I wrote in the previous post that the Diocese of East Anglia will shortly have 12 seminarians, and suggested that this may be more than any other diocese in England and Wales. I was wrong. According to the Catholic Herald, the Diocese of Portsmouth will have 14 seminarians at the start of the new term. This is said to be the biggest number for the diocese in living memory.
It is unusual for any diocese to give much publicity to the number of their seminarians, possibly because the numbers are depressingly small. A quick search on the internet has not revealed any figures for other dioceses, although the website of Oscott College does list their current students giving their home diocese.
The article in the Catholic Herald says that in recent years there have between 30 and 40 new seminarians each year, although in 2016 the number dipped to 26. If the news from East Anglia and Portsmouth is anything like typical, there could be a bumper crop of new seminarians this year.
I suspect that it is more a case of these two dioceses being exceptional. Portsmouth is, of course, headed by Bishop Egan, who has gained a reputation as a excellent bishop and one who is very sympathetic to tradition. Similarly, Bishop Hopes of East Anglia, has also proved to be friendly to the Latin Mass. Probably, the correct conclusion is that dioceses where the bishop is friendly to tradition tend to be more successful in attracting vocations.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who has information about the numbers of seminarians in other dioceses.
Lent I and this week
1 day ago