Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Archbishop Burke to Ordain Nine

In terms of Catholic population the Archdiocese of St. Louis is only about 60% larger than DOR and yet this year Archbishop Raymond Burke will be ordaining nine men to the priesthood while Bishop Matthew Clark will be ordaining just one.

A May 20 article in STLtoday.com says that part of the reason is the Archbishop's active involvement in recruiting seminarians and his support for them during their studies.

And there is a third factor:

At Kenrick [Seminary], it's not just Burke's involvement that is cited for the turnaround in enrollment. The archbishop's conservatism, too, is an appealing aspect to young seminarians.

"The people who are attracted to the priesthood today tend to be much more conservative than their peers," said the Rev. Thomas Reese of the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington. "Even in the 1950s, the people attracted to seminaries were more conservative than their peers, but not to the degree they are today."

Seminarians say Burke's conservatism helps him connect with them. The seminarians openly discuss how they see Burke as a spiritual father and embrace the traditional atmosphere Burke has championed in the archdiocese and the seminary.

Burke, for example, is considered one of the most devoted supporters of the old Latin Mass among U.S. bishops, and last year, Kenrick began celebrating the traditional liturgy on Fridays. More formal vestments are now required at morning and evening prayers. Burke said such "little things" help him "encourage a strong identity among the seminarians, especially with the celebration of the sacred liturgy."

This reminded me of many of the points made be Mary Jo Anderson in her nearly 3 year-old article, Eight Habits of Highly Effective Bishops. In summary form they are

  1. A bishop must be personally holy.

  2. A bishop must promote and defend the authentic Catholic Faith.

  3. A bishop must be committed to Catholic education.

  4. A bishop must work to strengthen the Catholic family.

  5. A bishop must foster vocations.

  6. A bishop must love the Mass.

  7. A bishop must be willing and able to start from scratch.

  8. A bishop must be vocal in the public square.

Archbishop Burke could have written that article. Bishop Clark has some work to do.


Anonymous said...
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Mike said...

Wow, Dr. K!

Do you grade all your students' papers that quickly?

I'm impressed.

CathParent said...

Smart people learn from their mistakes. Smarter people learn from the successes and failures of others. Apparently, our bishop is neither. Bishop Clark should be looking at what works in other diocese across the country, because his methods aren't working.

Mike said...


The liberal/progressive Catholicism experiment in DOR has failed. Our vocations rate is essentially zero. Most of the priests we do have are getting very close to retirement age. 3,000 of our people are effectively leaving the Church every year and have been doing so for at least the last 7 years. (Over 22% of our Mass-attending Catholics have just vanished since 2000.) We are closing parishes and schools at an alarming rate. Apologetics - which would require Catholics to actually learn their faith - is rejected by most priests as "too dogmatic" or "too confrontational." Etc. Etc. Etc.

A passage from John's Gospel comes to mind ...

Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the
blind will see and those who see will become blind."

Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked,
"What? Are we blind too?"

Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but
now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. (John 9:39-41)