic Church, the London-based Catholic weekly The Tablet is reporting Thursday. According to the Tablet‘s Rome correspondent Robert Mickens, Francis first made the decision in April shortly after his election as pope. The decision [Read More...]

Big news in Little Rock: record number of vocations

A couple weeks back, I posted on the surge in vocations in Little Rock. Now the local secular media is also reporting on the seminarian boom. See the video below. [Read more...]

Vatican’s new secretary of state: celibacy is open to discussion—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

From NBC News:  The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church. “Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss [Read More...]