Our pastor had a letter to the editor published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week. Noting an earlier article about a married Episcopal priest being ordained a deacon, he wrote, "At a time when our church is in serious need of priests, it is my hope and prayer that the Holy Spirit will inspire a change in the current law and permit baptized married Catholics to serve as priests." (The reference to law presumably is meant to eliminate any potential ambiguity that might otherwise leave the impression he's advocating women's ordination while avoiding saying so explicitly.)
His letter, though, brings to mind something that suggests another cause for a need for more priests. When the Milwaukee Archdiocese Priest Alliance, the local priests' union, was formed earlier in this decade, its members suggested the issues of most concern to them. One was vocations. The next step was to form committees to address these issues. The minutes of the March 24, 2004 meeting of MAPA's Convening Board [executive committee] say, in the review of the previous (February 25, 2004) meeting's minutes, that "Alan Jurkus said that he had no interest in heading up the committee to work on vocations issues." That is, for him and many other priests, vocations may be an issue of concern in some sense, but do not come across as a priority in the use of their time.