New Springtime: Not All Bishops Are Failures

The diocese of Columbus in the US has gone from having no priestly ordinations to having almost 30 seminarians in just two years, writes Álex Navajas on (31 March).

The diocese had no priestly ordinations and the clergy had aged dramatically. Until at least two years ago, when 16 young men entered the seminary to study for the priesthood. A dozen more are expected this year.

The Bishop of Columbus, Monsignor Earl Fernandes, told Vatican News how he changed the situation: prayer, fasting and closeness to young people.

"We have chosen young priests to meet with the boys and girls once a month to help them discern their vocation to the diocesan priesthood or religious life, and to read Brother Brett Brannan's book 'Saving a Thousand Souls: A Guide to Discerning a Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood'.

Retreats called "Quo vadis?" have also been organised for high school students.

"Young people spend three days in prayer, listening to testimonies, talking with priests who understand what priestly formation is, but also enjoy the fraternity to experience that it is much more than prayer, study and work".

"We constantly encourage prayer and fasting for vocations.

Columbus is not alone. Last year, Rev. Joe Taphorn, rector of Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity in Minneapolis, told CNA that in the five years he has been in charge, this year is the largest in terms of aspirants to the priesthood.

"The first autumn we had 77 seminarians," Rev. Taphorn explained, "and this autumn we will probably have over 100.

"We're almost full, almost at capacity," he notes. "We're never going to be the biggest seminary, just because of our limited buildings," he explained.

"But if we do a good job of training, preparing our men well, and presenting a positive vision, it attracts young men," he points out.

One Voice, the official magazine of the Diocese of Birmingham (Alabama), reported a few months ago that "for the first time in the diocese's history, there will be 19 men in study and formation in three different seminaries this autumn".

These successful bishops are advised to keep their heads down, lest they be cut off by Francis, who hates vocations, successful bishops and "proselytising".


I pray that all these seminarians will one day become traditional Catholics and realize that the Novus Ordo is protestant light.
English Catholic
And I'll bet he's kept the 'gay' influence out as well - the kiss of death to any seminary . . .