2014-02-01 17:48:37

Consecrated Life: U.S. Church official says numbers are going down rapidly

(Vatican Radio) Sunday (February 2nd) is the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated life, a celebration set up in 1977 to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.

In the U.S. the Associate Director of the Church’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is Father John Guthrie. He told Susy Hodges that this annual celebration is very useful and important, particularly because the number of those in consecrated life in the U.S “is going down very rapidly.”

Listen to the full interview with Father John Guthrie: RealAudioMP3

Father Guthrie describes the current situation facing the various forms of consecrated life in the U.S. as “a very challenged environment.” To put it into figures, he says the number of women and men currently in consecrated life across the U.S. is only around a quarter of the figure in 1970. Asked about the reasons for this decline in numbers, he says it’s a complicated picture but one factor is “the increasingly secularized culture that we face.” In the interview Father Guthrie also goes on to speak about both the rewards and difficulties of consecrated life for those who embrace this choice.

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