Young Men Not Becoming Priests
ANTHONY, N.M. — For hundreds of years, they've been traveling the world and visiting Catholic churches.
Augustinian Recollects is a reform movement within the Augustinian Order of the Catholic Church that originated in 16th century Spain.
Not until 100 years ago were they recognized by the Catholic Church.
Now they're celbrating a hundred years, but struggling to find younger members.
On this day, Daniel Castillo takes part in the hundred year celebration of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects.... at Saint Anthony's Roman Catholic Church in Anthony, New Mexico.
They're a group of priests based in Spain, but spread out around 19 countries.
Castillo once thought about joining the Order.
"I did think about it," Castillo said. "I really did consider it, but then I got a girlfriend so".
That's just one of many reasons young men aren't becoming priests. It's a part of a growing trend in the Catholic Church.
"There are ways and means whereby people think they can do their own job with out being a priest or we fail to listen to Jesus Christ to his calling," said Catholic Priest Andres Alava.
Some say there's a disconnect between the Church and the social issues young people face.
"They're always pushing it on me to become a priest so it's pretty hard to find people," Castillo said "I mean I've only known a couple of people my age who are being priests".
The priests say that shouldn't matter as much. The real job, no matter how you're raised, is to personify the beliefs of the Catholic Church.
"First and foremost we preresent the Catholic Church," said Alava "Then regardless of our own upbringing or understanding of these issues we have to preach Christ".
According to a study done by the US bishops -- 27 percent of parishes today are without a resident priest.
The number have declined by about 10 to 12 percent per decade over the last 30 years.