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Cincinnati Archdiocese Ordains Largest Class In 40 Years

These nine new priests constitute the largest class in 40 years.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
These nine new priests constitute the largest class in 40 years.

The Cincinnati Archdiocese is ordaining nine priests this weekend, making it the largest class since 1979.The archdiocese says the large class from Mount St. Mary's Seminary is part of a nationwide trend during the last 10 years.

"According to an annual survey by Georgetown University," the archdiocese states in a news release, "there will be 481 men ordained to the priesthood in the United States in 2019 – an increase of 17% over the 401 men ordained in 2008. The nine men being ordained to the priesthood from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati constitute one of the largest classes this year in the country."

Seven men were ordained locally in both 2009 and 2016.

The increase in men seeking to enter the priesthood led Mount St. Mary's Seminary to break ground in 2017 on a building addition to accommodate higher numbers. A dedication on the extension is expected later this year.

AsWVXU reported last year, Associate Vocation Director Wayne Topp credits lots of prayer and the high visibility and popularity of the last few popes for the increase in men and women seeking vocations.

"The faith and the number of Catholics is continuing to dwindle, and there's kind of this bleeding out from the Catholic church, but they say 'We can reverse that trend and we're going to do it one person at a time.' "

Cincinnati's 19-county archdiocese is the 44th largest in the country with more than 450,000 Catholics.

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.