More Catholic college graduates can dedicate their lives to serving God because the Catholic Fund for Vocations will pay off their student loans, said the group’s executive director Mary Radford to The Christian Post.
To become priests, monks or nuns, Catholics take a vow of poverty, the Fund for Vocations website said. They give up their assets and stop earning money. Before taking the vow and joining a Catholic religious order, people must pay off all their debts. But many 20-something Catholics can’t quickly pay off large college loans and join an order.
“When a young person has this calling, that is the time they need to enter, not five years from now,” Radford said. “Each vocation story is unique and beautiful all by itself. They all feel called.”
In the past 60 years, Catholic religious orders have declined in number. According to The New York Times, since 1965 the number of nuns decreased by nearly two-thirds and the average age of nuns has risen to 74.
The number of American priests has also decreased, from nearly 60,000 in 1970 to nearly 36,000 in 2019, according to figures from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. If young people don’t disrupt these trends and become monks, nuns or priests, the institutions are on track to disappear.
“I can’t speak to why the drop is. We all have our speculations. But I think it’s a combo of factors, including poor catechizing,” Radford said.
The decline of Catholic religious groups will harm society, Radford stressed. Monks, nuns and priests spend their entire lives helping the poor, praying, teaching and ministering to ignored people, she said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jackson Elliott