Shortage of Catholic priests to get attention at clergy conference

Vestments worn by Catholic priest for the celebration of mass

The lack of priests continues to be a major issue confronting the Catholic Church in Dominica and by extension the region, according to local clergy.

That issue is expected to get some attention when the 29th Annual Conference of the Association of Diocesan Clergy of the Province of Castries takes place in Dominica.

Portsmouth Parish Priest, Father Herman Sharplis, said unless there is a solution to make the priesthood more attractive to young men, the problem will always remain.

“Many of the Dioceses continue to have a shortage of priests. Even if we look at this as a session, it will always continue to be a major issue for the church. People may say it’s because catholic priests are not allowed to get married, but we see a shortage in the Anglican churches, where there are married priests,” he explained.

Meantime Deacon Alvin Knight said the fact that Catholic priests are not allowed to get married could deter the interest of young men in the priesthood “to some extent”.

He said, however, becoming a priest is a calling from God.

“It can deter some young men from taking on the vocation as a call from God. Is either you get the call or you don’t.  If you have the call there will be no barrier to you becoming a priest,” he pointed out.

Knight said the priesthood could be more attractive to priests if they were allowed to get married. “But that too has its own difficulties. From my own experience, even being a deacon can take a toll on marital relationship because you are called to serve God’s people anytime and anywhere,” he explained.

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  1. JGD
    January 9, 2013

    human kind is awakening from its slumber. Religions,though having great, pure messages at their core, are a failed attempt of man to re-kindle true knowledge of the divinity in everything and everyone. For centuries the world’s religions have been politicized and have been used to keep the masses living in fear and not to mention as a great divider. Mankind is awakening to the divinity within.. ancient concepts such as reincarnation, the law of attraction and spiritual divinity of the “whole” are being more widely accepted. The ritualism of the worlds religions are being less and less accepted. This is the natural course of mankind’s progress.Muslim fighting christian, christian fighting Buddhist … what so ever has happened the to core messages of the great ones? ” what so ever you do to the least of my brothers that you do on to me ” ” judge not lest ye be judged”? … the world is waking up to spirituality and the knowledge of divinity within each and everyone of us. The new world religion is LOVE … accepting,accommodating, non judgmental natural love (recognizing, and understanding aspects of the self in everyone else) .. this is the way of the future…

    January 9, 2013

    Marriage,and having a family is the attraction to joining the priesthood. Case closed

  3. lee
    January 9, 2013

    The rule in not letting priest married is there for so long it will be difficult to change. They should let them marry because they doing stuff behind close door anyway. See how a few of them left the priestwood and get married.

    • lee
      January 9, 2013

      sorry mistake in typing priesthood.

  4. Muslim_Always
    January 9, 2013

    People are opening their eyes to the realities of Christianity. Who in their right mind wants to be a priest? It is a satanic call, not from Allah.

    Allah did not teach man to believe that He is a trinity, or that He has an offspring born 2000 years ago on 25th December as well as that son is also Allah.

    Allah did not teach that one needs a mediator between man and Himself.

    Christianity is falsehood and is based on the traditions and dictates of men.

    Do not go into priesthood young people, start reading and look into Islam as an alternative. See clear proofs and evidences. May Allah guide our youth. Amen.

    • January 9, 2013


  5. Proud Catholic
    January 9, 2013

    This calling thing whether for priesthood or pastor need to stop. No GOD is calling anybody to this. This is a lifestyle choice and based on people’s beliefs and convictions they rise to the occasion. Choosing celibacy is not the biggest crime what is wrong is when these men make that choice and then they sneak around with women or molest young boys to feed their appetite. Some people become priests and nuns simply after a heartbreak and that’s their choice.

    My cousin is a Priest in Dominica and I always recall him telling me how attractive he found my dear friend and colleague who was a teacher. The young lady is downright gorgeous with beautiful eyes and a serious figure and my cousin would actually ask me to invite her for lunch or family events just so he could see her. They were very close, before her toe knock he was front and center.To this day he still tells me if he could he would marry her. He truly adored her.He would refer to her as “divine beauty” so Priests don’t lose their sexual desire and appeal they just keep it in check. For me I always found this truly sad, that somebody chose a path that would deny them of love. It’s a choice and I just urge people especially Catholics to pray for our clergy. I would prefer most of our young men being priest than criminals and fulling up prison cells or dying early deaths as a result.

  6. Twisted
    January 9, 2013

    People who actually have an idea of what the Priesthood is, or entails, DON’T fall for that WORLDLY solution of priests being married. Actually it is no solution at all. It would just water down the true priesthood and make the devil very happy.
    Actually it is he who first gave that suggestion, and a lot of us buying into it. Leave the priesthood for men who are really serious about serving their True High Priest by giving their life FULLY to serving him and His Church, their SPOUSE.

  7. Freethinker
    January 8, 2013

    An astonishing thought: is a shortage of priests really such a bad thing?

  8. gods creation
    January 8, 2013


  9. A Voice
    January 8, 2013

    Hmmm, shortage of Catholic priest, that is good news. Good for the young men of today for not falling into that trap anymore.

    It use to be the priests had all the power in society and could escape with anything. Now they are under more scrutiny, mischievous fellas cannot hide there anymore.

    I still cannot fathom the fact that these guys had people paying them to remove their dead relatives from purgatory.

