Monday, August 13, 2007

more gear-up

As I mentioned, The Record's online edition has just posted some of the recent articles on Archbishop Kurtz, again, as a part of the continued gear-up for his Excellency's Installation on Wed Aug 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here they are:

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will be installed on Aug 15
Archbishop, bishops focus on marriage, family
What kind of followers will we be?
Singers, musicians will help make Gardens a sacred place

There has also been much focus on his attention to vocations. Peter Smith, who for the most part has been pretty fair to the Church, interviewed us 9 seminarians at a recent gathering. Here is his article in the Courier-Journal (I've got a little blurb in it):

Archbishop hopes to attract new priests

The Associated Press got a hold of the article and ran it too, only in a somewhat abbreviated form. The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (my hometown) picked it up. I'll post it below as you must pay to read it online ($1 for one-time article). But, read it in its fuller version above first.
Men being sought to enter priesthood

8/13/2007

Louisville archdiocese has roughly one-third the priests it had in 1970

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE -- When Joseph E. Kurtz takes over as archbishop of Louisville on Wednesday, he'll face the challenge of finding more people wanting to take up the priesthood.

Kurtz is stepping into an archdiocese that, for the second time in two years, has ordained no priests. For the last 10 years, the archdiocese has ordained an average of less than two priests per year, even though the Catholic population has grown 7 percent.

The archdiocese has 88 active (full-time) priests, roughly one-third the number in 1970. And the average age of all priests -- including retirees, some of whom continue to work part time -- is 63. The archdiocese has merged 17 parishes and told dozens of others to share priests because of those numbers and population shifts.

Louisville's problems are echoed nationwide, with the United States seeing a 30 percent drop in priests since 1965. But locally, the news is not all bad. Six men in the Archdiocese of Louisville, most in their 20s, are starting seminary this fall.

Three others are working their way through seminary, and several others have been meeting in support groups formed in recent years to help men explore their interest in the priesthood.

And Kurtz, as bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville since 1999, has garnered a reputation for recruiting a relatively high percentage of priests for that diocese's Catholic population. The diocese, one-quarter the size of Louisville's, has ordained about 10 priests in the last four years.

"For our size, that's a very great number," Kurtz said.

The current group of seminarians from Louisville said Kurtz will need patience in bringing more men to the priesthood.

"A lot of times, the culture and our society present obstacles where it's hard to hear that call," said Matthew Hardesty, 27, an Owensboro native who is studying at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. "Sometimes it does take that direct invitation" from the church, he said. "We need to be not afraid to make that invitation."

Hardesty decided on the priesthood after a Protestant girlfriend quizzed him about the Catholic faith while they were in college. Hardesty found himself unable to answer the questions, began studying and became captivated by his newfound knowledge.

Lastly, still on the topic of vocations, The Record ran an article about a vocation program I planned at St. Rita's in the south end of the Archdiocese:

Nun, seminarian share their stories with youth

4 comments:

phatcatholic said...

I made a blog post about this. Check it out:

http://phatcatholic.blogspot.com/2007/08/theres-still-hope-in-louisville.html

Love,
Nick

Amy M. said...

Does this mean you're famous? I mean, this is one step away from a show on EWTN, right?

Can you get me Raymond Arroyo's autograph?

Matt1618 said...

haha, yeah right. Speaking of EWTN, did you hear Birmingham finally has a bishop? Bishop Baker from Charleston, I think. He's a friend of the network, which is good.

Amy M. said...

Sweet :-)