In a December blog it was noted that there has been a slow-down in the number of ordinations in
in turn, affects the recruitment of Polish priests and seminarians by US
dioceses’ (including Chicago) to bolster their own dwindling and graying
So from where do dioceses import their priests now? Africa, and more specifically,
Nigeria. At least that’s Chicago’s experience.
Spokesman Fr. Jerry Boland said there were currently 160 international priests
(ordained overseas) working in Chicago. The largest single group is from Nigeria. This
is not counting international religious-order priests or foreign-born
seminarians studying to be ordained for Chicago.
Reports say the 24% of
seminarians are foreign-born. Bishops counter complaints of some priests and
laity about the newcomer’s language and cultural difficulties, by pointing to the gift
of their valid and licit sacramental work. Other critics see the US Church
wielding economic enticements to deprive other countries of their native
vocations where the priest/parishioner ratio is often more desperate than in the United States.