CARA survey shows uptick in number of men, women taking perpetual vows

Novices of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara are seen at Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington prior to the start of their profession of vows ceremony Nov. 1, 2017. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

When you head to Mass this Sunday, chances are you will hear the intention "an increase in vocations to the religious life" lifted up before the gifts are presented.

A recent survey suggests those prayers might be getting answered.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, a nonprofit that conducts and publishes social-science research on the Catholic Church, just released findings of a national survey of men and women who in 2018 professed perpetual vows in monasteries, provinces or religious congregations based in the United States, and the results suggest an increasing number of Catholics are willing to pursue this kind of obligation.

Senior research associate Mary Gautier told CNS in a phone interview that CARA "(was) able to identify 240 persons" taking perpetual vows, "up from 200 the last time we did the survey."

Of these 240 identified women and men religious, a total of 92 sisters and nuns and 70 brothers and priests responded to the survey by Jan. 13.

According to a news release, CARA reached respondents by contacting major superiors — leaders of religious institutes — belonging to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious or the Conference of Major Superiors of Men.

Read the full story at Global Sisters Report.

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