People considering religious life used to peruse the back pages of Catholic Digest (the vocation ads section) and then write a carefully phrased letter of inquiry to communities with an appealing charism. Now, of course, they peruse those same communities' web sites (or members' blogs!). For many, the next step is the Vision network site, which offers a "matchmaker" service of sorts, helping discerners more quickly sift through the communities to find those with a compatible spirituality and mission. And that creates a lot of interesting data.
Sixty-two percent jump in inquiries into Catholic religious life
Thirty percent increase in number of people in first stages of formation
A higher percentage of men compared to women (68 to 61) ranked wearing a religious habit as important or essential to what attracts them to a religious community. This preference has flipped from a year ago when women outranked men in their interest in wearing religious garb.
Learn more (or fill out the "Vocation match" survey yourself) at http://www.vocation-network.org
Are you a discerning lurker? Which blogs do you regularly read as part of your discernment?