No vocations this year in San Francisco archdiocese

Meanwhile, three to be ordained in Oakland
pews in Catholic church

Empty church (photo: MNgreen/DeviantArt)

The Office of Vocations for the Archdiocese of San Francisco has announced Holy Hours June 10, 3 p.m., at churches in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties.

“There will be seminarians and probably some discerners at the various Holy Hours, but it is open to everyone to come and pray for vocations to the priesthood in response to ‘Jesus’ command to pray to the Harvest Master that he might send laborers into his vineyard,’” Father Patrick Summerhays, director of vocations for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, told Catholic San Francisco.

The Holy Hours, held at a time of year when the archdiocese usually ordains new priests, are “in response to our having no ordinations to the priesthood this year in San Francisco,” Father Cameron Faller, assistant director of vocations for the archdiocese, said. Holy Hours in each county will make the prayer opportunity accessible to as many people as possible, Father Faller said.

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will preside at the Holy Hour in San Francisco at St. Cecilia Church. Father Tom Martin will preside at the Holy Hour at St. Matthew Church in San Mateo, and Father Andrew Ginter will preside at the Holy Hour at St. Isabella Church in San Rafael. Both priests are also assistant directors of vocations for the archdiocese.

Signing up at Invisible Monastery website, he said, is a specific way people can commit to personally pray for vocations:

Full story at Catholic San Francisco.

On May 25, three men will be ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of Christ the Light:

On May 25, three men will be ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

They are Rev. Mr. Jimmy Macalinao; Rev. Mr. Jose Arturo Bazan; and Rev. Mr. Mario Rizzo.

And, in a first for the Diocese of Oakland, a permanent deacon is being ordained to the priesthood.

Full story at Catholic Voice Oakland.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I guess the new vocations director in San Francisco is earning his keep!

    • Steve Seitz says:

      If I read the article correctly, there are no ordinations this year. Therefore, this number reflects the state of the diocese 4 to 6 years ago (I.e. the typical time spent in formation).

  2. How un-fabulous for San Francisco.

    Let’s see… a city/peninsula (down to Palo Alto) largely controlled by homosexuals, inhabited overwhelmingly (over 80%) by rabid anti-Christian leftists, hostile to families in both ideology and economics (high cost of housing) doesn’t have any priestly vocations? Wonder why not in such a fertile environment? In such rich soil?

    Are youth ministry, Confirmation and Catholic schools total failures in that diocese? Seems so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Palo Alto is in the Diocese of San Jose, whose seminarians don’t go to the local seminary.

      But I see what you’re saying!

    • Anonymous says:

      I went to many Churches in San Francisco and they were really good. The priests were orthodox. I think sometimes dioceses forget that the Church calls priests. They really need to be active and pro-active about recruitment. Even in my diocese which has many vocations, they work hard at it. There are retreats for young men, Vocations Sunday. Every deanery has a vocations director. The Newman Centers at the secular colleges have events.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the Serra Club

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting. How many men are currently in Seminary for the Archdiocese? If they all took the ”normal’ time to ordination, during that time, how many older priests would retire, die, or otherwise leave the priesthood.? I suspect they are nowhere near sustainability levels.

  4. Wm. Hamilton says:

    There may indeed be vocations in San Francisco — as in candidates for the priesthood in the seminary — just no ordinations this year.

  5. Is anyone really surprised about this?

  6. Faithful and True says:

    Sad. Revealing!

  7. Clinton R. says:

    But the Second Vatican Council was to bring in a New Pentecost! What happened? Maybe because the Church stopped heeding the Holy Spirit, which never left the Church despite what we may have been told.

  8. The biggest problem the Catholic Church has is EDUCATION. This was brought out to me recently when my 17 year old granddaughter told me she had received a Rosary but did not know how to use it !!! In thinking about this I realized the last two generations know nothing of their faith. They do not attend Mass because they don’t know what it is – this goes with other prayers, feast days and all the important celebrations of the Church. You can’t close schools, as is being done, and still expect an informed membership. Everything possible needs to be done to educate Catholics in our faith. If the parish cannot afford to keep the doors open then the Diocese must step in and keep it operating. NO EDUCATION MEANS NO CATHOLICS which means…

    • Anonymous says:

      Your granddaughter was 17 years old before she got a rosary? Children should get one at their baptism. Every October, our CCD program teaches the Rosary but it should be prayed daily in the home with the entire family. I remember at the time of my Confirmation (in the “60s but before the Vatican II changes took place), my grandmother asked me to recite the Hail Mary and I had never heard of it, which embarrassed my mother. My grandmother taught it to me.

