Ordination Class of 2019

CARA is retained each year by the USCCB's Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations to conduct a survey of the men scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood. CARA identified and contacted a total of 481 men to be ordained to the priesthood in 2019. Of that number, 379 responded for an overall response rate of 79%. The Class of 2019 follows the pattern in recent years of average age at ordination in the mid-thirties, trending slightly younger. The average age among all responding ordinands is 33 years old this year. The complete study is available now:

Parish Changes in Recent Decades

CARA has often referred to a “Tale of Two Churches” where pastors in different parts of the country tend to be worried about different things (keeping the lights on vs. finding space for more pews and parking spaces). Parish closures are most heavily concentrated in two states. Pennsylvania has reduced its number of parishes by 532 since 1971 and New York by 500. Other states have experienced increases in parishes, offsetting some of these losses including Texas, Florida, Arizona, and New Mexico. Analysis:

New Allegations Consistent with Historical Pattern

Whether in Boston in 2002, Pennsylvania in 2018, or McCarrick, the same pattern emerges. Clergy born in the 1930s, ordained in the 1960s accused of abuse during the 1960s to the 1980s. News about allegations is new but incidence of abuse today is rare. Cases in news fit historical pattern. For more analysis:

Profession Class of 2018

This report presents findings from a national survey of women and men religious who professed perpetual vows in 2018 in a religious congregation, province, or monastery based in the United States. The average age of responding religious of the Profession Class of 2018 is 38. Half of the responding religious are age 35 or younger. The youngest is 22 and the oldest is 75. The full report is available now.

Sisters in Latin America

While scholars have studied the decline in numbers that women religious in the U.S. have faced over the past half-century, little scholarship has been produced about the trends confronting sisters in Latin America, and none, until now, has carefully examined the numbers in an effort to understand the situation of various categories of vowed life throughout the different nations in this region.

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Sr. Hellen Bandiho, STH is with CARA as our newest Visiting Research Scholar from Africa. Sr. Hellen is from Tanzania.

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