- From the lowest recruits of 26 in the year 2002, there has been a steady increase over a period of 4 years to 44 applicants .
- The average of men entering priesthood is now 28, the youngest it has been in years.
- A disproportionate number of the new seminarians at the Westminster archdiocese's seminary at Allen Hall are coming into the priesthood through the “ecclesiastical movements” that proliferated after the Second Vatican Council. These groups are officially recognised organisations that follow a particular founder and are usually led by the laity. They often take the model of the early Church as their example, meeting as small communities to pray and study scripture.
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It is also interesting to compare some of these figures to my seminary's new intake for the coming 2008 academic year. While we are encouraged by some of the recent developments, it seems to me that the latest statistics also reveal some concerns and trends that both the church and seminary need to consider seriously. More of this later.