The Diocese of East Anglia has 12 men studying for the priesthood – its highest number in 30 years.

Five men started their studies in September. They are based at six seminaries in three countries – Italy, Spain and England.

Fr Pat Cleary, vocations director, said one factor behind the rise in candidates was the priority placed on vocations by Bishop Alan Hopes, who was installed in the diocese five years ago.

“It’s big on his agenda,” Fr Cleary told the Catholic Herald. “He remembers each [candidate] by name in his prayers each day.”

“When he goes around parishes he knows if there are people thinking about it,” he said. “He makes a point of searching them out and encouraging them.”

Taken from the Catholic Herald. To read the full article please click here.