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Catholic World News

Vocations to religious brotherhood collapse in US

March 30, 2011

While much attention has been focused on the decline of vocations to the priesthood and women’s religious life in the United States, less attention has been paid to the dwindling numbers of religious brothers.

“Brothers are becoming an endangered species,” says Michael Wick of the Institute on Religious Life. “They're not priests-lite or male nuns. They were often the real witness of holiness.”

The number of brothers in the United States has plummeted from 12,300 in 1965 to 4,700 today-- a decline of 62%. Their average age is 70. The number of brothers is on the rise, however, in Africa, India, and South America.


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