Reports that followed World Youth Day celebrations throughout the world always included a rise in vocations to the priesthood for the host diocese and region.
Picked up in today's Enquirer was a report from New York hoping for the same: (This is Detroit's version:)
"It is a wake-up call," Walsh said. "We have to do something. I'm a believer that difficulties can be opportunities, not disasters. It depends on what you do with them."
The hope is that the visit by Pope Benedict will inspire young men to listen for God's call to the priesthood and rouse Catholic families to mention the priesthood around the dinner table.
"His mission is really to encourage us in the faith, to strengthen us in our belief and commitment to Jesus Christ, make us better disciples," said the Rev. Luke Sweeney, vocations director for the archdiocese. "If he does that and that alone, vocations will come from it."
But Sweeney hopes the pope will go a step farther when he's speaking directly to New Yorkers.
"I presume that the Holy Father will make an appeal to some of them, to say that God wants you to be priests," he said. "That, coming from the pope, will mean a world of difference to young people."
Nationally, the number of diocesan priests dropped from 36,000 in 1975 to 28,000 last year. But the number of seminarians, after falling sharply since the 1960s, rebounded in the last decade to 3,300.