.- About 800 Catholic high school juniors from Northern Kentucky gathered Wednesday for the second annual vocations rally for the Diocese of Covington.
Clergy, religious and laypeople talked to the students about making the choice to marry, stay single or join the religious life. They also shared their witness of their lives as priests and sisters.
Fr. Gregory Bach, vocation recruiter for the diocese, told the Enquirer that one of the biggest obstacles for young people to commit to a religious vocation is that “there are so many voices vying for the attention of young people.”
The number of Catholic priests in the United States continues to decline. There were 57,317 in 1985 and only 42,000 today. Covington, like other dioceses across the country, has brought six priests from India to fill positions at various parishes.
Fr. Bach saw a recent spike in the number of seminarians in the diocese as a ray of hope. The diocese has 15 seminarians now compared with about three seminary students five years ago. The priest credited increased visibility and promotions like the rally.
The clergy at the rally urged students to pray about what their vocations.