Men & Women Religious

Have you ever wondered about the men and women who are joining religious orders today? What prompts someone to join a religious order? Which religious orders are attracting people? What did their parents do differently that prompted a vocation to religious life?

CARA has published a study of the men and women who professed perpetual vows to a community in 2018. It’s a fascinating read!

Some of the highlights that pertain to parish life are:

  • 90% have been Catholic since birth, and the average someone converted was 19 years of age.
  • 79% have more than one sibling.
  • 50% attended a Catholic Elementary School (higher than the national average of 39%). 38% attended a Catholic High School, and 36% attended a Catholic college.
  • 85% have served in one or more Church ministries. 50% as Lectors, 47% as Altar Servers, 45% as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. 40% serve in faith formation, catechetical ministry, RCIA, youth ministry, campus ministry, or music ministry. 25% served in a social service ministry.
  • 75% participated in one more more religious programs or activities such as youth ministry, youth group, young adult ministry, Catholic campus ministry, World Youth Day, or a Steubenville High School Youth Conference.
  • 78% stated someone encouraged them to consider a vocation to religious life including friends, pastors, family members, etc.
  • 73% reported that Eucharistic Adoration was an important part of their prayer life prior to entering a religious community.

There are many more interesting pieces, but I thought these pieces in particular were encouraging for parishes. The consistency of the things we do at the parish are helping our parishioners to deepen their prayer life and encourage them in their call to fulfill their vocations.

Let us pray daily for an increase of vocations:

O God, Father of all Mercies,
Provider of a bountiful harvest,
send your graces upon those
you have called to gather the fruits of your labor;
preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of you.

Open the hearts of your children
that they may discern your holy will;
inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves
to serving others in the name of your son, Jesus Christ.

Teach all your faithful to follow their respective paths in life
guided by your Divine Word and Truth.
Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
all the angels and saints, humbly hear our prayers
and grant your Church’s needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Source OSV Newsweekly

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