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2019 Vocations Stats InfographicInfographic on Vocation Statistics

2020 infographic on Religious Life Today

2019 infographic on recent statistics





NRVC/CARA studies & reports

2020 Study on Recent Vocations 

2020 Study Brochure

2015 Study on the Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood

2014 Study on Incorporating Cultural Diversity in Religious Life

Executive Summary

2014 Men Religious Moving Forward in Hope Final Report

2014 Men Religious Moving Forward in Hope Final Report

2013 Women Religious Moving Forward in Hope Final Report

2013 Moving Forward in Hope: Keys to the Future Final Report

2013 Handbook on Educational Debt & Vocations to Religious Life

2012 Study on Educational Debt and Vocations to Religious Life

Executive Summary

2009 Study on Recent Vocations to Religious Life

Executive Summary, English

Executive Summary, Spanish


USCCB/CARA studies & reports


The Class of 2020: Survey of the Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2019: Survery of the Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2018: Survey of the Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2017: Survey of the Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2016: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2015: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood 

The Class of 2014: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2013: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2012: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2011: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood

The Class of 2010: Survey of Ordination to the Priesthood

The Profession Class of 2019 Report

The Profession Class of 2018 Report

The Profession Class of 2017 Report

Profession Class of 2017 News Release

The Profession Class of 2016 Report

The Profession Class of 2015 Report

The Profession Class of 2014 Report  

The Profession Class of 2013 Report

The Profession Class of 2012 Report

The Profession Class of 2011 Report

The Profession Class of 2010 Report

The Entrance Class Report of 2019: Women and Men Entering Religious Life. This CARA report presents the findings of 370 women and men who formally entered 128 US-based religious institutes in 2019

The Entrance Class Report of 2018: Women and Men Enteting Religious Life. This CARA report presents the findings of 440 women and men who formally entered 171 US-based religious insitutes in 2018.

The Entrance Class Report of 2017: Women and Men Entering Religious Life. This CARA report presents the findings of a survey of 524 women and men who formally entered 182 US-based religious institutes in 2017.

The Entrance Class of 2016: Women and Men Entering Religious Life Report. This CARA report presents the findings of a survey of 502 women and men who formally entered 185 US-based religious institutes in 2016. 

The Entrance Class of 2015: Women and Men Entering Religious Life Report. This CARA report presents the findings of a survey of 411 women and men who formally entered 143 US-based religious institutes in 2015.

CARA Frequently Requested Church Statistics This weblink contains all relevant statistics for the United States and the world.   

2012 Study on the Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life among Never-Married U.S. Catholics


Vocation studies and analyses

2021 CARA Study on Impact of Cultural Diversity  in Vocations to Religious Life. This study looked at the impact of family life, parish life, and cultural backgrounds on discernment of a vocation to a men’s or women’s religious congregation.

2018 Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Report on Understanding Religious Vocation in Australia Today. This report looks at data of newer entrants in Australia from 2000 - 2015. This study looked at data to to determine the characteristics of the women and men who have entered religious life (and stayed) since 2000 and the characteristics, policies and practices of the religious institutes and societies that are attracting and successfully retaining new members. 

2018 CARA Study on International Religious Sisters Studying in the United States contains data on over 200 international sisters studying in the United States, the impact of their studies in the United States on their ministries when they return to their home country, and the perceptions and experiences of the major superiors who send their sisters to study abroad. 

2018 CARA Catholic Ministry Formation Enrollment Statistics CARA collects enrollment data on every Catholic ministry formation program that prepares men and women for ministry in the U.S. Church as priests, deacons, and lay ecclesial ministers. This statistical overview is published annually and a complete directory listing the names, addresses, and other pertinent information on each program is published every other year.

2016 CARA and A Nun's Life Ministry Study on Women Religious: Social Media Use Executive Summary Phase 1 and Executive Summary Phase 2. This study's purpose is to identify ways to strengthen and support the internet outreach efforts of Catholic sisters for vocation outreach. The research showed that most institutes have an online presence, most commonly via their website and on Facebook.

2017 CARA/Trinity Washington University Study on International Sisters in the United States The first national study of the 4,000 international sisters living in the United States was done to better understand the experiences and contributions of international sisters. The report is also available in Spanish.  A reflection guide is available in English and Spanish.

2016 USCCB Cultural Diversity in the Catholic Church Report "The Catholic Church in the United States has always been a very diverse entity, but it is the first time that all available data was brought together to map this diversity nationwide in remarkable detail," said Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. "It is also the first time that parish life was looked at from the point of view of the experience of diversity. Multicultural parishes are a growing phenomenon in the United States. This is what makes this study so fascinating and ground-breaking."

