Archdiocese ranks first among large U.S. dioceses in ‘active’ priests per capita

Despite ranking 42nd in population among United States' dioceses with at least 300,000 Catholics, the Archdiocese of St. Louis ranks first in one important area.

The archdiocese has the fewest Catholics per "active" (unretired) diocesan priest among large dioceses in the U.S, according to data compiled by the archdiocesan Department of Pastoral Planning. In other words, St. Louis has the most active diocesan priests per capita.

The archdiocese's rankings nationally were computed using 2016 data from the Kenedy Official Catholic Directory 2017.

A ministry of presence in Ferguson

Bishop Edward M. Rice prayed at the memorial site for Michael Brown, whose shooting by a police office sparked civil unrest, looting and rioting in Ferguson. With Bishop Rice were Sister Cathy Doherty, SSND; Jim Kemner, a parishioner at Our Lady of Guadalupe; and Msgr. Jack Schuler, director of mission integration of Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

Members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition gathered on a rainy Saturday afternoon at the main memorial for Michael Brown in the middle of Canfield Drive in Ferguson.

The group came to pray, then to march about two miles to Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Dellwood, passing the burned-out shell of QuikTrip on West Florissant Avenue -- the flash point for the violence after Brown's shooting death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Bishops, priests need prayers, grace to be holy, loving

Pope Francis walked with children during a meeting with Malta’s President George Abela, left, during a private audience at the Vatican March 21.

VATICAN CITY -- The world's bishops, priests and deacons need people's prayers and encouragement to continually deepen their relationship with Jesus and serve their community with love, Pope Francis said.

A minister of God who does not nourish his love for Christ, His Church and His flock "inevitably ends up losing sight and an authentic sense of his service and the joy that comes from a deep communion with Jesus," he said.

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