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20% of devout Catholics say they’re not comfortable sharing their faith

young group of men and women stand in a circle and prepare to have a group prayer outdoors

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Zoe Romanowsky - published on 11/02/22

New study reveals what people find useful when it comes to growing in faith.

We might think that someone who’s deeply committed to their faith is comfortable sharing it with others. But that’s not necessarily the case.

A new study by DeSales Media in partnership with Vinea Research has found that 1 in 5 Catholics do not feel prepared to share their faith and wish they had more formation.

The study examined over 3,200 people who declared their faith “central to their lives.” The research was done from May-December 2021, in partnership with 22 Catholic organizations, most of whom are listed in the report.  

“There is a great need for the work of forming intentional disciples within our communities. Many people simply don’t know where to turn to gain the skills necessary to talk freely about their faith in a variety of settings,” said Bill Maier, CEO of DeSales Media. “Especially after the post-pandemic decrease in Mass attendance, we urgently need to get the right tools to the right people so that faith in Jesus’ Catholic Church will be reignited in those who have fallen away.” 

But while there is an important need identified here for ministry leaders to pay attention to, there is also some good and helpful news: The majority of the respondents in the study said they pray daily and that the sacraments are central to their spiritual lives.They also said that print and digital media are an integral component of that.

Digital media such as websites, podcasts, and apps are quickly becoming essential tools for Catholics today, as the vast majority cited some type of digital media as a key source of formation, DeSales Media noted in its press release.

Dave Plisky, DeSales Media Director of Production and Innovation, said that the study can help those in ministry to “identify and understand the spiritual journey of intentional disciples” and that it shows “how we as a Church can help Catholics form deeper relationships with God and with others.”

There were other key findings in the study. Participants expressed a “need for growth in the areas of humility, ‘taking up your cross,’ and performing spiritual works of mercy. They also expressed a need for retreat opportunities, spiritual direction, and the importance of attending confession more frequently.” 

Even if you’re not a ministry leader, this is great information to consider for your own spiritual life and that of your family. How are you deepening your faith? Are you praying daily? How are you serving others? Are there resources available at your parish, online, and in print that you can turn to?

November is the month that the Church reflects on the last things, in order to live and die well. So it’s a good time to think about how you can grow in your faith and share it with those God puts in your path.

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