The religious statistic usually cited in relationship to the millennial generation is the number of “nones” – increasingly, young people are less likely to identify themselves as belonging to any religion or faith.

But there’s another statistic that may be surprising – the number of millennials joining the Catholic seminary and priesthood is on the rise. According to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, 1,900 men under age 30 were enrolled in graduate-level Catholic seminaries in 2016, up from 1,300 in 2005.

So who are these millennial priests?


A new feature in TIME Magazine, accompanied by a brief video and preview online, is attempting to find out.

“Millennial priests are products of the Church, and the 21st century. They use Facebook and Snapchat, and text their friends funny GIFs,” TIME reporter Elizabeth Dias wrote.

“They are more likely to wear their clerical attire than jeans in public, faster to share details of their prayer life than to keep them private and keener to give their Friday nights to the homeless than to Netflix. When it comes to politics, they are hard to pin down as liberal or conservative, and not all think preaching antiabortion homilies is a good idea.”

Find more on these millennial priests at and in this week’s edition of TIME magazine.

Do you have a favorite millennial priest or seminarian?