On January 23, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations issued the results of a survey of 107 men and women religious who professed perpetual vows in 2013. The annual survey was conducted by the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).
There were some interesting discoveries in the data.
First, the youngest respondent was 26, the oldest 73! Don’t give up hope if you have a call to a belated vocation! Most respondents were born in the USA but the next most common country of origin was Vietnam!
Almost half of the respondents had four or more siblings. Compared to the rest of the Catholic population, they were more likely to have gone to a Catholic high school and college.
Youth activities were important. World Youth Day, Newman Centers, Campus Ministry were common experiences. More than half were discouraged from considering a vocation, women more so than men.
Almost all participated in a vocation program such as a “Come & See.” Some had college debt which delayed entrance, on the average two years. There are foundations and groups that can help. Please visit our Affiliates: The Labouré Society and the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations. The Serra Fund for Vocations and the Knights of Columbus Fund for Vocations are also wonderful organizations.
For more information on the study, please visit the USCCB website.