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Religious Vocations in Ireland: Challenges and Opportunities

Vocations Ireland releases research

Recently released research commissioned by Vocations Ireland points to both challenges and possibilities for spreading a vocation culture in Ireland. The study reviewed the current church climate in Ireland and surveyed in writing and in interviews vocation directors for religious orders and young religious. 

The study report noted, “The Irish Catholic Church has been shaken to the very core of its structure,” by sex abuse and clericalism. This has coincided with steep declines in the practice of Catholicism in Ireland and much-reduced numbers and visibility of religious. Furthermore, religious themselves point to weak leadership in their own institutes and the wider Irish church as a problem.

The opportunities uncovered by the study include:

  •  Spiritual hunger exists within the Irish people.
  •  Religious communities can meet that need with retreats, spiritual direction, online resources, and other forms of presenting their long-standing spiritual traditions.
  •  Youth ministry is needed and is something religious orders can offer.
  •  Vocation ministers who took part in the study remain hopeful and want to reach out to young people and “maintain the spiritual narrative” in Ireland.

Click here for full report


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