With the sudued reaction to the significant decrease in vocations to the national seminary in Maynooth this year, it is worth noting that our neighbours in England and Wales are experiencing a reasonably dramatic increase in vocations.
It is expected that 38 men will be ordained to the priesthood in England and Wales in 2013 - alomost double the number ordained in 2011. A recent report in England's Catholic Herald reported these projections, noting that the number of seminarians for the diocese of Southwark alone (26) has more than doubled since 2005, when it only had 10.
The Southwark vocations website states that a 'campaign of prayer has coincided with a dramatic increase in the number of men coming forward as potential candidates for the priesthood. That same archdiocese appointed a full-time vocations director earlier this year. This was the first time in 30 years that this had happened.
Irish dioceses might like to take note!