success stories

Book: The First Five Years of the Priesthood: A Study of Newly Ordained Catholic Priests
Author: Dean Hoge
The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, pp.186

Excerpt from Jacket:

The First Five Years of the Priesthood reports what was learned from interviews with five hundred priests who were within five years of ordination and seventy-two recently ordained priests who had resigned. The research indicated that 10 to 15 percent of priests resigned within the first five years of their ministry due to loneliness, feelings of being unappreciated, problems of celibacy, and disillusionment. The priests who remained active reported that satisfaction with their ministry came particularly from presiding at the Eucharist, preaching and teaching.

Excerpt from Book:

We need to alter the seminary environment so it is less amenable to becoming a truly all-encompassing and secure home and more of a foretaste of what a priest’s life will be. Once I entered the seminary, I had a built-in, institutional support system for daily living as well as interpersonally; my living environment included dozens of interesting peers, kind parental figures, three meals a day, and economic security. This living situation is unlike what life is like as a priest today. The priest often lives alone and, while certain parishioners become true friends, most of his contact is with “consumers” of his professional services. He is wholly responsible for designing and carving out the kind of interpersonal and daily living support he needs. This is so even if the priest shares the rectory with others. Based on my observations, it is rare that a priest happens to be assigned with another priest or group of priests who can fill the role of a compatible, close, emotionally supportive friend.

Table of Contents:

Foreword Dr. Jackson W. Carroll

Preface Rev. Robert J. Silva

Author’s Preface Dr. Dean Hoge

Chapter 1: The Setting of the Priesthood Today

Chapter 2: Attitudes of Newly Ordained Active and Resigned Priests

Chapter 3: What Makes for Satisfied Newly Ordained Priests?

Chapter 4: Four Types of Resigned Priests

Chapter 5: Life Experiences of Newly Ordained Active and Resigned Priests

Chapter 6: Recommendations Made by the Priests

Commentaries by:

Rev. George E. Crespin

Most Rev. Thomas J. Curry

Rev. James J. Gill, S.J., M.D.

Ms. Marti R. Jewell

Rev. Stephen J. Rossetti, Ph.D., D.Min.

Sr. Katarina Schuth, O.S. F.

Br. Loughlan Sofield, S.T.