From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

The numbers are great: Spokane is fifth in nation for ratio of seminarians, newly ordained to laity

the Inland Register

(From the May 3, 2001 edition of the Inland Register

The April 2001 edition of the New Oxford Review presented a statistical analysis of seminarians and newly ordained priests. The study relied on statistics from The Official Catholic Directory 2000 and compared the ratio of seminarians and new priests to the number of Catholics in that particular archdiocese or diocese.

Out of 173 dioceses in the nation, the Diocese of Spokane was ranked fifth, with one seminarian or newly ordained priest for every 2,614 Catholics.

The average ratio of all the dioceses was one seminarian or new priest for every 13,813.

“This is clearly exciting news and points to the health and vitality of the Church in Eastern Washington,” said Father Darrin Connall, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Spokane. “When people in vocation ministry talk about dioceses with large numbers of seminarians, they often mention dioceses like Peoria, Arlington, or Omaha, Neb. It is interesting to note, however, that all of these dioceses ranked below Spokane.”

Father Connall gives credit for the good numbers to his predecessor in the Vocations Office, Father Richard Root, as well as the other priests of the diocese. “Many of our priests actively preach and promote vocations in their parishes. Their efforts are clearly bearing fruit for our local Church,” said Father Connall.

The Diocese of Spokane currently has 11 seminarians, one of whom will be ordained a priest in May. Four additional candidates for Spokane are presently going through the application process for entrance into Bishop White Seminary for the upcoming fall semester.

The national average is one seminarian and new priest for every 13,813 Catholics.

Top 10 dioceses in the nation: Seminarians, new priests/laity
Number of Catholics per Seminarian/New Priest
1. Fargo, N.D. 2,025
2. Lincoln, Neb.: 2,173
3. Jefferson City, Mo.: 2,188
4. Rapid City, S.D.: 2,385
5. Spokane: 2,614
6. Yakima, Wash.: 2,628
7. Greensburg, Pa.: 2,643
8. Alexandria, La.: 2,826
9. Owensboro, Ky.: 2,952
10. Lubbock, Texas: 3,243


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