The health of any Diocese can often be assessed by reviewing the number of vocations to the priesthood in the Diocese.  Like many of the dioceses in the United States, the Diocese of Gaylord is critically short in its vocations.  Recently, the Diocese announced a grand total of one new seminarian for the Diocese.  He will be starting his seminary formation this year.  Additionally, one current seminarian is taking a leave of absence for health reasons.  This leaves the total number of active seminarians at a miniscule number of five.  Four out of five of these seminarians, i.e., 80%, come from just one parish.

The reasons for the lack of seminarians are numerous.  However, in those dioceses that have an abundance of vocations, observers have noted that an orthodox, strong, and dynamic bishop can have a huge impact to inspire men to seek the priesthood.  In other dioceses, a strong priest can have a similar impact.  More fundamentally, of course, is the work of the Holy Spirit through a vibrant bishop or priest to help bring vocations.  The parish of Holy Rosary, with its inspiring priest and active parish life, is no doubt a big part of the Diocese vocations program.  But it’s not enough.  Why aren’t other parishes producing vocations?  Is Bishop Walsh not inspiring young men to the priesthood?  What is the formula at Holy Rosary that makes it the overwhelming source of vocations for the Diocese of Gaylord?  We must continue to pray for vocations and for strong clergy to inspire men to the priesthood.