The Catholic Church’s annual World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life takes place on Feb. 2, when parishes and the greater Church celebrate the gift of consecrated life and pray for men and women who are discerning a consecrated vocation.
Instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1997, the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life is celebrated in conjunction with the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, which commemorates through the blessing and lighting of candles that Christ is the light of the world. Those in consecrated life also are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all people.
Bishop Edward Malesic invites the faithful to renew their gratitude to Christ for the gift of consecrated life.
“The Church is blessed with many consecrated men and women, including those here in the Diocese of Cleveland, whose lives and vocation are a light to our community and the world,” he said. “Please take a moment to pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and be sure to thank them on their special day.”
As it does every year, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, also known by the acronym CARA, conducted a survey of the religious profession class of 2020. The survey polled women and men religious who professed perpetual vows in 2020 in a religious congregation, province, or monastery based in the United States.
Some of the major findings of the report are:
- On average, responding religious report that they were 19 years old when they first considered a vocation to religious life.
- The average age of responding religious of the profession class of 2019 is 38. Half of the responding religious are age 34 or younger. The youngest is 24; the oldest is 71.
- Nine in 10 -- or 89% of responding religious -- report that someone encouraged them to consider a vocation to religious life. Respondents are less likely to report that they received encouragement from their family members than from parish priests, friends, or from a religious sister or brother.
- Nearly half of the responding religious (45%) attended a Catholic elementary school, which is higher than that for all Catholic adults in the United States (16%). These respondents are also more likely than other U.S. Catholics to have attended a Catholic high school -- 38 of responding religious, compared to 8% of U.S. adult Catholics -- and much more likely to have attended a Catholic college -- 38% of responding religious, compared to 5% of U.S. adult Catholics.
Click here to review the entire CARA survey, including information on the members of the profession class of 2020, prayers of the faithful and a bulletin quote for World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.