Year of Consecrated Life | SURVEY: Among the lights and shadows: The mood of Catholics around consecrated life

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AS THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH commences upon a year-long celebration of consecrated life, it is heartening to know that the enduring values of this unique form of Christian discipleship remain relevant and appreciated by contemporary Catholics.

In a survey of a broad spectrum of Catholics conducted by the editors of VISION, 94 percent offered a thumbs up to their positive experience with men and women in consecrated life, even among the under-30 set who have grown up in the wake of church scandals and in a time when men and women in consecrated life are not as visible in schools or parish life as they once were.

It is not surprising that respondents found communal aspects of prayer, mission, and service as being most attractive about a religious vocation, just as newer entrants in the 2009 NRVC/CARA Study on Recent Vocation to Religious Life attributed these same values to the origins of their own vocations.

Deepening one’s prayer life through active participation in the sacraments and periodic retreats were also identified as being most helpful in enhancing an appreciation for the vowed life.

What is most encouraging is that more than 70 percent of the survey participants have invited someone to consider religious life. Ideally the promotion of vocations is the responsibility of the entire church, not only of the clergy or religious themselves.

Pope Francis promulgated the Year of Consecrated Life to raise the church’s awareness about the importance of this unique vocation within the communion of vocation we all share as baptized Christians. What a gift and blessing for the entire church!

image from V15 of survey spread
To read the survey in the Vision 2015 digital edition, click here.

Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C.Holy Cross Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. is executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference. He also serves on the Provincial Council for the Moreau Province of Holy Cross Brothers and was vocation director for nine years.




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