priests aren’t just going to Britain. In recent months, more than 62
priests from the Archdiocese of Krakow left for assignments around the
world, including Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Germany, Tanzania, Ukraine,
and the United States.
Poland seems to
be the only nation in Europe where the number of vocations is rising,
accounting for one-quarter of all European applications to the
seminary, reported The Guardian. Currently, Poland has 29,089 ordained
priests, about 1,845 monks and 23,105 nuns.
seminary alone currently has 240 students. The number of Poles applying
to join the priesthood increased, from 4,500 in 1998 to 7,100 in 2005.
Some explain the high numbers with the Church's role in the struggle
against communism and the extraordinary influence of Pope John Paul II.
In contrast, in
2003, there were a total of 110 seminarians in all of Ireland and a
total of 27 seminarians in England and Wales. This trend of decline
repeats itself in other European countries.
seminaries accepted 927 applicants in 2001, compared with 1,210 in
1991. There were no applications to join the priesthood in the
French-speaking part of Switzerland in 2002.
to the shortage of British clergy, dozens of priests from Poland arrive
in the United Kingdom each month to take charge of parishes and
minister to the growing number of Polish migrant workers, reported The
Guardian. While some are long-term assignments, some priests just fly
in for the weekend to celebrate mass.