Catholicism: Works Every Time It’s Tried

Macaulay Catholicism



Here is a thought.  Do you think that God is trying to tell us something when liberal orders and liberal bishops produce almost no vocations, while orthodox orders and bishops have no problem with vocations?  Father Z gives us an example:

In Madison there has been over the last few years a surge in vocations to the priesthood.  The Madison State Journal has the first part of an article on the phenomenon.

Here is a sample of part 1, with my emphases and comments:

As number of seminarians surges, Madison diocese seeks $30M to fund priest training

Midway through the Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dodgeville, the service took a sharp turn toward fundraising.

Monsignor Daniel Ganshert, the parish priest, told parishioners that for years, people in the Madison Catholic Diocese had been praying for more men to be called by God to the priesthood. The Holy Spirit has responded, Ganshert announced jubilantly.

There are now 33 seminarians, or priests-in-training, up from six in 2003 when Bishop Robert Morlino arrived. [!  And the diocesan foundation for seminarians was set up for the 6, not the 33.] But that increase comes with responsibility, Ganshert said.

The diocese needs $30 million to educate current and future seminarians — “a serious chunk of money,” he acknowledged.

Ushers distributed pledge cards. The assembled were asked to dig deep.

The same scene is playing out across all 134 worship sites in the 11-county diocese. The effort, which began last fall and will continue through the end of this year, is the first diocesan-wide capital campaign in more than 50 years. [50 years!]

So far, the faithful have responded with vigor. Although the campaign has yet to expand to all churches, parishioners already have pledged more than $28 million.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” Morlino said in an interview, giving immense credit to the diocese’s 110 priests who’ve been rolling out the campaign in their parishes. “They love the priesthood and they love the church, and this is the Holy Spirit working through them.”

A priest’s training, called “formation,” doesn’t come cheap, and the diocese picks up much of the tab.

The diocese declined to pinpoint a per-seminarian cost. But back-of-the-envelope calculations, based on interviews and available data, suggest the diocese spends $250,000 to $300,000 to train each new priest, figures diocesan officials did not contest.

Behind the rise

Priestly ordinations are on the uptick nationally after bottoming out in the 1990s, though there is great variation across dioceses, said Anne Hendershott, who has researched the topic as co-author of “Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops is Revitalizing the Catholic Church.”

The Madison diocese has a “remarkable” number of seminarians for its size, she said.

[Quaeritur…] Why the local success? Morlino has made priestly vocations — the spiritual call to serve — a priority. He increased the position of director of vocations to full time, and he routinely promotes the priesthood at functions.

But there could be more to it. [Here we go!] The very traits that have made Morlino controversial may be the reason he’s successful at recruiting new priests, Hendershott’s research suggests.

[Keep going…] Bishops who are unambiguous about church doctrine and don’t tolerate dissent tend to inspire the greatest number of vocations, said Hendershott, who references Morlino positively in her book. [Notice how the writer worked in the concept of “tolerance”.  It’s not that he defends or teaches sound doctrine, is’s that he doesn’t “tolerate dissent”.  What is the reader supposed to take away from that?  Watch where the article goes next…]
“I’d hesitate to call them culture warriors, but they know what they stand for,” [Remember… amongst liberals it’s a bad thing to be a cultural warrior.] said Hendershott, a sociology professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. “If you are considering the priesthood, you’d want to see that. [NB]You don’t want to commit yourself to something that’s backed only halfway.” [Exactly.  It’s common sense.  But wait!  There’s more…]

Morlino’s traits can cut both ways. Members of the Madison chapter of Call to Action, [HA HA HA HA HA!  They had to find someone to sound the sour note.] a national group of progressive Catholics, find him rigidly doctrinaire and lacking in pastoral empathy. [That’s because they have never met him and they are stuck on … probably… sex.] They’ve worried in the past that the seminarians recruited under his tenure will be carbon copies.  [How likely is that?  On the other hand, the men are going to be faithful to the Church’s Magisterium.]

Jim Green, a leader of the local chapter, said by email the group had decided not to comment collectively or individually on the fundraising campaign. He added, “We will not be donating to the aforementioned cause however.”  [Isn’t that typical?]
When asked if he thought the campaign was a referendum on his tenure, Morlino said, “I hope not.” [HA HA HA HA HA!]
Parishioners need to consider the far-distant health of the church, he said, not just one bishop’s leadership.  [Seminarians!  That’s why Bp. Morlino’s tenure in Madison will exercise a profound influence for decades to come.]


