Denver Newsroom, Aug 6, 2020 / 02:04 am
The Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, is welcoming eight new seminarians this year - the highest number of incoming seminarians in nearly four decades.
“Some great news to share: The Providence Diocese is welcoming 8 *new seminarians* this year, the most new seminarians in almost 40 years,” said Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, RI on Twitter last week.
“Pray for our seminarians, including the new students. God said, ‘I will give you shepherds,’ and indeed He is!” the bishop added.
Father Brian Morris, vocations director for Our Lady of Providence Seminary in the diocese, attributed the recent increase in seminarians to the community’s dedicated prayer efforts. He told CNA the seminary has held adoration every Thursday for an increase in vocations, and parishes have hosted similar efforts.
“It’s the result of a lot of prayer. People throughout our diocese have been praying diligently for more vocations, more young men who consider the call to the priesthood,” he said.
“Why God chose this year? I don't know, that's up to him, but I think some of it is to deal us some good news. [We are] in a time right now [of] negativity and so much going on. This is wonderful news for our diocese, and I think God is showing us a little light in the dark.”
Like many areas in the U.S., the Diocese of Providence has faced a clergy shortage as older priests retire, including some who had been responsible for multiple parishes. These parishes are often then faced with practical challenges, such as limited sacramental ministry.
In addition, some parishes have closed in recent years as church attendance drops.