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.
Dean R. Hoge
Dean R. Hoge, Ph.D., teaches sociology at The Catholic University of America. He has pursued sociological research on American churches for thirty-one years and has written fourteen books and numerous articles on American religion.
This is an important study and should be read by al lthose involved in priestly formation, as well as those working with the newly ordained in parishes and other settings. Priesthood never was an easy vocation, but based on what is contained in this volume, it is getting to be more of a challenge than ever before. It will take a cooperative effort of both clergy and laity if it is to survive within the present context of limited numbers and increasing demand.
- Tom Sweetser, S.J., Parish Evaluation Project