Committee on the Allocation and Recruitment of Priests
This committee has been appointed by Cardinal Keeler to review local and nation data from CARA (a national organization which drafts statistical summaries for religious groups) and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the anticipated reduction in the number of Archdiocesan priests available for parish ministry. CARP is asked to develop recommendations that will ensure the quality of pastoral care of parish communities for at least the next decade. Read the report.
It is estimated that there will be less than 150 active priests in the Archdiocese of Baltimore by 2015. This assumes that there are five ordinations each year, and that a portion of priests continue to serve after retirement age.
Currently the average age of a priest is between 58 and 59 ½. By 2015 it is projected that the aveage age for priests will be close to 61.
Average Parish Size
From 1900-1950, nationally the number of our parishes grew almost as fast as the Catholic population. In the second half of the 20th century it did not. Nationally, there are over 3,000 Catholics per parish today. But this is much higher in some areas. According to the Official Catholic Directory, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Dioceses of Las Vegas, Brownsville, Orange, El Paso and Rockville center claim to have some parishes with more 10,000 Catholics.
How This Has Impacted Catholic Communities – Priest Assignment Patterns
Entrusting the Pastoral Care of a Parish to Someone Other Than a Priest
Several Priests Serving as a Team
Cooperation Among Parishes to Share Ministry Staff
Reduction in the Number of Masses