October 11, 2010

New revelations of clergy sex abuse and the Vatican apostolic visitation of U.S. communities of women religious have not discouraged U.S. Catholics from considering a religious vocation.

The majority of vocation directors see an increase in inquiries for the fourth straight year, says a new survey.

The survey, commissioned by the Vision Vocation Guide and conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 23, received responses from 431 “vocation inquirers” and 175 vocation directors.

The majority of the vocation inquirers said they were very serious about choosing religious life; 18 per cent saying they planned to enter a religious community in the next year.

Nearly 84 per cent of the respondents considering a vocation said prayer was the most essential element in their decision-making process.

Asked what attracts them most to a particular religious community, nearly three-quarters chose “living a life of faithfulness to the Church and its teachings” as an essential element.