16 April 2016

Decoding the "Source(s) Section" on Bishop pages

Several years ago, I introduced the "Source(s)" section on Bishop pages on the site. It is still far from complete and not all entries are visible.

Most of the actual source references are pretty easy to understand. Sometimes it is only initials (perhaps with a date) - those usually refer to individuals that often provide information for the site. In the future, I may expand those to full names, after I have consulted with them.

But the first part of the source information line may be a bit more confusing. So here is a list of the common codes (when multiple apply, they may be separated by a slash).

  • bp birth place
  • bd birth date
  • b biography (general, usually means too many items to list separately)
  • od ordained deacon
  • op ordained priest
  • ob ordained bishop
  • oXd diocese for whom he was ordained (examples: odd, opd, obd)
  • oXp location at which he was ordained (not currently in the databases)
  • dd death date
  • dp death place
  • i installed
  • s succeeded
  • ab appointed bishop
  • r resigned/retired
  • c0 bishop who ordained him to the diaconate
  • c1 bishop who ordained him to the priesthood
  • c2 principal consecrator for his bishop ordination
  • cX principal co-consecrator for his bishop ordination (X being any number above 2)

(note the c are often combined, so c2+ means principal consecrators plus co-consecrators)

An example that has several of these is the entry for my own ordinary:  Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas.

09 April 2016

Milestones: 30 million visits

My little project had its 30 millionth visit last month!

In just under 14 years of with this web address, it has had: 30,253,558 visits with 188,142,966 pages served.

That's about 120k unique monthly visitors making 240k monthly visits and viewing about 1.4 million pages each month (averages for 2015).

Sadly I do not have good stats from the early days of the project (before May 2002). Also the stats are a bit understated because of a few failures with the logs - mostly at times of extreme high volume (the two papal transition periods).

Many thanks to all of you that use the website!

19 March 2016

Religious Orders in Recent Times (top dozen, charts, 2016)

I've updated a few charts that look at the number of priests and members of religious orders over the last several decades. To avoid it looking like spaghetti, I only used the top dozen orders based on number of priests*. I also split the top 4 from the other 8 - there is very little overlap between the two and it makes the charts much clearer.

The charts are posted here. (.pdf format)

The Jesuits were the first order (of the top dozen) to have lost more than half of their members from their recent high point (from 36,038 in 1966 to 17,908 in 2011). The are currently at 16,740 members, down 54% from the all time high.

One might note that there is no significant change since Pope Francis (a Jesuit) became Pope. In fairness, it normally takes several years for any event in a religious order (or diocese) to show in the vocation numbers.

Four more orders are very close to reaching that point: Franciscans (down a hair under 50%), Oblates of Mary Immaculate (down 49%), Redemptorists (down 46%), and Vincentians/Lazarists (down 46%). All four showed small drops in the last year.

In terms of priests, no order has reached that point yet and the only one really close is Benedictines which are down 48% from their recent high point (from 7,058 in the early 1970s to 3,677 in 2015).

In the top dozen, only one order, Divine Word Missionaries, has hit its high mark in terms of members in recent years (6,131 in 2009).

In terms of priests, two orders hit their highest mark in 2015: Divine Word Missionaries with 4,224 and Discalced Carmelites with 2,900.

(* Out of curiosity I checked the top dozen orders based on number of members - it was the same dozen, but in a slightly different order.)

Note that only Male Religious Orders were included because that happens to be the data I have readily available. As time permits, I'll try to do similar charts for Female Religious Orders.