  9. TheVeiledThreat says:

    How many years on average does it take to get through seminary to be ordained?

    What was going on in the years men would have begun their studies in order to be ordained this year?

    How many in our seminary are being ordained for other dioceses this year?

    How many are in line to be ordained in the next few years?

    Asking for a friend… 🙂

  10. Linda Maria says:

    Very sad! I recall right when Vatican II ended— a priest shortage was one of the first predictions! Before the Council, of course, the Church was very strong, with very good schools, universities, and seminaries, everywhere! Almost every Catholic boy, at some point, thought of becoming a priest! The priesthood was highly revered!

  11. Linda Maria says:

    It is wonderful, that they are holding the Holy Hour. But what is truly needed, is a holy and faithful Church, a holy Mass, and a holy way of life, for all— clergy and laity! And to get busy, and set the world aside, for Christ! Much deeper spiritual work and dedication is needed, in our Church!

  12. Linda Maria says:

    This is absoutely true! EDUCATION in Faith and Morals— in the Catechism!!–plus, daily practice of the Catholic Faith– used to be standard practice– and almost all Catholics knew their Catechism well, from childhood! Without a strong religious education and daily practice — our Church will someday be no more– except in dusty old history books– and one or two lone believers, left on earth! We have had very, very poor Church leadership, in the modern era!

  13. Jenni Murray says:

    The headline should read “No PRIESTLY ORDINANTIONS this year in San Francisco” as there are many types of vocations….the primary being the universal call to holiness, then secondary vocations of religious life (priests, brothers and sisters), ordained (priesthood AND permanent diaconate), and marriage (yes, marriage is a vocation).

    The Diocese of Sacramento ordained three men to the transitional diaconate in April, will ordain three men to the priesthood on June 2, and I believe 27 men to the permanent diaconate on June 30.

    It’s not unusual for a diocese to have an occasional year where there are no ordinations to the priesthood. It all depends on when a man enters seminary (no college, some college, degree…and then theology…

  14. Larry Northon says:

    But the Church’s “strength” was only an outward appearance. A Potemkin village. After all, it was none other than the hierarchy in place at the time, that is the 1960’s, which created the crisis by junking orthodoxy in favor of laxity. And it was none other than the laity of the time that deserted the Church by the millions, instead of staying and demanding fidelity to Christ. No, I’m sorry. The Church was already seriously weak.

  15. One would think there would be at least a few vocations from the St Mary’s Star of the Sea parish. It is a conservative parish that is really thriving.

  16. Linda Maria says:

    Many would not agree— but Vatican II seriously weakened the Church. And she has been further weakened, since then. As Church leaders wish to continue with a “freedom-for-all” extremely permissive style of leadership and governance, and “inclusion” policies of an extremely morally corrupt society—- what can possibly be the future?? Big changes back to orthodoxy, back to Christ— are badly needed!

    • Larry Northon says:

      Vatican II did not weaken the Church at all. But the misguided interpretations of the “Spirit of Vatican II” exposed the weakness that was already there well before the Council. The people who started tearing down the Church then were all products of this mythical “strong” pre-Vatican II Church. The laity who fled in droves were all brought up in what you call the “strong” pre-1962 Church. The young man from a “staunch” Catholic family who served as my Confirmation sponsor in 1965 is today a committed atheist. His story is not atypical.

  17. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    There are 3 steps that, if taken together, could be changed in the discipline of the Church that are fully in accordance with Doctrine and Tradition that would flood the seminaries with applicants: 1) At least for an experimental period, relax the requirement of celibacy. 2) At least for an experimental period, only require that priests sign up for 6 or ten year renewable assignments to public ministry or the more traditional lifetime assignments. Priests – who we all know are priests forever – wouldnt cease being priests, but they would be free to leave active ministry when their term is up and do so without shame or pressure. 3) Make sure that women have the full access to leadership positions that are allowed under Church doctrine.

    • YFC .. I think your ideas, and ones like them, ought to be considered. We pray for vocations, but maybe it’s time to consider that the Holy Spirit may be answering that it’s time to think about new approaches “outside the box.”

    • Steve Seitz says:

      You have some novel ideas, but I have a few points to make:

      What you mentioned would change the character of the priesthood that Christ established. Also, the ideas that you mentioned are already allowed in the church under the title of lay ministry.

