Relationships for Mission
Religious Life Today
by the Relationships for Mission Team
The National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) and Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) published the results of their 2020 study on recent vocations. Key findings about new members entering religious life from 2003 to 2018 found men and women continue to respond to the call to religious life. Entrants are drawn by prayer, spirituality, charism, community life, and mission.
New entrants are filled with abundant hope for religious life amid changing demographics. They are committed to living simply and in solidarity with the poor. They are culturally diverse and embrace intercultural, intergenerational living.
Seventy percent of new entrants considered religious life before age 21 by accessing a wide variety of print and online resources as they discerned. They talked to pastors; attended vocation-related events; and received encouragement from religious institutions, family, friends, parish members, and campus ministers.
Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive) on apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis in 2018, “If we are indeed convinced that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, we can ‘once more cast out the nets’ in the Lord’s name, with complete confidence. We can dare, as we should, to tell each young person to ask whether this is the path that they are meant to follow.” We ask you to consider who are the young people in your life that you could invite to discern religious life.