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Catholic World News News Feature

"Fashion show" aims for religious vocations April 10, 2008

More than 20 male and female religious orders participated in an inaugural "fashion show" of religious habits at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin.

The event’s organizer, university chaplain Father Andrzej Batorski, SJ, described the show-- which attracted the Jesuit, Capuchin, and Divine Word Fathers as well as Poor Clare nuns-- as a “little provocation” meant to draw young people closer to consecrated life.

During the event, organizers explained symbolic aspects of religious apparel. Among the show's sponsors were the Polish bishops' committee on vocations, university president Father Stanislaw Wilk, and the Northern Poland Jesuit province.

In related news, the Polish Bishops’ Committee on Vocations reports a 10% drop in new female religious vocations from 2006 to 2007 and a 5% decline in new male religious vocations over the same period.

The same report noted a connection between diocesan priestly vocations and past service as altar boys. In the Katowice archdiocese, 90% of seminarians indicated that they had previously served as altar boys.