State of Priestly Vocations in the United States
You are the first to see the annual State of Priestly Vocations Report and find out the health of the United States dioceses for vocations. Using the Official Catholic Directories from 2015-2021 and diocesan websites and social media, we have pertinent information on all 177 Dioceses. Here is the general overview:

13 - Healthy Dioceses
36 - Borderline Healthy Dioceses
76 - Maintaining Dioceses
52 - Unhealthy Dioceses

38 Dioceses ordained 0 new priests in 2021

*The average age of a US priest is 67. In just a few years, those priests will be retiring. We did not use the retirement rate for our calculations because that number is different for EVERY diocese. You can find out more about the impact of priest retirement by reading this article.

For a broader look into the state of vocations worldwide, check out this article. To read more about the Newly Ordained and Professed Religious, read the Cara Report for the 2021 Class of Ordinands and 2021 Profession Class.

You know the saying, "You need to know where you are to know where you need to go." We have a lot of work to do for vocations, especially in Europe and the Americas.
As always, know that you are in my prayers. If you think of it, please pray for our ministry, too.

God bless you!
Rhonda Gruenewald
Findings and Criteria for Healthy Diocese
Criteria Points for a Healthy, Borderline Healthy, and Maintaining Dioceses:
1. Ordaining 1 new priest for every 100,000 Catholics in a diocese per year
2. Diocese has enough seminarians to support ordinations needed, determined in point #1
3. Fewer than 15% of priests are extern priests (not incardinated into a diocese, e.g., missionary priest)
4. Fewer than 15% of parishes without a resident priest


Healthy Dioceses

Covington, Kentucky
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Lafayette-in-Indiana, Indiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lansing, Michigan
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Monterey, California
Peoria, Illinois
 The Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
Worcester, Massachusetts
Youngstown, Ohio


Borderline Healthy Dioceses
(needs improvement in one of the four above criteria)
36 Dioceses


Maintaining Dioceses
(needs improvement in two of the four above criteria)
76 Dioceses


Criteria Points for an Unhealthy Diocese:
1. Not ordaining 1 new priest for every 100,000 Catholics in a diocese per year
2. Diocese does not have enough seminarians to support ordinations needed, determined in point #1
3. More than 50% of priests are extern priests (not incardinated into a diocese, e.g., missionary priests)
4. More than 50% of parishes without a resident priest


Unhealthy Dioceses
(needs improvement in three or more of the above criteria)
52 Dioceses
Did you see this article?
What is the Secret Sauce in this Parish? 

This article highlighted St. Mary's in Hudson, Ohio, which ordained 7 men in 7 years! What did they do to create a culture of vocations at their parish? Exactly what I say to do at my workshops and in my book: Intentionally pray for vocations and promote vocations to all!

For those of you who have been doing this, please keep going! Your work matters to the overall health of a diocese. If each parish sent 1 man every 3 years to the seminary, even if they did not get ordained, we would have more healthy dioceses for vocations. Click the button to read the article and get inspired!
I would wholeheartedly recommend Vocation Ministry to any diocese and all vocation directors searching for a solution to the rapidly changing landscape in our dioceses today. She is paving the way for a bold new era of vocation promotion for our Church in the United States and beyond.
Instead of engaging in a desperate search for more seminarians, I would invite you to pause and dig deep down into the roots of the issue before us. I have seen the initial impact of Vocation Ministry on our diocese and I am confident that this will bear abundant fruit in the years to come. Deep roots produce great fruit. Get to work.

- Fr. Jason Hage, Vocation Director, Syracuse
Be Sure to Follow Our Socials
This group is dedicated to laypeople looking for support while promoting vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and marriage.
If you shop on Amazon, would you prayerfully consider adding Vocation Ministry as your charity of choice to receive donations?