In a conversation with my family this weekend, I hit on an interesting notion. If every priest went out and inspired just one vocation during his whole career, say 45 years between ordination and retirement, we’d probably not be talking about a priest shortage. If every priest just duplicated himself there would be no decline. Okay, you have to account for priests leaving due to health, dismissal, early death, and so on. But still, I wonder how many priests in any particular diocese can say that they’re responsible for a single vocation to the priesthood?
Granted, priests alone are not responsible; parents have a huge responsibility too. Still, I think it’s something that’s not often considered.