Read the story here. I may pick up a copy of the book to read about this research which finds that bishops who are unambiguous about Church doctrine and don’t tolerate dissent tend to inspire the greatest number of vocations.
When you stop to think about it, it couldn’t be any other way. Genuine vocations are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Why on earth would the Holy Spirit stir up vocations unless it’s in an environment where the seminarian can be nurtured and properly formed?
This implies that it’s not just about the bishop, but also about the quality of his seminary. After all, that’s where the seminarian will spend most of his time. If the local seminary is staunch in teaching the authentic Faith, that’s where the seminarians will be called or sent.
Aside from that spiritual angle there’s also a very human and practical angle. It takes a radical decision to become a priest in this crazy world. A man won’t do it unless he feels that his bishop will back him up robustly and have his back. A courageous and manly bishop can inspire an army of followers.