I have recently read that East Timor, which has a population of 1.3million people, is 97% Catholic. There are currently 220 priests, which amounts to one priest to serve around 6,000 Catholics. In the past East Timor has relied heavily on missionary priests supplemented by a few priests born in East Timor but educated elsewhere. Things are beginning to change.
In the year 2000 a seminary was opened in Dili, and this has been supported by a junior seminary. The junior seminary has been accepting 90 students each year, but has to turn away most of the 300 or so that apply.
This year a second junior seminary has opened that is able to accept 22 students. Although a welcome development, further junior and major seminaries will be needed to satisfy the demand. There is the potential for the number of priests to increase dramatically in the years to come.
1 day ago