A total of 438 candidates started preparation towards the priesthood, including 289 in diocese seminaries and 149 in the orders, Rev. Piotr Kot, the head of the Conference of Seminaries Rectors announced.
In the 2020/2021 academic year 60 fewer entries to seminaries were recorded compared to data from 2019/2020 when the total number was 498, with 324 in diocese seminaries and 174 in orders.
The highest number of candidates, 26, applied to the diocese seminary in Tarnów, southern Poland. On the other hand, only one each joined the seminaries in Drohiczyn, Gniezno and Sosnowiec (eastern, western and southern Poland respectively). Moreover, nobody has joined the seminary in Świdnica, south-west Poland.
Among the orders, the most popular choice for candidates for priests were Dominicans (35), followed by Franciscans Conventual (20) and Carmelites (7).
A total of 2,556 clerics began the new academic year in all seminaries, both diocese and monastic.
Three times fewer people are preparing for the priesthood than fifteen years ago, according to Rev. Kot. The number of seminarians has been continuously dropping. In 2004, the seminaries were attended by more than 7,400 alumni, in 2012 it was 4,262 and in 2018 – 3,015.