cates that men and women are drawn
to all types of religious life. In the
past several years, new entrants have
been spread out among an average of
69 different communities.
Myth #4: Women entering
religious life want to wear habits.
FACT: Both men and women seem
to be drawn to habited communities according to the 2009 study and
subsequent data, although a substantial minority is not interested in the
habit. About two thirds of the newer
members in 2009 said they belonged
to a religious institute that wears a
habit. Among those that responded
affirmatively, a little more than half
indicated that the habit is required in
all or most circumstances.
Interestingly almost half of
the men who belong to a religious
institute that does not wear a habit
say they would wear it if it were an
option, compared to nearly a quarter
of the women respondents.
Myth #5: Entering religious life
is a last resort.
FACT: New members to religious life
report having rich options available
to them—in terms of career, educa-
tion, and personal life choices. In
the years since the 2009 study, re-
search has confirmed that more than
70 percent of entrants to religious
communities have at least a bach-
elor’s degree before entering, with
around one quarter having gradu-
ate degrees. Roughly nine out of 10
people taking final vows say that
they were employed prior to enter-
ing religious life. Most also have
ministry experience in a parish or
social service setting.
Myth #6: Younger religious are
not interested in traditional
FACT: Newer members rank daily
Mass as very important to them.
Their prayer style also expresses a
strong preference for Liturgy of the
Hours, faith-sharing, non-liturgical
common prayer, Eucharistic ado-
Men and women
are coming to religious
life not just for
ministry, but also for
common prayer and
Learn more about #001 at VocationNetwork.org