NCPR has been reporting for more than a decade on the deepening shortage of Roman Catholic priests in the North Country.
The Church is an important religious institution in the region, but it has also served important roles that extended well beyond the parish and the pews, educating children, providing social services, and helping with kids and seniors.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg might well see its population of priests shrink to 40 within 10 years, a far cry from the 92 it had in 1998.
In Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, 27 pastors are serving parishes now; that number is expected to fall to 16.
The Diocese of Ogdensburg is a big place. Bartlett’s article suggests that lay-persons will pick up some of the slack, but with just 40 priests for the entire region those numbers suggest profound changes.