Corner on Vocations

Written on: May 29, 2015

Sister Deborah Bornemann, SS.C.M., Director of Member Relations and Services for the National Religious Vocation Conference spent the day with vocation ministers in the Philadelphia area and shared some insights about the current state of hopefulness in Vocation Ministry.

Sister Debbie shared some statistics that surprised us and may surprise you!

The number of final professions in the U.S. increased from 2013 to 2014. The average age for women at profession is 37 (the youngest being 26; the oldest, 62!). The number of men ordained to the priesthood increased by 118 in 2015. Religious brothers have increased globally since 2000.  There are 2000 religious institutes in the world and 800 in the U.S.  In 2013, 80% of Men’s Communities and 2/3 of all Women’s Communities had at least one person in formation. This is all good news for the continuation of religious life!

Sister Debbie urged us to focus on possibilities not problems; to choose collaboration not competition; and, to eliminate the vocabulary of “diminishment” when speaking of religious life.  With this last thought she reminded us of the response to decreasing vocations to ordained priesthood which was labeled a “crisis” thereby creating a call to action. By contrast, the word we often use “diminishment” which creates a feeling of loss and powerlessness. Our words do matter!

Visit NRVC.net to view more statistics about Vocations to Religious Life.


Please continue to pray for Vocations. Your prayers are powerful and an important contribution to this ministry.


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