Cleansing Fire

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Ordinations climb in Milwaukee

August 20th, 2010, Promulgated by Mike

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has been experiencing an uptick in the number of ordinations to the priesthood.

The Archdiocese, which spans 210 parishes in ten counties in Southeastern Wisconsin, greeted the ordination of six seminary graduates last year as the sudden reversal of a long drought. It was the largest class to graduate in 17 years. Previous classes produced just one or even no new priests.

This year, the seminary ordained almost as many new clergy for the Archdiocese. Five graduates were ordained. Father Don Hying, seminary rector, says he expects six ordinations next year, then five and potentially a record seven in 2013. They would be arriving just in time, as retirements continue to drive down the ranks of clergy in Milwaukee and around the country.

In is interesting to note that the uptick in ordinations began 7 years after Timothy Dolan replaced Rembert Weakland as Archbishop of Milwaukee.

Full story here.

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3 Responses to “Ordinations climb in Milwaukee”

  1. avatar Gretchen says:

    Mike, how are the Catholic schools doing in the Milwaukee diocese? I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a corresponding uptick in enrollment…

  2. avatar Mike says:

    Gretchen,

    When it was announced that Archbishop Dolan would be going to New York, the local Milwaukee paper published a profile piece. Some key paragraphs follow …

    Yet Dolan has had to do difficult things in the country’s 21st-largest diocese. He has closed more than 20 parishes and the seminary. He put the list of sex-abuser priests online. He’s selling the archdiocesan headquarters to pay off millions in settlements over abuse by renegade priests that his predecessors sent elsewhere.

    And he has asked Catholics for $105 million, mainly to support schools. Less than halfway through that campaign, pledges have hit $57 million.

    This is all patch-up for a diocese left in tatters by former Archbishop Rembert Weakland – who after 25 years of cerebral, aloof leadership retired in 2002 about the time news broke that he paid $450,000 in hush money to a young male lover.

    All Dolan had to do was smile and not be Weakland, and he’d have been OK. But he also did the fiscal repairs and disarmed a considerable “to hell with Rome” contingent among priests and preached orthodoxy without setting off open war with theological liberals and found a way to accommodate the Latin Mass crowd – and still ended up seeming like everyone’s genial uncle.

    With that by way of background, take a look at this spreadsheet.

    While Dolan didn’t completely halt the decline in his schools, he seems to have slowed it down considerably. If his successor follows through, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those numbers start back upward again.

  3. avatar Mike says:

    Gretchen,

    I just noticed that the 4 charts in the spreadsheet lost their subtitles. The two charts on the left side show the number of schools, while the two on the right show the enrollment.

    [I use Open Office (because it’s free and I think Bill Gates is already rich enough) and then save work that will be published in Excel 97 format. Apparently that MS format didn’t allow for chart subtitles and they got stripped out of the file.]


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