Pastor Daniel Schuster of Holy Trinity Parish in Casco and St. Mary’s Parish in Luxemburg believes people thinking about becoming a priest need to get beyond the snapshot of what the Catholic Church has become. According to NBC News, the number of priests who serve as parish leaders as dropped to about 25,800 while the number of Catholics who identify themselves with the faith has grown. Scandals and institutional challenges have been blamed for the numbers dropping across the country at seminaries. Before he came to the Luxemburg-Casco area, Schuster worked at the Diocese of Green Bay as a vocation director looking for younger members to become future priests and sisters. He says it is not just about filling up churches and convents anymore.
Schuster emphasized the Catholic faith was first spread by missionaries traveling by horseback in the country’s first centuries. It was not until more recently that churches and schools were built to help develop local parishes.