2015 NRVC/CARA family influence study

2015 NRVC/CARA family influence study

2015 NRVC/CARA family study overview

The Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood

In conjunction with the 2014 and 2015 Synod on the Family in Rome and the eighth World Meeting of Families, to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in September 2015, NRVC releases this major study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) on the role of the family in nurturing vocations to religious life and priesthood.  

Executive Summary

Complete study

Press release

Family study handout

"Five things your family can do" video

Interview with Bro. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C.

Interview with Dr. Mary Gautier

 


Project details

The study consists of three parts:

  • A survey of recently professed religious and recently ordained priests as well as those currently in formation will assess the family support and encouragement of a vocation as experienced by these men and women. These survey participants are also asked to provide contact information for a parent or other close family member who can respond to a survey.
  • A survey of family members of religious and clergy will reveal information about the common characteristics of families who have produced vocations to religious life or priesthood. Attention will be given to faith practice, level of support, parish involvement, ethnic and cultural practice, and other characteristics that may influence vocational discernment in families.
  • A national random survey of Catholic parents will assess contemporary attitudes about vocations, their support or discouragement of vocations, and whether they discuss the possibility of a vocation with their children.
     

Outcomes

The findings from the study will help to educate the Church on the important role of parents and families in the promotion of vocations at the time when the Church is placing an intentional, stronger focus on families and their faith life. Download a handout of the study findings.

 

For further information

  • About the study process: contact Mary L. Gautier, Ph.D., CARA Senior Research Associate at gautierm@georgetown.edu or by phone at 202-687-8080.
  • About the background of the study and its use for promoting vocations to religious life: contact Brother Paul Bednarczyk, CSC, NRVC Executive Director at bpaulbcsc@nrvc.net or by phone at 773-363-5454.


Executive Summary

2015 NRVC/CARA study on the Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations

The Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood

Click here to view or download the full report.

View family study handout.

Five things your family can do video.

Executive Summary

This report presents findings from a major study of the influence of families on the discernment of a vocation to religious life and priesthood. The goal of the research is to provide information that will help families promote vocations to religious life and priesthood.

CARA surveyed 2,174 men and women religious and 4,140 diocesan priests and seminarians who entered since 2000. The survey also asked respondents to provide contact information for a family member. CARA then contacted 1,587 identified family members with an invitation to complete a similar survey.

CARA received completed responses from 1,279 men and women religious and 1,352 diocesan priests and seminarians for a response rate of 59 percent and 33 percent, respectively, and 892 family members, for a response rate of 58 percent. Another 15 family members participated in one of two focus groups, held in Washington, D.C. and in Chicago, IL, in May 2015.

 

Major findings

Start with a strong Catholic foundation

• Family members of seminarians, priests, and religious are usually Catholic themselves and are more likely than Catholics in general to have attended a Catholic school. They are more likely than other Catholic adults to say that their Catholic faith is the most important part of their daily life. One in five had a priest or a religious already in their extended family.

• These family members report a more engaged prayer life than do other Catholic parents or other Catholic adults in general. Nearly nine in ten pray daily, compared to just over half of U.S. Catholic adults and just over a third of Catholic parents. They also feel more strongly than Catholic adults in general that it is important that younger generations of the family grow up Catholic.

 

Build a culture of vocation in families

• Religious faith was at least “somewhat” important to these families at the time their family members was considering a vocation. Six in ten say the family was attending Mass together weekly and a quarter say the family typically prayed at home together daily, apart from prayers at meals.

• Family members were engaged in their faith in public ways. Eight in ten were active in parish life, two in three say the family participated in Eucharistic Adoration, and three in five say the family prayed the rosary together.

• Families typically ate dinner together daily and two in three report that the family gathered together at least once a week for a game or movie night, family discussion, or family prayer.

• More than half report that Catholic media, such as books, movies, and TV shows, were important religious activities in the family.  About the same proportion say that volunteer or charitable service in the community were important to the family.

 

Support and promote vocations in families

• More than half of responding family members say they have encouraged a family member to consider a vocation to priesthood or religious life. Most often, it is parents or grandparents who encourage vocational discernment.

