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Vocations decline in Britain and Ireland no longer considered a 'crisis'

The vocations crisis in Britain and Ireland is coming to an end, according to a report in The Universe newspaper.

Catholic World News reports that Ireland has reported a leveling off of the decline in seminarians.

Secretary General of the Conference of Religious in Ireland (CORI), Sr Elizabeth Maxwell, told the Irish News that the "very dramatic drop" in numbers are "not a cause for concern". She explained that "there was an abnormal glut in the number of vocations to the church in the 1950s and 1960s which people took to be the norm."

Although numbers in England and Wales are still lower than ten years ago, vocations directors say they are confident that new priests are on their way. Only Scotland reported a worsening crisis.

Fr Kevin Doran, Ireland's national vocations director, said that new seminarians are older and better educated than their predecessors. He added that a recent advertising campaign to encourage young men to spend a few days in a seminary is helping tremendously.

Fr John Danson, secretary for the conference of Vocations Directors in England and Wales said that the creation of a "culture of vocations" was the way forward. "We shouldn't ever talk about a crisis in vocations because, in today's age, it is a miracle that we are getting the numbers that we are," said Fr Danson. "Perhaps the falling number of priests is telling us that we need to involve lay people more."

CWN/Irish News