Before I even board the airplane tomorrow (Friday, May 4, 2012) to fly to Rome for my Ad Limina Visit, a full report measuring some two inches thick was several months ago forwarded to the Holy See. It is called the “Quinquennial Report” taking its name from the fact that every five years normally each bishop reports on the status of the diocese entrusted to his care. Compiling and preparing these reports is laborious work and all of us should thank Joan Morgan, the Chancellor of the Diocese, and Deacon Rick Wells, the Vice-Chancellor, for their efforts. I thought you might be interested in seeing a snapshot of what has at least statistically happened in the diocese since the last report. The information which follows is from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2010:
|Catholics in Diocese||398,702||425,610||+7%|
|Ordinations to Priesthood||9||12||+33%|
|Ordinations to Permanent Diaconate||1||19||+1900%|
|Catholic Schools/Centers (52)||12,678||11,528||-9%|
Within the diocese:
|Number of abortions||11,562||10,824||-6%|
|The Sunday Mass Average was about 32% of the total Catholic Population|
|The ratio of priests to Catholic Faithful was about 1:1,428|
This is nothing more than a statistical snapshot of the diocese at the end of 2010 but it does contain both good news (for example, vocations/seminarians), as well as bad news (the decline in the number of Catholic weddings, baptisms, etc.). It was interesting that yesterday, data drawn from the 2010 census showed that nationally there were 5 million less Catholics (a three percent decline) yet we know that the number of Hispanic Catholics in the country is rising exponentially and this diocese is ill prepared to deal with this reality at this moment in time.
I hope you found the above interesting. As I mentioned, I will be blogging every day from Rome for the next week but I will not be sharing all the details of conversations held which I know will disappoint some of my readership. To do so would be unfair to my colleagues, the other bishops who will share the meetings with me as well as our hosts. Nonetheless, I think I can manage to give you a sense or feel of my time there or at least I will try to do so. So until the first report from Rome on Saturday, it is ciao for now!