The universal Catholic Church will celebrate World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life on Feb. 2 and in parishes throughout the United States over the weekend of Feb. 4-5.
Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, reflected that World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life provides a special opportunity for the faithful to give thanks to God for those living a consecrated vocation. “We give thanks to God today for continuing to call men and women to serve him as consecrated persons in the church. May each of us be inspired by their example to love God above all things and serve him in all that we do.”
The USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University to conduct its annual survey of newly professed men and women religious in the United States. The survey, Women and Men Professing Perpetual Vows in Religious Life: The Profession Class of 2022 polled religious who professed perpetual vows in 2022 in a religious congregation, province or monastery based in the United States. Of the 168 identified newly professed, a total of 114 responded for an overall response rate of 67 percent.
Some of the major findings and highlights of the report are:
- The average age of responding religious of the Profession Class of 2022 is 33. Half of the responding religious are age 34 or younger. The youngest is 25 and the oldest is 75.
- Two in three responding religious (66%) are Caucasian, European American, or white followed by Asian/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian (16%), Hispanic/Latino(a) (10%), and African/African American/black (4%).
- Nearly half of the responding religious (48%) attended a Catholic elementary school, which is higher than that for all Catholic adults in the United States (16%).
- On average, respondents report that they were 18 years old when they first considered a vocation to religious life, with half being 18 or younger when they first did so.
- More than nine in ten (93%) responding religious report that someone encouraged them to consider a vocation to religious life. Men are more likely than women to be encouraged by a parish priest, friend, mother, and parishioner; meanwhile, women are more likely than men to be encouraged by a religious sister or brother.
Prayers of the Faithful and a short bulletin quote for the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life is available on the USCCB website. Profiles of the Profession Class of 2022 and the full CARA report is available here.