Under Patrick and the Celtic missionary movement, the Ireland once exported the monks who led the way in the conversion of Europe.
Modern Ireland is a different place today according to: The Irish Church vocations crisis. Vocations to the priesthood have collapsed and the seminaries are almost empty.
In 2003 there were nine ordinations for the whole of Ireland, eight in 2004 and eight in 2005. In 2005, for the first time in its history, the Archdiocese of Dublin, with of over 1 million people, didn't have a single candidate for ordination, and in the whole Archdiocese there was a single priest under the age of 30. In a country that once used to export thousands of priests and nuns and brothers, African and Vietnamese priests are now a familiar sight.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Dublin Archbishop, presented a paper within months of his arrival, and the title of the lecture was “Will Ireland be Christian in 2030?”
There have been the scandals that discredited the priesthood. But they are a symptom, not a cause of the decline. The only way forward is to go back. Make an innovative return to tradition. Rediscover the founding Kingdom dream that birthed the church in Ireland under Patrick and reinvent it for today.
Not just for Ireland, but for the world.