.- Father Chad Arnold, vocations director in the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, is hesitant to dole out advice about how a diocese can increase its priestly vocations.
He recognizes that he’s been blessed.
At a time when bishops and vocations directors across the universal Church are wringing their hands about a dire shortage of priests, Wichita has ordained 10 men to the priesthood for the second year in a row, upping their priestly population by about 20 percent.
“I wish there were an easy, A-B-C sort of answer, but in reality it’s so many things we are blessed with that I believe aid our vocations,” Arnold told CNA.
One of those things is a commitment to perpetual adoration chapels in diocesan parishes.
“We have a high number of perpetual adoration chapels throughout our diocese, so we have a lot of young men spending time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament,” he said. “That moment of silence is so critical to hear the Lord speaking to them, so that availability is there.”
The diocese has also been blessed with priests “who work hard and live their faith and take joy in their priesthood and provide tremendous examples and models for the young men in the parishes,” Arnold added, as well as good and faithful bishops who have directed the diocese well.
Six men who were ordained as priests of Wichita have since become bishops, including Bishop Shawn McKnight, who was installed in February as Bishop of Jefferson City, Mo.
The diocese, which sits in the southeast corner of the state, covers 20,021 square miles over 25 counties, and is home to 114,195 Catholics in 90 parishes. While most of these parishes are covered by one priest, the recent bumper crops of priestly ordinations means that some larger parishes with hundreds of families are able to have two or even three priests.
Read more at Catholic News Agency.