2016 CARA Impact of College Experience on Vocational Discernment In this special report, CARA identifies various aspects of the college experience that the respondents tell us were important in their vocational discernment

2016 Religous Life Vitality Project: Key Project Findings Report was written by Catherine Sexton and Sr. Gemma Simmonds, CJ. The purpose of this document is to present six key findings of signs of vitality in women's religious institutes: Ministry; Community and Formative Growth; Collaborative Working; Prayer and Spirituality; New Forms of Membership; and How we are aging.

FADICA 2015 analysis of Catholic sisters This December 2015 report was published by Foundation and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, Inc. (FADICA) and written by Kathleen Sprows Cummings of University of Notre Dame. This report provides an overview and analysis of the current state of Catholic women religious in the U.S.

2015 CARA Population Trends among Religious Insitutes of Men CARA undertook this longitudinal study of population trends in men’s religious institutes to investigate in more detail some of the trends over the past 45 years.

2015 Catholic Sisters Initiative, Anderson Robbins Report This research funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, was designed to understand the general public’s attitudes, opinions and experiences with Catholic Sisters in the United States. Specifically, this research sought to answer the following key questions: What does the general public think about Catholic Sisters? That is, what opinions, beliefs and perceptions (as well as misperceptions) define Catholic Sisters in the minds of the general public today?  

2015 CARA Catholic Ministry Formation Enrollment Statistics This CARA Study reports that during the academic year 2014-2015 there was increase of 19 seminarians enrolled in the post-baccalaureate level of priestly formation, both diocesan and religious. The Catholic Ministry Formation Directory can be ordered by clicking here.

2014 CARA Population Trends among Religious Institutes of Women In spring 2014, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) initiated a longitudinal study of women religious in the United States drawing on data reported by the religious institutes of women listed in the Official Catholic Directory (OCD). This report provides a snapshot of some notable phenomena occurring in U.S. religious institutes of women. 

2013 CARA Study of Former Full-time Volunteers of the Catholic Volunteer Network This CARA Study reports 37% of former full-time volunteers have considered religious life or the priesthood, 27% of them "very seriously." Six percent have a vocation as a priest, deacon, sister, brother, or are currently in formation.

2012 CARA Study on the Influence of College Experiences on Vocational Discernment to Priesthood and Religious Life This CARA Study was designed to assess the role and influence of Catholic colleges and universities on the vocational discernment of men entering the seminary and religious life in the United States. Almost two-thirds of respondents overall state that a priest/sister/brother professor had a “significant positive influence” on their vocational discernment. 

2012 USCCB/CARA Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life among Never-Married U.S. Catholics This study found that encouragement from others to consider a vocation to religious life is important. Respondents who have one person encouraging them are nearly twice as likely to consider a vocation as those who are not encouraged. Each additional person encouraging these respondents increases the likelihood of consideration. The effect is additive.  Respondents who had three persons encourage them would be expected to be more than five times more likely to consider a vocation than someone who was not encouraged by anyone. 

2010 NCEA/CARA Study of Psychological Assessment: The Testing and Screening for Candidates to the Priesthood in the  U.S. Catholic ChurchThis CARA study conducted by the NCEA Seminary Department examines the psychological assessment practices and procedures used by dioceses, men's religious institutes, and seminaries in the testing and screening of applicants to priestly formation programs in the United States.

2007 Young Adult Catholics and their Future in Ministry Study This study by Dean R. Hoge and Marti Jewell revealed a high percentage of college students involved in campus ministry or diocesan young adult ministry have seriously considered becoming a religious or a diocesan priest.

1992 Future of Religious Orders in the United States Study This three year study of religious institutes of priests, brothers and sisters conducted by Fr. David Nygren, C.M. and Sr. Miriam Ukeritis, C.S.J., is considered the first in-depth study of religious institutes in the United States. It is also known as the Religious Life Futures Project.

1991 A Survey of Priests Ordained Five to Nine Years by Eugene F. Hemrick and Dean R. Hoge. Published by the National Catholic Education Association. This report presents the findings of a national survey of diocesan and religious priests who were ordained between 1980 and 1984. The questionnaire issued to the respondents asked about three topics of concern to Catholic Church leadership: priestly morale, priestly identity, and priestly roles.

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Talk it Up Tuesdays

Feb 13 - March 19,

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Member Area Gathering - Heartland

February 27,

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Member Area Gathering - Upper Midwest

February 27,

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Catholic Sisters Week

March 8-14,

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April 9,

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World Day of Prayer for Vocations

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April 30,

Washington DC/hybrid

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Atchinson, KS

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