CARA and the Church in Africa

CARA and the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) are partnering on a Visiting Scholars program thanks to the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. ASEC identifies Catholic Sisters from among ten nations of Africa as candidates.  The selected sisters come to CARA for six months where they joins the CARA research team and develops their skills in applied research. On their return home, each sister initiates and completes several applied research projects that serve the needs of her Religious Institute or the national conference of Sisters in her nation. CARA continues to mentor the Visiting Scholars after their return home. A new section of our website is dedicated to this program and more generally the Church in Africa.

Catholic Ministry Formation Directory 2019

The Catholic Ministry Formation Directory is available now in two formats: book and online. The reference book is approximately 400 pages, and is bound. It includes the statistical overview, entries for each formation program including contact information and overview data on the program, and more. The online Directory features an easy-to-use search function, as well as downloadable data and customized reports.

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:

Are you ready to find out how we can meet your research needs?

Parishes | Dioceses | Religious Institutes | Catholic Media and Publishers | Catholic Schools | Catholic Colleges & Campus Ministries | National Organizations

CARA can help you with surveys, focus groups, interviews, demographics, mapping, planning studies, trend analysis, projections and forecasting, program reviews, market research, data collection and database creation and maintenance, archival research, and pre-test/post-test experiments.

CARA's team includes researchers and staff with degrees in sociology, political science, city planning, education, communications, business, marketing, philanthropic studies, religious studies, and church ministry. We're here to help you solve problems, understand issues, plan for the future, and be more effective.


CARA Senior Research Associate Mark Gray recently participated in “Exploring the Unique Role of Catholic Families in Growing the Faith” at the University of Notre Dame. A group of interdisciplinary participants presented research on the Domestic Church and Catholic families.

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