The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that the West Tennessee Catholic diocese has more seminarians than is typical nationally, and the increase will allow a greater focus on Hispanics:
"Despite a 25 percent decline in the number of priests nationally since 1965, the number of local men enrolled in the Catholic seminaries has tripled in the last three years."
"And while the number isn't huge -- there will be at least 15 seminarians this August -- the impact is undeniable."
"'This will enable the diocese to meet personnel needs, build churches and staff them,' said Father Keith Stewart, diocesan vocations director. 'We'll also be able to offer broader ministries to the Hispanic community, since three of our seminarians are Hispanic and all new seminarians must learn Spanish.'"