Who’s entering religious life?

Posted by Anne Marie O'Kelley
Thursday 15, July 2021 | Category:   Vocation and Discernment
Chalice at Eucharist table
Those entering religious life today are attracted to the prayer, spirituality, charism, community life, sense of call, and mission that they find in consecrated life. (Photo: Robert Cheaib, pixabay)

Plenty of valuable data exists about who has been entering religious life recently and why. The National Religious Vocation Conference has made this information available in a highly visual “storymap” online.

That research, and other data, also appear in written form at “Studies” at nrvc.net.

Some highlights:

• Newer members express hope about the future, even as they acknowledge that the demographics of religious life are changing fast.

• Newer members are diverse, ethnically and in terms of age, although most are young. The newest research shows the median age for those entering religious life in 2020 was 26.

• What draws new people into religious life are a desire for prayer, spiritual growth, charism, the joy of community life, a sense of call, and mission.

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