Altar Serving and the Ordination Class of 2017

liturgy guy

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Every year Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) conducts a survey of ordinands for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This year 590 ordinands to the priesthood were sent the survey; of these, 444 (or 75 percent) responded.

While this annual survey once again provides us a fascinating glimpse into the make up of this year’s class -such as parents religious affiliation, number of siblings, educational background, and ethnic make-up- it is interesting to see those common factors which contributed to these men’s discernment.

As I have chronicled in past years, altar serving is a common experience shared by the majority of our ordained. The class of 2017 is no exception.

CARA’s surveys shows that 77 percent of diocesan ordinands listed Altar Serving as a parish ministry in which they had participated. Compare that to Lector (51 percent), Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (42 percent), and Youth…

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