CONTACT: Patrice Tuohy Executive Editor
VOCATIONMATCH.COM INQUIRIES SURGE 14% IN 2009
HIGH INTEREST FROM GEN X & GEN YERS
Chicago, September 2, 2009—The VocationMatch.com website saw a record number of people complete online profiles and inquire about a vocation as a Catholic sister, brother, or priest in the past year. Launched in 2007, VocationMatch.com has seen inquiries jump from a first-year total of 5,591 to 7,073 in 2009. The age range of respondents continues to trend younger with 50 percent under 30 and 17 percent in their 30s. According to current VocationMatch.com statistics, many who find themselves interested in a religious vocation are not free of debt; most desire service-oriented or missionary communities, and a majority of both men and women want to wear a religious habit.
Comparing 2009 VocationMatch statistics to 2008:
• Participants not free of debt rose by 7 percent to 42 percent.
• Apostolic, service-oriented communities continue to appeal to the most participants, 27 percent, and interest in missionary communities rose 2 percent to 20 percent.
• 86 percent desire to wear a religious habit, although 26 percent preferred that the choice be optional—a nearly twofold increase from last year.
• Those desirous of living alone but connected to a larger community dropped by more than 5 percent.
In much the same way dating websites bring potentially compatible couples together, VocationMatch.com allows an inquirer to create a profile, which is matched against the profiles of hundreds of participating religious communities. Inquirers can click to have their profiles sent to any of their matches. Or they can use the descriptive listings, videos, and links featured in their results to learn more about matching communities and possibly begin a conversation with them.
Among the many 2009 VocationMatch.com users who credited the website’s effectiveness, Joshua Warshak said: “Many of the religious communities that sent me emails I had never heard of . . . one in particular caught my eye . . . and I would have never known about them if it hadn't been for vocationmatch.com. I now plan to join the order.”
Other 2009 findings:
• Nearly 79 percent of respondents live in the U.S.; 8 percent in the U.K.; 4 percent from Canada; and 2 percent from Ireland.
• Ministries of interest include prayer, education, retreat work, and social service. • Respondents have diverse work experience with business, healthcare, nonprofit, social work, and lay ministry among the most frequently cited.
• Nearly 60 percent attended Catholic schools.
• 81 percent have done volunteer work or gone on religious retreats.
VocationMatch.com, sponsored by VISION Vocation Guide, a publication of the National Religious Vocation Conference in Chicago, is a free service for those with an interest in vowed religious life.
To try the free match service, go to VocationMatch.com.
For complete Vocation Match response statistics, go to http://www.vocation-network.org/statistics/response_statistics?year=2009.
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VISION VOCATION GUIDE, in print and online in English, Spanish, and French at VocationGuide.org, is published by TrueQuest Communications of Chicago, on behalf of the National Religious Vocation Conference, a professional organization of Catholic Vocation Directors. In its 22nd year, VISION VOCATION GUIDE is the most comprehensive resource available in print and online for those interested in consecrated life, religious communities, or vocation-related opportunities.