New CARA Study Positive on Religious Vocations

New CARA research released for the World Day of Consecrated Life on Feb. 2, suggests good news for religious vocations. Catholic News Service reports that CARA researchers found 240 men and women had professed religious life in 2018, up from 200 in the prior survey. Seventy-one percent of CMSM major superiors responded to the annual survey this past fall.

Among the findings for men religious:

  • Average age of responding religious of the 2018 Profession Class of 2018 was 38 years old
  • Average age when they first considered a religious vocation: 18
  • 78% of men and women religious were encouraged to consider religious life. For men, 51% were encouraged by a parish priest, 46% by a friend, 39% by a religious brother or sister, 38% by their mother, and 37% by their mother
  • Ethnicity: 61% Caucasian; 17%, Asian/Pacific Islander; 12%, Latino; and 10% African/African American/Black
  • 90% grew up Catholic
  • 54% finished college before entering religious life

In releasing the report, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, spoke to those discerning a vocation to consecrated life: “Oftentimes, those discerning a vocation search for the perfect community. The Lord, who created every heart, knows of the way he is calling each person to serve him. Trust that he will lead you to the vocation that is perfect for you.”

Read the full report and press release.