• Family members recommend acceptance, encouragement, and support for those considering a vocation. They suggest that families should uphold priesthood and religious life as options for young people when they are exploring and considering their future.



Handout of 2015 family influence study

Major findings and tips for families

Click here to view or download the family study handout.



Complete study on the Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations - view or download

Click here to view or download the complete study on the Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood.



Press release: Family study finds key influences to Catholic vocations

Strong Catholic foundation, active faith life, openness to vocations

 NATIONAL RELIGIOUS VOCATION CONFERENCE
NRVC.NET

 

Contact:

Patrice Tuohy

phone: 773-516-0699 cell

e-mail: pjtuohy@truequestweb.com

 

Family study finds key influences to Catholic vocations

Strong Catholic foundation, active faith life, openness to vocations

 

Chicago – A major study on the role of families in nurturing vocations found that recent entrants to religious life and diocesan priesthood come from families that go to Mass weekly, pray together often, have active faith lives, and encourage family members to be open to vocation options. The study, commissioned by the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) and conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, also found that new entrants responding to the survey come from families who:
 

  • Give importance to private and public religious practices—in addition to Mass attendance—such as saying grace before meals and bedtime prayers, displaying religious art and objects, and actively participating in parish life and charitable services
  • Witness and talk about their faith in their daily lives
  • Attend Catholic schools or receive parish-based religious education
  • Regularly eat dinner together and gather as a family for games or discussions
  • Have Catholic periodicals and other media available in the household
  • Support the idea of a vocation to religious life and the priesthood

 

 “The study confirmed what we’ve known instinctively: Families are the seedbed of vocations,” says NRVC Executive Director Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. “Our goal is to help Catholic parents understand their crucial role in the future of religious life and ordained ministry and encourage them to create a culture of vocations within their families.”

 

The new taboo? Catholics have a hard time talking to their parents about vocations

Although most entrants to religious life and diocesan priesthood come from families that are open to vocations, approximately half of the respondents found it difficult to start a discussion with their family about their vocation, though they usually found support once they broached the topic.

 

Among the few who were actually discouraged from entering religious life or the priesthood, family concerns included that the family member was: “wasting” his or her talents, rushing things, or forsaking a career or marriage. However, among those families responding to the survey, most report that they are not worried now about the future of their family member who entered religious life or the diocesan priesthood. “She is so happy being a religious sister,” said one mother, echoing the comments of others, “There is no need to worry.”

 

The NRVC/CARA study on the Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood is available online at nrvc.net. Click here to view or download

 


The National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) was founded in 1988 as a professional organization of men and women committed to vocation awareness, invitation, and discernment to consecrated life as brothers, sisters, and priests. The NRVC has approximately 900 members, most of whom are vocation ministers for religious congregations. The NRVC serves its members by providing continuing education, resources, and services for professional growth.
 

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) is a national, nonprofit, Georgetown University- affiliated research center that conducts social-scientific studies about the Catholic Church. Founded in 1964, CARA has three major dimensions to its mission: to increase the Church's self-understanding; serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers; and advance scholarly research on religion.
 

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $100 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2014. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. 



Video: The Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations

Five things your family can do



Telling Our Stories ...
Cynthia Krohn will present this workshop on December 2, 2017 in ...  More
The Roots of Racism Workshop ...
In this challenging time of political polarization, racially charged rhetoric, and ...
World Day of Prayer for ...
In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of ...  More
November newsletter ...
Executive director posts mini videos and provides an update. Free shipping ...  More
HORIZON ...
Community living is one of the top two reasons people join ...  More
"All are vocation ministers" ...
In this Global Sisters Report article, Sister Sharon Dillon, SSJ-TOSF encourages ...  More
NRVC Member Area

CONNECT WITH NRVC

November 2017

National Vocation Awareness Week

November 5-11, 2018

FREE Postage for all Resources for Members!

NRVC at NCYC

November 16-18: Indianapolis

 NRVC Offices closed

Noon on November 22-7:00 a.m. November 27

SUPPORT NRVC

Iamnrvc
Renew your NRVC membership