Fr. Wally Dant Jr., 66, a widower with five children, and Fr. Jeffrey Hopper, 48, a former Episcopal priest and Catholic convert who is married, were ordained Saturday by Archbishop Thomas Kelly during a two-hour mass at the cathedral, reported The Associated Press.
Fr. Hopper is the first married man to be ordained in the archdiocese, and both are the archdiocese's first grandfathers to enter the priesthood.
These ordinations illustrate a nationwide trend that has emerged toward older men entering the priesthood. The nationwide average age of ordinands this year is 37.4, up from 34.8 in 1998, reported the AP. The average age was in the upper 20s in the late 1960s.
The median age of priests today is about 60, reported the AP.
.- The Archdiocese of Louisville’s two new spiritual fathers also happen to be grandfathers.