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Typical new US religious: 37-year-old cradle Catholic who regularly takes part in Eucharistic adoration

Catholic World News - January 24, 2014

The typical religious who professed perpetual vows in 2013 is a 37-year-old cradle Catholic who has three or more siblings and who regularly prayed the Rosary and took part in Eucharistic adoration before entering religious life, according to a survey released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

460 (56%) of the major superiors of US religious institutes responded to the survey, which was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). These 460 superiors reported that 107 men and women professed perpetual vows in 2013. Of the 107, 11 newly-professed brothers and 69 newly-professed sisters responded to the survey.

87% of the institutes reported no professions of perpetual vows, while 3% report two or more newly-professed religious.

Among the survey’s findings:

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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jan. 24, 2014 9:53 PM ET USA

    Are female altar servers negatively affecting priestly vocations? A previous survey of newly ordained priests showed a fair percentage (I don't remember the number.) were altar servers. When you add those results to the present results it shows that serving at the altar has a much greater effect on male than female vocations. Priests need to more aggressively recruit altar boys.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jan. 24, 2014 1:11 PM ET USA

    With 43% attending Catholic elementary school, most boys were altar servers, well over half attended a retreat, prayed the Rosary, adoration and received spiritual direction highlights the importance of Catholic education at an early age. I taught my students to altar serve, we attended two retreats each year, prayed the rosary and went to parish adoration. I also had some students ask about becoming priests/nuns. This was until a principal stopped all of these things - too religious was why.

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