I was speaking with a fellow parent who also has one of his children enrolled at Spiritus Sanctus Academy in Plymouth, MI. We were at an ice cream social kicking off the new year for the K-8 school run by the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist. He was a former graduate of Catholic Central High School in Metro Detroit (Novi), and we were talking about the history of the Catholic Church in Metro Detroit and how so many notorious dissident groups seem to have originated in the area, such as Call to Action, which began at a Detroit conference in 1976.
My fellow conversationalist noted that a period between the late 1970s and early 1990s seemed to strike the nadir, as far as these sorts of influences are concerned. In fact, he thought he remembered that there were absolutely no priestly vocations at Catholic Central during that period.
Later, he sent me a PDF file of an issue of the Aluminator (Fall 2011), which carries an article regarding vocations from the Catholic Central, observing that he was not fully correct: there was one vocation to the priesthood from Catholic Central during the 80's, the Rev. Thomas R. Carzon, O.M.V. ('86).
The issue of the magazine carries an interesting survey of vocations from the 1930s through the 1990s. Among other things, it features a good discussion by Bishop Michael J. Byrnes ('76), former Vice Rector at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, who relates the fascinating story of how he was inspired as a child by the example of Fr. Remigius McCoy, a Missionary to Africa and his grandfather's cousin, who was the first to bring the Catholic Faith to a region of Ghana inhabited by the Dagaaba people in West Africa.
The question at issue, to which I do not have an answer, is why the decade of the 1980s saw only a single vocation to the priesthood. It would be interesting to know the influences the predominated at CC during those years and how they might have impacted the thinking of young men considering the priesthood.
[Hat tip to D.M.]