VOCATIONS WERE IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK:
FIRST, a story put out by Catholic News Service
on how religious communities are using social networking in their vocation promotion.
Highlights from the article include this VISION mention:
Trinitarian Brother Josh Warshak of Baltimore credited Vision with giving him the information he needed in deciding what type of religious life was for him, and he would recommend it to any "discerner."
"I tell people Vision is kind of like eHarmony for those who have a religious vocation, it matches up your personality with the order that fits you best," he said.
Before finding Vision, Brother Josh was focused on becoming a priest but didn't have access to much advice about the topic. "Vision showed me that there are so many other things," he said, which led him to his community, the Order of the Most Holy Trinity.
Thanks, Br. Josh, for that great endorsement!
SECOND, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) recently published Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life Among Never-Married U.S. Catholics,
a study on potential candidates to religious life, which extrapolates from the study findings that roughly 350,000 never-married men and 250,000 never married women have seriously considered religious life.That's good news!
Here, according to the CARA study--and regular VISION trend surveys
--are some areas that are fertile grounds for religous vocations:
- Catholic schools--primary schools for women; secondary schools for men
- Participation in parish youth groups
- Encouragement from others
Hmm... parents, parishes, directors of religious education, youth ministers, campus ministers . . . we're counting on you. Please let us know what more we can do to help you help the church promote and encourage Catholic vocations.
THIRD, in a follow up to the CARA study, VISION and the NRVC got a nice mention in the National Catholic Register
One thing about religious vocations is for certain: The past decade has seen a resurgence of interest in religious life.
“Overall, there’s definitely been an increase in inquiries about religious life over the last eight years,” said Patrice Tuohy, executive editor of the Vision
vocation guide, a publication of the National Religious Vocation Conference. “The Internet has helped to increase awareness and inquiries.”
Tuohy said that they receive an average of 250,000 unique visitors to their website annually. She estimated that 30,000 of those are seriously considering a religious vocation. And 6,000 annually fill out the website’s “Vocation Match” tool. The majority of those are under the age of 30.
“There are many who continue to be attracted to religious life,” said Tuohy. “There are three things we know, based on the 2009 CARA/NRVC study on religious vocations, about those entering religious life today: We know that they are very interested in communal living, prayer and Catholic identity.”