American sociologist to examine imported priest phenomenon

Dean Hoge, a sociologist at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, will speak during a forthcoming Australian tour on emerging trends in the Church including the phenomenon of importing priests from developing countries.

The award-winning sociologist who will visit Australia in October, has recently published his book International Priests in America: Challenges and Opportunities, which examines the phenomenon of bringing in priests from developing countries to work in American parishes as priestly vocations in the US decline.

Professor Hoge has spent three decades researching American religion, producing 16 books and 100 scholarly articles.

In 2003, he won the Fr Louis J Luzbetak Award from the National Institute for the Renewal of the Priesthood, according to a media release from the Pastoral Projects Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

During his visit to Australia, Professor Hoge will discuss topics such as young adult Catholics, how they are different, and what they think of the institutional Church; international priests serving in the US; the priest shortage and the Church's options for carrying out its mission; and trends in priestly life since Vatican Council II.

Director of the Pastoral Projects Office, Bob Dixon, said he was excited about the prospect of Australian audiences hearing from one of the world's leading experts in the field of the sociology of religion.

"Dean's research shows the Church is in a period of great transition and his studies of the clergy in the United States point to a changing face of the Church of the future, with a greater emphasis on lay people," Mr Dixon said.

"Our own research in Australia shows similar trends, and his expert findings will help us in Australia to focus on these very important issues."

Pastoral Projects Office, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (Media Release, 6/9/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Dean R. Hoge, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology, The Catholic University of America
Pastoral Projects Office, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

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7 Sep 2006