The 2011 annual Church statistics were presented to the Holy Father today. Of note is the continued increase of deacons, especially in North America and Europe. By the end of 2010, there were 39,564 permanent deacons in the world (up from 38,155 the year before), 64% of whom were North Americans and 33% European. The annual increase of deacons was 3.7%.
This is in comparison to the statistics for priests, the total number of whom increased 1,643 world-wide. America had a total increase of 40 priests. Total number of priests in the world is 412,236. The good news is that since 2000, the number of priest continues to rise, although at a much lesser rate than deacons.
Let us pray for an increase in vocations, both to the priesthood and the diaconate. Let us pray too that the Church embraces more fully the diaconate and its ministry of service, sacrament and word.
God knows we are willing to serve.