Supporting priestly life at all stages
The indispensable link between our Diocese and our parishes is the provision of priests to serve the People of God. Our clergy must be supported and cared for at all stages of their priestly life, from their formation in seminary and service in parishes, through to retirement when their priestly ministry changes. As a Diocese, we are blessed with more than 300 priests. Two hundred are serving in parishes, while over 100 are working in chaplaincies or are retired. Growing in Faith has:
- helped us to respond confidently and quickly to those who are called to the priesthood, diaconate or religious life.
- supported seminarians and provided funds to pay for their preparation for the priesthood.
- enabled us as a Diocese to provide an appropriate level of care, support and on-going formation to these men who give their lives to the Church.
Sick and retired clergy: The facts
- Priests normally step down from full-time active ministry when they turn 75
- Some continue to serve in a supply capacity after 75
- As a Diocese we are currently caring for 86 retired clergy, with a further 12 on sick leave
- These numbers are set to rise significantly
- 44% of our priests in active ministry today will have retired within the next 20 years
- It is only right and just that we look after them when they retire. Many have served our parishes for more than 50 years
Vocations: Did you know?
- We have more priests in training than at any time in the last 10 years
- Thirty-two men are currently studying for the priestwood for the Diocese
- Seminarians spend six to seven years preparing for the priesthood
- Annually it costs up to £25,000 to train each seminarian
- Our seminarians study in four locations:
- Seminarians studying in Rome spend holiday time experiencing parish life, rather than spending Year 3 at a parish.
- The Beda College in Rome is for those who are a older and studies there take just four years. http://www.bedacollege.com/
Outline of the six year training programme
Years 1 & 2 - Philosophy studies
Year 3 - A year in a Parish to get the feel for the life of a Priest
Years 4, 5 and 6 - Theology studies at Heythrop College and Allen Hall