Parish Background Behind Priestly Vocations: Recently Ordained Priests' Survey, 1998

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > Religious Groups > Members or Leaders > Catholic > Summary


Most vocation research focuses on individuals, not communities. While individual attitudes towards vocations are key, parish life itself may ultimately be as important in shaping vocations as individual attitudes or the influence of parents, mentors, or priests. The present study was designed to examine the effects of parish life on vocation. As such, it is more interested in the parishes that produce vocations than in the personal experiences and background of individuals. This study used a random sample survey to explore the effects of different forms of parish life on vocations.

There are two questionnaires archived here. A survey of pastors, and a survey of recently ordained priests (this survey). Both questionnaires were designed to help profile "multiple vocations parishes," or those that have produced three or more vocations in the past 20 years.

Data File
Cases: 2,103
Variables: 64
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: Winter and Spring of 1998.
Funded By
Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. and the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
Collection Procedures
Self-administered survey
Sampling Procedures
The sampling population consisted of all diocesan priests in the United States ordained between 1982-1996: a universe of 6,187 diocesan priests. The Official Catholic Directory (OCD) lists 6,187 diocesan priests as having been ordained since 1982. In order to provide the most complete data possible and to offer all recently ordained diocesan priests an opportunity to respond, CARA sent the survey to all those listed in the Official Catholic Directory. Of the 6,187 surveys sent, 221 were returned by the post office as undeliverable, thus reducing the population surveyed to 5,966. A total of 2,103 responses were processed by CARA. As a result, the response rate is 35 percent.
Principal Investigators
Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., Principal Investigator, Bryan T. Froehle, Ph.D.
Related Publications
The Parish Background Behind Priestly Vocations: Findings from National Survey of Pastors and Recently Ordained Diocesan Priests. Bryan T. Froehle, Ph.D., Dominic J. Perri, M.A., and Patricia Wittberg, SC, Ph.D., June 1998, CARA.