In his groundbreaking Why Priests Are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, a psychologist, professor of pastoral studies, frequently consulted expert on clergy and religious, and the bestselling author of books for priests, presents the findings from the most comprehensive survey of priests’ happiness and spiritual lives ever undertaken. From this survey of nearly 2,500 priests from twenty-three dioceses in the United States, Rossetti discovered that American priests enjoy an extraordinarily high rate of happiness and satisfaction, among the highest of any profession.
Contrary to popular media portrayals, Rossetti finds that priests, as a group, are very happy men. They like the priesthood and are committed to it. In fact, 92 percent say they are happy in their ministry, among the highest rate of satisfaction of any profession in the United States. This accessible, fascinating study compares priests to the general male population with respect to human intimacy, sexual difficulties, burnout, psychological problems, physical health, and self-care. It identifies fourteen factors that contribute to happiness among priests, examining the contribution of spirituality to their psychological health. Rossettiâ€™s cutting-edge, hopeful work will be a must-read not only for priests, but for anyone interested in the priesthood and the Church.