St Mary of the Lake Seminary ordained an average of 36 priests a year for the first 60 years of its existence (1927-1987) -- all for Chicago. The last few years averaged 12, and almost none were born in the United States. Many of the parish priests in Chicago today are from Poland, Africa, Mexico, South and Central America (not a bad thing) but many are not fluent in English which makes for some problems of communication especially in homilies. What is crazy is that Chicago is letting some of its priests join the neighboring diocese of Joliet. One especially sad loss was a vibrant, charismatic priest who had led one of the most dynamic parishes in the diocese. He had been assigned to a retirement village as chaplain so he joined Joliet as a parish assistant.
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