    • love spell
      January 9, 2013

      @ A VOICE – if you dont know what u are talking about, go and repent

    • Proud to be Catholic
      January 9, 2013

      Stupes…go get your facts straight

  10. January 8, 2013

    In my humble opinion Father Herman is absolotely right.Moreover,not only should the priesthood be made more attractive to our children;it should go farther and be presented to them in its enterity.As a matter of fact,it is more than time that every vocation within the Roman Catholic Church,priesthood and otherwise,be presented to our children within a timely basis.

  11. Dominiquen
    January 8, 2013

    Accept women to the priesthood and the problem will go away. :?:

  12. January 8, 2013


  13. Oust Them!
    January 8, 2013

    :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: :?: When are you all black men are going to stop all this nonsense in the name of GOD!There’s no calling from GOD to this abominable Roman church as it got nothing to do with God and you all knows that!How can a church who’s foundation,culture and headquarters in Rome a European country has anything to do with us,a nation of indigenous Kalinago and black people?Are you all trying to convince us that my GOD came from Europe to be precise Rome and my way of worship and religion?Stop fooling you all selves,know the true and living GOD and serve him! :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: :?:

    • Twisted
      January 9, 2013

      you make me remember that famous quote from a past politician…something about “wearing their IGNORANCE as a badge of honor.”
      and the thing is you thinking you so educated…SMH

    • love spell
      January 9, 2013

      @oust them – i see that you need some education. Before you talk crap, read a book and surf the net.

  14. Free Thinker
    January 8, 2013

    The Church should take this time to do some honest introspection as to whether it is serving God’s children as it should. The Church is the conscience of the nation not its servant nor master, and when the Church chooses to turn a blind eye in the face of wrong doing, how can they attract people to become priests, pastors and deacons?
    To be quite honest, save for a few, I have lost faith and respect for the leadership of the Church in Dominica!! It seems that the church leadership has compromised the teachings of Christ.

    • January 8, 2013

      @Free Thinker January 8, 2013

      Is that the real you? Because you have surprised me here. It seems so much that I am hearing a different voice from you–but you are truly right on to the dot! Amen!

      For how can the young boys in the Catholic Church ever develop into young men who will take up the priesthood, when the grow up in the church with the knowledge of religion and not the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

      In the first place, Jesus never commanded a man to live a celebate Life; He simply suggested to His disciples, that if they can maintain the control, it okay to remain celebate.

      But it a;so normal for them to get married. The apostle Paul taught the same thing to the churches, he established; so where did the Catholic Church got that rule, if it is not from the wisdom and phylosophy of man–but again, is what religion is about. How can they not have a shortage of priests, today; but it is getting worse, to no revovery.

  15. Hopefull DA
    January 8, 2013

    The Portsmouth Parish Priest, Father Herman Sharplis, said unless there is a solution to make the priesthood more attractive to young men, the problem will always remain.

    The RC used and abused the people of Dominica for decades, they came from Belgium lived larged. I can recall a priest that traveled frequently from La plaine to Grand Fond, now he gone. The Rc in the East Coast is now bleak

  16. Anonymous
    January 8, 2013

    Allow priests to get married and that will surely change. It’s about time to abolish the ridiculous requirement to the priesthood

    • Proud to be Catholic
      January 8, 2013

      I wouldn’t call it a ridiculous requirement. As Deacon Knight said, being married, while vowing to serve God’s people anytime,anywhere can take a toll on a marital relationship, especially if children are involved. Additionally, I don’t see most priests complaining about not having a wife — giving up such intimacy for the glory of God is a choice some have to make: Jesus even spoke about those who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom. Marriage is not the major hindrance. What is wrong with the world is that no one wants to sacrifice anymore; thus, there are fewer priests, fewer stable marriages, fewer chaste single people.

  17. Lapsed Catholic
    January 8, 2013

    I am not sure why DNO has not been publishing my comments, but I will try again. Why is there a shortage of priests? Could it be that the integrity and respect of priests have gone down the drain. well based on the actions of many priests including those in Dominica I expect the shortage will continue. It is time we start prosecuting all those priests and brothers who have sexually abused our children in Dominica. I want to know why we are not hearing about teh reports of molestation, rape and abuse that has been reported to the Catholic Church. I hope this conference will address this issue. Is it not true that the Bishop is currently investigating a report of child sexual abuse by one of his priests. People do your research ask the right questions. Lets see how honest the Church is Mothers protect your careful who you send them by for prayers.

  18. HMMMMM
    January 8, 2013

    Catholic Priests should be able to get married……BAMM! problem solved.

    • Anonymous
      January 8, 2013

      please read Matthew 19:12

  19. Reader
    January 8, 2013

    I know so many young Dominican men that are in seminaries. A few have been ordained to Deacons. I actually thought DA was doing good in recruiting young men to the priesthood. I guess that is why one should not assume :lol:

  20. Anonymous
    January 8, 2013

    Shortage of Priests??? Really??? Our actions don’t show this to be the case anyway! Hmmmm!!!

    • Anonymous
      January 8, 2013

      Jesus is the high priest, no need 4 the others, compromising de word of God, u all know the truth ,tell the people.

  21. mango temptation
    January 8, 2013

    Thw only thing that can make it attractive is for priest to get married.

  22. T mama
    January 8, 2013

    Bring in foreign priests, that use to be done before….

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