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More Priests for Understaffed Parishes - A Strategy

Ten years ago, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) surveyed US diocesan priests and found that half of active priests planned to retire within ten years. This survey finding from the past continues to raise important financial and ministerial questions. Are we on track to see more retired than active US diocesan priests at some point in the future? Are enough new priests being ordained to replace those retiring? What does the projection suggest about the availability of active priests in 2019? 

P.J. Kenedy and Sons annually publishes a very complete summary of the organizations, offices, and personnel of the Catholic Church in the United States -- the Official Catholic Directory. The Directory for 2009 contained key data about 2008, the year on which the prediction was based. Comparing that with 2015 data from the 2016 Directory can help assess US Catholic Church staffing in relation to the predicted significant drop in active priests. 

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