LatinaLista — A new study titled Study of Recent Vocations to Religious Life reports that among the "religious-in-training" the majority are Latino.
The new members' total is likely higher than the 4,000 surveyed, as some religious institutes did not respond. The study's findings, which did not include diocesan priesthood, show an increased diversity in ethnicity, age, and life experiences among new members.
Among those in training:
21 percent are Hispanic, 14 percent are Asian or Pacific Islander, and 6 percent are African/African American, which is a shift from 94 percent white among finally professed
43 percent are under 30
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, illustrates what is happening in institutions and, even countries, with Anglos as the majority -- their membership/citizenship is getting older and dying out.
This report underscores how these institutions, and in this case the Catholic Church, realizes that to remain vibrant and relevant they must make a conscious effort to diversify their ranks.
In addition to reporting the high number of Latinos entering religious vocation, there was another interesting response in this survey of what drew younger people to religious life:
Many younger members seek to wear a religious habit, a practice that has diminished in most religious institutes in the past 40 years
In other words, they want to wear a uniform. Interesting ...