Rorate Caeli

Priestly ordinations from France for 2011

Perepiscopus reports that for this year (see this, this, and this) at least 113 new diocesan priests are expected to be ordained for France -- 107 for the dioceses in France and 6 for the Paris Foreign Mission Society. Two of the posts on Perepiscopus and elsewhere mention 109 new diocesan priests, but this number apparently includes one nonexistent "ordinand" (for Chartres) and excludes five ordinands -- two for Ajaccio and three for Nice.

The number for the dioceses in France includes
5 priests from the Emmanuel Community. This year's number is larger than those for previous years: 96 ordinations in 2010, 89 in 2009, 98 in 2008, 101 in 2007, 68 in 2006, 96 in 2001, 95 in 1996, 110 in 1991 and 81 in 1986. However, the same blog notes there will only be 77 new (diocesan) deacons for this year, and combined with the continued fall in the number of seminarians (732 this year -- 96 of them foreigners -- as compared to 756 last year), lower ordination figures can be expected in the coming years.

As expected, the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon has the highest number of ordinands, with 15 new priests to be ordained on June 26 by Bishop Dominique Rey. (Perepiscopus and Chretiente.Info hint that there will be additional priestly ordinations in the remainder of this year.) Eleven of the 15 belong to the various new communities that have found shelter in that diocese, away from the hostility of other French bishops. In contrast, the Archdiocese of Paris will have only 4 new priests (three of them foreign-born) this year (a historic low) while the Primatial See of the Gauls, the Archdiocese of Lyons, will only have two.

In addition to the 113 diocesans, the "Reform of the Reform" Community of St. Martin (see this and this) expects to have 8 new priests, the Community "Chemin Neuf" has 5 ordinands, while 8 Frenchmen are among the ordinands of the Community of St. John founded by the late Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe OP.

Among Traditionalists, four friars (one from Germany and three from France) of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer (Traditionalist Dominicans, but not to be confused with the SSPX-affiliated Dominicans of Avrille) will be ordained to the priesthood on July 2 in Fontgombault. The Fraternity's previous priestly ordinations were in 2006 and 2008. Although it is open to candidates from other countries, the Fraternity currently works only within France.

The SSPX will have a total of 11 new priests from France this year, and 2 of the FSSP's 7 new priests for this year are from the same country. (Four of these seven have already been ordained.) We might add that three of the four ordinands of the Institute of Christ the King are Frenchmen. The website of the Institute of the Good Shepherd also mentions diaconal and sacerdotal ordinations in the St. Eloi church in Bordeaux tomorrow (June 25), by H.E. Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. However, the IBP doesn't mention how many new priests they will have. (In addition, 3 IBP seminarians were ordained subdeacons on April 9 of this year by Msgr. Raymond Seguy, bishop emeritus of Autun.)