Migrants swell ranks of next generation of Australian priests

Trainee priests at Corpus Christi

A surge in the number of young men wanting to become priests has prompted a training college to expand its premises. Its 59 students come from 11 different countries, reports SBS.

Corpus Christi College in Melbourne has seen a large increase in young men enrolling to be trainee priests. This year there are 59 men at the college, which is more than double the enrolment figure of 28 students in 1999, reports SBS.

Rector, Fr Brendan Lane, has told SBS the seminary will be expanding to accommodate the increased enrolments.

"We've got another eight rooms that we're going to build this year because we think we're going to grow more and we don't want to have to say no to people, ” he said.

Fr Lane believes enrolments have been growing steadily because of World Youth Day, a Catholic Church event for young people held in Sydney in 2008. 

"To see millions of young people want to be part of the Church because often in the parish there's very small numbers of young people, they see that great crowd and it gives them hope," he explained.

It is a seven-year course at Corpus Christi and about half to two-thirds of the trainees continue to ordination.

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Migrants filling the ranks of the next generation of Catholic priests

IMAGE: Trainee priests from the Corpus Christi College in Melbourne (SBS)

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