Vocations to the priesthood in Australia are flourishing, after a decline in applicants during the1990s. the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has announced. Seminaries in all the dioceses of Australia are admitting increasing numbers of students. The Good Shepherd Seminary in Sydney has 42 resident students, the highest number in recent years. Another seminary in Sydney, the Redemptoris Mater, opened by the Neo Catechumens, has 50 students including sixteen new candidates to the priesthood admitted this year. Other dioceses are registering similar increases in vocations. The Diocesan Seminary in Wagga Wagga has formed 25 priests now working in various parts of Australia. This year the seminary welcomed seven new students. Perth Seminary has 22 students and Melbourne seminary has two new students this year. Vocations director Fr Paul Stuart said that vocations to the priesthood were particularly coming from university students. He said this tendency was promising for the future of the Australian Church and society in the years ahead. Local Catholic sources said the increase in vocations was a fruit of renewed and intensified pastoral work with young people which has been a priority for Church in Australia in the last decade. Source: FIDES
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