Written by Sherry
Sunday, 20 February 2011 12:49
I'm in Houston caring for my sister, Becci, who is a cancer patient there. Hence, little blogging.
But I did notice the new 2009 figures for Catholic growth came out of the Vatican yesterday. The estimate:
15 million new Catholics as of the end of 2009. Which is actually a drop from the 19 million new Catholics in 2008. In two years, 2008 - 2009, we've seen 34 million additional Catholics join the Church. But such are the numbers we deal with.
A total of 1.181 billion Catholics on the planet as of 14 months ago. At that rate, our numbers are almost certainly closing in on 1.2 billion as I write this post.
Last year, I posted this little thought experiment which is worth repeating. Take a moment to contemplate:
15 million additional Catholics entered the Church in 2009:
Most are baptized infants. But perhaps a million could be older children or adult converts.
If brought together in one place, these new Catholics would produce a Catholic Cairo, Egypt:
That means 41,095 additional Catholics or a new Edmonds, Washingon every day.
That means 1,712 additional Catholics every hour.
29 additional Catholics every minute.
15 million immortals
15 million people created by God
15 million people redeemed by Jesus Christ
15 million members of the Body of Christ
15 million people who need to encounter Christ personally and respond to his call to follow him
15 million people anointed by Christ himself for a vocation, to play a unique part in his redemption of the world
15 million people given charisms for the sake of others (and most people are given more than one!)
15 million people who need to be loved, prayed for, fed, housed, clothed, educated, evangelized, catechized, to receive the sacraments, have a place to attend Mass regularly, receive help in discerning and answering God's call, and to be encouraged along the journey.
At the current 0.0348% percentage of priests (just under 3.5/100ths of 1%) in the Catholic Church
those 15 million would include roughly 5,215 priestly vocations.
Can we take this in? What is God doing? What are we called to do? What implications do you see?
It's worth thinking about. Cause we are going to find that another 15 million or more will have joined us in 2010.