      Lastly, the true crises isn’t the quantity of priests as much as it is a lack of quality priests and bishops who are spiritually rooted, humble, and have a true thirst for souls.

      As the Church’s experience in Africa shows, it’s not quantity but quality which counts.

      • YFC and steve .. Part, and only a part of the problem is that we load our pastors down with a lot of management stuff. We need to have a professional executive director in each parish or groups of parishes doing 100% of the admin.

        • Steve Seitz says:

          The idea of laity managing the administrative tasks is noteworthy and is currently being done in some parishes. An even better idea, though, is to have this task assumed by the diaconate since they are (a) clerics and (b) administration is consistent with their ancient charism.

          Of note, the Church had a priest shortage at a point within the first 600 years of her history. Her solution, at the time, was to take the monastic orders, temporarily change their role, and have large numbers of monks ordained and serving as parish priests. One benefit of this idea is that it’ll bring a greater spiritual character to our parishes.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Good point C&H My parish has a “business manager” which I suspect means he functions as you suggest.

      • Your Fellow Catholic. says:

        What I propose changes zero in terms of the “character of the priesthood that Christ established”, and which when boiled down is the ability to confect sacraments of holy Eucharist and reconciliation. What priests do when they are not confecting sacraments has always varied even to this day: educators, scientists, theologians, psychologists. Etc.

        • Steve Seitz says:

          I will confess to using language confusingly. I was not referring to your ideas as changing the priesthood metaphysically but, rather, in a deep-seated, psychological way. The priesthood is not a profession and it’s not like the professions. St. Paul understood the needs of married life, but recommends the single life because such a person is “all in” and not divided by the cares of the world. Changing the hours and term of the priesthood would inevitably have a negative effect on how the priest views his mission and who he is

          • Anonymous says:

            Steve, first I appreciate the thoughtful dialogue. But to reply, you yourself note that the needs of the Church have allowed for, maybe even required, changes in discipline to be made, as you give example with the monks. That would actually be a metaphysical change if one goes from monk to priest. The other example is the recently revisited notion of the permanent diaconate, which is an ordained person who mostly lives within secular society. It requires only a slight change to adopt what I am suggesting.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Anonymous (YFC?),
            The issue isn’t about change but about the type of change. The issues that were proposed would likely cause a deep-seated, psychological change. Holy Orders, religious life, and marriage are permanent vows that people make. The man who signs-on for a 5, 10 or 20 year hitch, in either marriage or Holy Orders, is a different man than who is willing to make a life-long commitment.

            Likewise, I doubt that changing the discipline in priestly celibacy would cause a flood of vocations. Instead, it might even shrink the applicant pool as men delay their vocation to find a wife. Also, I’d be suspicious of applicants who felt God call them to priesthood but who were going to say “no” nonetheless.

        • Steve Seitz says:

          I forgot to mention: For two other ideas, please refer to my reply to C&H.

      • bohemond says:

        Well that is point of YFC and C&H constant change and revolution. Undermine the Church with homosexuals and feminists until there is nothing but a remnant of Faithful left, may you and your kind get your just rewards before the Judgement seat of Christ. You want to fix the Church… Preach the Hard Truths, and start creating saints. It has worked for 2000 years… no more novelties for the love of God

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Right, no innovation. How about we draw and quarter a few heretics.

          • Bohemond says:

            Your liberal “innovations” (undermining) has brought the Church to her knees in the West.

          • bohemond says:

            YFC you and your ilk offer the spirit of deceit and spirit of rationalism and sensuality

  18. Linda Maria says:

    Ridiculous! And how many holy priests have totally given their lives to Christ, and died as martyrs, recently, for our Church, too?? Yet, here you write of “dumbing down” the sacred priesthood, making it a silly, immature, babyish, worthless profession, with “no commitments”” required– no seriousness, just a pitiful, stupid, worthless, immature, false profession, “for myself and my pitiful, immature, babyish, teenage-style needs!” Make sure the Church can support their spouses/live-ins, and kids from various “relationships,” too– like the Episcopalians! Bend over backwards, for the filthy, Godless, unchurched, mis-educated, immature, immoral, worthless “Me-Me-Me-Generation!” Big laugh!

  19. Gratias says:

    Archbishop Cordileone recruited Fr. Illo, a holy priest who will bring good fruits to San Francisco. No doubt there are many others too. I trust the power of the Traditional liturgy to renew the Catholic Church after the failed experiment of 1964 that brought us to where we are.

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