ACI Prensa Staff, Mar 16, 2023 / 17:00 pm
Spanish seminaries continue to suffer a downward trend in enrollment. According to official data from the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, in the 2022-2023 academic year the total number of aspirants to the priesthood is fewer than a thousand for the first time in 21 years, since records were first kept on a national level.
Every March 19 on the solemnity of St. Joseph, the Catholic Church in Spain observes Seminary Day and the bishops’ conference provides data on seminary enrollment. In the current 2022-2023 academic year there are 974 candidates for the diocesan priesthood.
The number of young men entering the seminary has also fallen for the first time below 200, at 172, and ordinations were fewer than 100, at 97.
These are significant figures, although for years there has been a downward trend. There were close to 1,700 seminarians in the 2002-2003 academic year, when more than 350 men entered and almost 200 were ordained.