2020 Study Overview and Links to Study resources

2020 Study Overview and Links to Study resources

Full study available in English and Spanish

By Sister Deborah M. Borneman SS.C.M.


NRVC Overview

It is fitting that the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) published the 2020 Study on Recent Vocations to Religious Life on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, a feast that celebrates the abundant hope in God’s call. Religious life reflects the endless story of call and response amid changing demographics. 

The 2020 study serves as a follow up to the NRVC's landmark 2009 Study on Recent Vocations and includes both comparisons and new research. The survey sent to major superiors and newer entrants was designed to identify what attracted new members to religious life and to their particular religious institute or society; what they found helpful in their discernment process; what their attitudes and preferences are regarding community life, prayer, and ministry; and what sustains and challenges them in religious life.
 
The major findings of the 2020 Study can be distilled to the following key points: 

  • ENDLESS CALL: Women and men continue to respond to the call to religious life
  • APPEAL: They are drawn by prayer, spirituality, charism, community life, and mission   
  • ATTRIBUTES: Culturally diverse; embrace intercultural, intergenerational living
  • LIFESTYLE: Committed to living simply and in solidarity with the poor
  • OUTLOOK: Filled with abundant hope for religious life amid changing demographics  

We hope you will read the entire report, which affirms that religious life is a valid and vital vocation. Each of us can confidently invite and support women and men to consider the unique vocation to consecrated life. 

The NRVC extends its gratitude to the major superiors and newer entrants who participated in the research, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). We also express our thanks for the support of the GHR Foundation and the expertise and exceptional efforts of CARA, the NRVC Board, NRVC Member Area Coordinators, TrueQuest Communications, and NRVC National Office staff. We also thank our collaborators for their contributions in formulating the survey questions and for providing images of new members. 

The incentive to promote vocations is the belief that the charism of religious life remains attractive and necessary, which this study clearly demonstrates is the case. We know that inquirers and discerners, led by the Spirit, are seeking to learn about vocation discernment. Let us encourage them and recognize all who have answered God’s call, as Mary did, with a resounding yes! The grace of perseverance is not a cliché, our oldest and newest members are influential role models of fidelity, courage, and audacious hope. 

May you live in that hope,

Sister Deborah M. Borneman, SS.C.M.
NRVC Director of Mission Integration

Links to NRVC Storymaps

Religious Life Today storymap

Bold and Faithful: Meet today's religious storymap

Links to NRVC Study Resources

Full Study English | En Español

Executive Overview and Major Findings

Infographic English & Infographic Spanish

Fifty Fun Facts about Religious Life Handout

Abundant Hope Handout

Religious Life Today Booklet

Religious Life Today Study and Reflection Guide

Responsibilities of Community Members for Vocation Ministry Handout

Institute media contacts and photos for use  Women | Men

Links for NRVC Videos on the 2020 Study

Seven Minute Video of the 2020 NRVC Study Key Findings

2021 Address to the Vicars for Religious of the 2020 NRVC Study

Religious Life webinars related to the study



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