PROVIDENCE (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence says no men have applied for its seminary program in the fall. The Rev. Chris Murphy, assistant director of vocations for the diocese, told WPRI-TV it’s rare that there are no new applicants to Our Lady of Providence Seminary. Between two and six men have entered the seminary each fall over the past five years.
Murphy said Tuesday that the church is not in crisis mode, and that the diocese is looking at new ways to reach men who may be thinking about the priesthood. Murphy, who was ordained in 2012, is also the chaplain at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick.
Pope Francis previously said there is a global shortage of priests, and he blames the issue on scandals within the church and changing cultural trends. Four priests in the Providence Diocese are scheduled to retire this year. One man will be ordained into the priesthood in June.