Asked, “Is it true that vocations to more orthodox communities of women religious who are frequently in habits are up?”, she replied:
In August 2009, the National Religious Vocation Conference published a study on recent vocations to religious life conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). Using statistics gathered from religious institutes as well as from meetings with focus groups of young religious in selected institutes, the study revealed some dramatic trends. While there are more women religious in the United States over the age of 90 than under the age of 60, some congregations are definitely experiencing an upsurge in new vocations.Read Kathryn's full interview here.
The NRVC study offers some “best practices” for vocation promotion and indicates that the example of members and the characteristics of the institute seem to have the most influence on the decision to enter a particular institute. The research further suggests those congregations that follow a more traditional style of religious life seem to have the greatest success in attracting and retaining new members, especially younger candidates. While the NRVC study is distinct from the apostolic visitation, its complete findings might be of interest to those concerned about the future of religious life.