Third of '07 U.S. Ordinands Are Foreign Born

Average Age of Those Scheduled for Priesthood Is 35

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WASHINGTON D.C., MAY 2, 2007 ( U.S. bishops' data on those to be ordained this year shows that their average age is 35 and one in three were born outside the United States.

Researchers gathered information from 282 seminarians (including 221 future diocesan priests and 60 religious), approximately 60% of the estimated 475 men who are expected to be ordained.


-- Seven in 10 report their primary race as Caucasian, European American, or white.

-- Of the 33% of ordinands born outside the United States, the largest numbers come from Vietnam, Mexico, Poland and the Philippines.

-- Some 6% are converts to the Catholic faith.

-- More than six in 10 ordinands have a college degree from before entering the seminary.

-- Half of responding ordinands attended a Catholic elementary school.

-- About two-thirds of the group had full-time jobs before going to the seminary.

-- The average age at which they began considering a vocation was 17.

The Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate compiled the information. The organization conducts the survey each year for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation.