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Clergy and Religious

 

Priests 1

There are 39,530 diocesan and religious-order priests in the United States.

•    26,696 diocesan priests.

•    12,326 religious-order priests (Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, etc.)

•    508 new priests ordained in 2011.

•    39,022 total number of priests in dioceses.


Seminarians

There are 5,046 seminarians enrolled in the United States.

•    3,598 enrolled in diocesan seminaries.

•    1,448 enrolled in religious-order seminaries.

Permanent Deacons

There are 18,089 men who have been ordained as permanent deacons in the United States.

Vowed Religious

•    Sisters: 50,836

•    Brothers: 4,349

•    The average age of ordinands for the Class of 2014 is 34, and the median age is 32. Eight in ten responding ordinands are between 25 and 39.  2

•    About 3 in 10 ordinands or 31% were born outside the United States, with the largest numbers coming from Vietnam, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, and the Philippines. Mexico and Vietnam are the most popular countries of birth among those born outside the U.S. The class identified 33 different countries of origin.3

•    Before entering the seminary, 54 % of ordinands completed college.  16% of ordinands entered the seminary with a graduate degree, and 23 % entered the seminary with some college education or having attended a technical school.4 

Religious Retirement

•    As of 2013, 35,843 retired Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests past age 70 benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious.


•    In 2013, the NRRO awarded $23 million in Direct Care Assistance to 424 religious communities, or an average of $1,024 for every member of an eligible Catholic religious community who is age 70 or older.

•    52,393 Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests belong to religious communities that receive financial support and services from the Retirement Fund for Religious. 7

•    By 2023, it is estimated that religious sisters, brothers and religious order priests over 70 years of age will outnumber those under age 70 by four to one.

•    Traditionally, religious worked for modest stipends or maintenance that did not include pension benefits. 9

•    The average Social Security benefit for religious today is approximately $5,123; for other Americans, the average benefit is $15,480. 10 


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  1. The Official Catholic Directory 2014, General Summary.
  2. Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, The Class of 2014, Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood. Executive Summary.
  3. Ibid.   
  4. Ibid.    
  5. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Religious Retirement Office, Statistical Report, 2014. p.4.
  6. http://www.retiredreligious.org/how/index.html#sthash.4Q4o0QA1.dpuf. (accessed on 8/14/14)
  7. USCCB, National Religious Retirement Office, Statistical Report, 2014. p.3
  8. Retirement Fund for Religious, http://www.retiredreligious.org/downloads/resource-files/rfr_backgrounder.pdf (accessed on 08/20/14)
  9. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.usccb.org/about/national-religious-retirement-office/faqs.cfm  (accessed on 8/19/14)
  10. Statistical Report, 2014. p.8.



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