Read the rest there.  And, make popcorn – unless you gave it up for Lent – and watch the combox over there explode into spittle-flecked nutties.

Go here to read the rest.  It is no accident, as the Marxists used to say, that Catholicism has been around for 2000 years.  When the Gospel is preached with no ifs ands or buts, and when Eucharistic adoration is emphasized and Our Lady honored, Catholicism flourishes.  Since Vatican II something best described as Catholicism Lite has proven a flat failure.  Time, past time, to get back to the real thing.


More to explorer


  1. Same situation here.
    The Christchurch diocese – yes the one that had the major earthquake 3 years ago – has a surplus of priests, not just because the quake destroyed quite a few parish churches, but they had a surplus anyway, in relation to the other dioceses because our most conservative bishop, Barry Jones , has been in charge there for quite a number of years now. Our diocese of Hamilton is short of probably 10 priests, but the problem is being mitigated by the import of Indian, Korean and mainly Filipino priests; Auckland diocese is similar, and both diocese have had liberal eaning bishops for 30 years.
    The Wellington archdiocese, however is really suffering. The last two bishops have been very liberal (yes, John Dew – our new cardinal, who has been put into the Kasper Camp by world media). They have a dearth of priests with none in the seminary. They are paying Lay Pastoral leaders – mostly women – to run parishes. 60% of their priests are due for retirement in the next 5 years. Palmerston North diocese, also previously very liberal, also has a shortage of priests, but recently had a good orthodox bishop appointed, which may change the direction.
    When will they ever learn?

  2. Don,

    I don’t think they want to learn. Liberals want a church without priests. That is their endgame.

  3. Ken, you have something there, and I’ll take it even further. Liberals want a church without priests, especially the High Priest, Jesus Himself. Liberals have completely stripped Jesus of His divinity. Liberals hate the fact that the Church teaches that Jesus is a Divine Person, and not a human one. They go absolutely nuts when it is pointed out to them. I know, because I have been the pointer, and they, the nutees. Well, when people strip Jesus of His Divinity, Jesus strips their seminaries of seminarians.

  4. Bet you dimes to donuts that the places with a vocation issue are also the ones with a kids-stay-Catholic issue.
    How are our people supposed to fall in love with a faith they’re never even introduced to?

  5. An Army of unequaled stature and virtue is coming.

    Please view the opinions of Saints and servants of God that attest to this fact.
    For the Holy Hour with Jesus is building His Army of Holy Priests.

    Our Lady and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is Heaven’s remedy for a sick society that is hell bent on self annihilation as a people.

    These 33 in the Madison diocese are just a taste of the Lamb of God Army to sweep the Nation.

    Show up for an hour a week. Help build Gods Army. The Holy hour is calling you. Answer it.

  6. ‘ There is a report that some daft archbishop somewhere has suggested that since the Pope has the power of the keys, perhaps he can dissolve valid consummated sacramental marriages. But, however hard these extreme ultrapapalist mavericks struggle to portray the Holy Father as some sort of magically cunctipotent wizard or godlike superman or supremely effective alchymist, the fact remains that only a nutter, surely, really believes the Pope could do anything. He can’t, for example, in my humble and respectful but cynical and decided opinion, turn the Alps into cheese or add the Da Vinci Code to the Bible or beam Obama up to Mars or grow a tail or turn Walter Kasper into the Dalai Lama or abolish the Sacrament of Baptism or suppress Easter or turn a pumpkin into a carriage or abolish bodily death or transsubstantiate a consecrated Host into bread or dissolve a Christian marriage or erase the character of Holy Order or transmute lead into gold.

    I repeat, underneath, a previous post about what the Pope is for and is supposed to do and does have the grace of the Holy Spirit guaranteed to him to accomplish. You might have thought that someone, such as a seminary lecturer, would have broken this somewhat ancient news, dating from at least 1870, to wannabe archbishops.

    Doellinger, poor old thing, was excommunicated because he felt unable to accept Vatican I. Why do we now have an open season …

    “The Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter so that by His revelation they might disclose new teaching, but that, by His assistance, they might devoutly guard, and faithfully set forth, the Revelation handed down through the Apostles, the Deposit of Faith.” ‘
    (From the liturgical notes blog)
    The last sentence is a useful multi-purpose filter for the many views coming from hierarchy.

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