Executive Summary, Phase I: Women Religious Institutes
Executive Summary, Phase II: Women Religious

Message from the Co-Founders

We are pleased to present the key findings from the new research about the online presence of women religious and their institutes in the United States. We commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) to conduct the research in 2016, with funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

The study explored the ways that women religious and their institutes use the internet, particularly for vocation outreach. The purpose of the study was to identify opportunities to strengthen and support the efforts of women religious for vocation outreach, including vocations to religious life.

Our desire for this type of research relates to the increasing use of internet and social technologies by people, especially young people, to communicate, find information, and connect with others. We want to encourage and support the efforts of women religious in being present online to engage with people there, including those who may be interested in religious life.

The study found that women religious and their institutes are present online to varying degrees, and that they are eager to learn more about expanding their online capabilities for more effective outreach. This resonates with our experience at A Nun’s Life of working with women religious and institutes across the United States. Drawing on our 10 years of online experience and the new research, we plan to collaborate with others to create resources to strength and support vocation outreach efforts for religious life.

We are grateful to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for supporting this major project. Our thanks also to CARA’s Michael J. Kramarek, PhD, and Mark M. Gray, PhD, who led the study and authored the report.

We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the many women religious and institutes who participated in the research study. We appreciate the time and care you took in responding to the surveys, so that we might together explore new ways to build a culture of vocation online and welcome home the next generation of women religious.