Perceptions Toward Catholic Sisters in the United States

Perceptions Toward Catholic Sisters in the United States

A quarter of Catholic women in the United States have considered becoming a Catholic sister at some point, a survey commissioned by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation finds. Based on telephone surveys and focus group discussions, the report, Perceptions Toward Catholic Sisters in the United States (24 pages, PDF), found that while more Americans have positive impressions of Catholic sisters and nuns (72 percent) than of priests (59 percent) or the Church (58 percent), the majority don't know very much about their work in the areas of education, health care, social services, and advocacy. The survey also revealed that "moderate Catholics" are more likely than "traditional" or "liberal" Catholics to trust sisters and nuns overall; that millennial Catholics are more likely than their elders to trust sisters and nuns; and that Latino Catholics are less knowledgeable about and less trusting of — but also more interested in learning about — sisters and nuns than are other groups. Although only 61 percent of respondents said they had ever met a Catholic sister or nun, the survey found that messages focused on their efforts to help the poor and disadvantaged, promote female achievement, and commitment to public and private education helped increase respondents' positive impressions of women religious.