Snapshot: 480 New Priests in 2011, Five Year Trend: Younger (+more cool stats)

The USCCB released this hopeful news yesterday:

The average age of men ordained to the priesthood in 2011 is trending younger with the average age for the 2011 class at 34, with more than half between the ages of 25 and 34. This is slightly younger than in 2010, and follows the trend over the past five years of ordinands becoming younger.

These figures stand out in The Class of 2011: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood, an annual national survey of men being ordained priests for U.S. dioceses and religious communities, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), a Georgetown University-based research center. The entire report can be found at as well as on the bishops’ vocation Web site,  It is the 15th annual survey of ordinands commissioned by the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Some other stats that jumped out at me:

Half between 25 and 34 years of age
Seventy-one percent were altar servers
Sixty-seven percent attended Catholic college
Four in five report that both parents are Catholic
A third have a relative who is a priest or religious
Nearly a quarter report having five or more siblings(!)

Finally, the number of priests to be ordained this year:

480 potential ordinands [were] reported by seminaries , houses of formation, dioceses, and religious institutes. They included 275 men being ordained for 128 dioceses and 54 ordinands for religious orders, such as the Jesuits, Dominicans and Franciscans.

Deo Gratias!



  • Robert Sledz

    Terrific… God hears His People’s prayers to bring “ask The Father for more Laborers into His Vineyard”….
    MATTHEW 9:38


  • dede

    what about reverend sisters?

  • Irishtroubadour

    And the funny thing is, this picture is from the group picture of st. John Vianney Seminary in 2008. The graduating class of this picture won’t be ordained till 2013!

  • Mike


    I think that the reason for the delight in the number of priestly ordinations is due to the fact that priests are at the heart of our (the laity’s) spiritual life. Without priests we cannot have the sacraments. I do not know what the situation is in the USA although I read of the closing of churches but in the UK we have a big problem as our priests get older and we are not getting anything like a similar number of ordinations to replace the annual loss. The inevitable outcome is that more and more churches will either close or no longer have their own priest. If you are getting enough ordinations to avoid that situation then that is to be highly welcomed. Incidentally, how does the 480 compare with other recent years?

  • Diane at Te Deum

    And I think the numbers are only going to increased based on what I am seeing in young people. They are not satisfied with soft and cushy Catholicism that has been pushed for so many decades. And, the internet which can sometimes be the downfall of some, has become a way to find Truth. Once they find it, they are bold in fighting things like abortion and contraception not because they are blindly following Church teaching, but because they have studied Church teaching and understand it. I also think this generation of young people is following the lead of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in the push to spend more time in Adoration listening to God, and enlisting the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These are basics for anyone discerning.



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