Nov. 6, 2019
By Gina Christian
As the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week (Nov. 3-9), Father Steven DeLacy looks forward to the day when “religious vocations will come so naturally” that he’ll be out of a job.
“I’m actively trying to eliminate my position,” joked Father DeLacy, who serves as vocation director for the diocesan priesthood in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Since 1976, the U.S. bishops have annually dedicated a week to promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), vocations have declined significantly in the U.S. over the past 50 years, with the total number of priests (both diocesan and religious) down by some 38% and the number of religious sisters down 73%.