Four to be ordained as priests in the Catholic Church

Four to be ordained as priests Saturday [source: Jim Pennison]
Four to be ordained as priests Saturday [source: Jim Pennison]

New Orleans will welcome four new priests to the Catholic Church this weekend. It's a big deal because, across the nation, the church is dealing with a priest shortage.

Deacons Ian Bozants, Charles Dussouy, Matthew Johnston and Tim Hedrick will be ordained in a ceremony Saturday at the St. Louis Cathedral.

Some in the group recognized the calling early in life; for others, it would come later. But now, the four are taking the next step - hoping to foster faith, set a good example and expand the priesthood.

"I know we have good priests coming into the church," said Fr. Steve Bruno, the vocation director at Notre Dame Seminary. "Over the last few years, I've seen very good priests coming into the world."

According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, there are currently around 40,000 priests nationwide. In 1965, there were 58,632 priests in the U.S. While the shortage isn't as severe in New Orleans, the archdiocese says numbers are slowly picking back up.

There is, over the last about ten to fifteen years, an increase in the amount of men being ordained into the priesthood," said Dcn. Matthew Johnston who will be ordained Saturday. "Even though now there's a shortage, the future looks bright."

In fact, Bozant, 25, is one of the youngest in the country to be ordained this year.

"It's nerve-racking being the youngest," laughed Bozant. "Wisdom comes with age, right? So I guess I have a lot to learn, but there's an exciting aspect to it too." Bozants thinks his age is a sign that the church's message is resonating with a younger generation.

Committing to the church may be a hard sell, but for these four, it's an opportunity to do good.

"The priesthood isn't just a call to God. It's certainly that primarily, but it's a call to lay down our life for others," said Bozant.

Follow FOX 8:    

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.