My dear parishioners and friends,
Wow, the 4th of July came and went! And onward we march into the remainder of the summer months. I need to take this column this
week to briefly explain what’s happening in the Diocese.
We, of course, have a new Bishop-Elect named, and we are so thrilled he is one of our very own. August 31st is going to a fantastic day in the Diocese of Allentown and for his whole family.
The week before I got sick the Chancery had a meeting with the priests of the Deaneries to explain to us “Priest Personnel Projections.” Msgr. James gave a wonderful overview, albeit it was what we expected. I’d like to share with you some of these thoughts
The projections are from today to 2030 and here are the facts that were given:
- the number of active priests in the diocese will drop 40%, thus
- the number of priests available for parish ministry will decline at a similar rate, as well
- the number of projected seminarians falls short of filling the gap.
- However, an estimated 31% reduction in the number of parishes will help mitigate the impact. Currently as of today there are 84 parishes but by the year 2030 we are projecting 64 parishes. There are no names attached to the parishes, just a “number of”.
So, my friends, please understand the following:
- We are still a Parish, at present we are not closing.
- The best solution to this current problem we find ourselves in is to pray for Vocations! It takes roughly eight years to train someone to be a priest so, pray for those vocations yet to come, but also pray for the vocations of the priests you already have.