Content material contributed by Megan Bissell, Analysis Mission Supervisor, [email protected]
A latest Pew Analysis Heart survey on the spiritual affiliation of Hispanic adults in the US has important implications for Catholic faculties. Whereas Catholicism stays the biggest spiritual group amongst Latinos, its share amongst Latino adults has steadily declined over the previous decade. In 2010, 67 p.c of Latino adults recognized as Catholic, whereas in 2022, solely 43 p.c of Hispanic adults recognized as Catholic.
This lower in Catholic affiliation among the many Hispanic inhabitants has implications for the recruitment and retention of Hispanic college students and households. College leaders want to grasp the components contributing to this decline in Catholic affiliation amongst Hispanics and develop methods to handle them.
One of many components contributing to the decline in Catholic affiliation amongst Hispanics is the growing variety of younger individuals born within the U.S. who’re driving Latino inhabitants progress for the reason that 2000s. About half of Latinos aged 18 to 29 at present establish as religiously unaffiliated, and solely about one-in-five Latinos aged 50 and older are unaffiliated. Thus, college leaders would do nicely to give attention to having a clearly said worth proposition as a core part of a recruitment technique. We will not merely assume that youthful generations are immersed in communities which have expertise with the religion or Catholic training.
One other issue contributing to the decline in Catholic affiliation amongst Hispanics is spiritual switching. Catholicism has seen the best losses as a consequence of spiritual switching amongst Hispanics, with practically 1 / 4 of all U.S. Hispanics being former Catholics. For each 23 Latinos who’ve left the Catholic Church, just one has transformed to Catholicism. Dioceses and faculties want to grasp why Hispanic college students are leaving the Catholic Church and develop methods to handle the explanations behind the decline in Catholic affiliation.
Lastly, it’s essential to notice that the Hispanic expertise with Catholicism isn’t uniform. A latest guide, Religion and Religious Lifetime of Younger Grownup Catholics in a Rising Hispanic Church from the Heart for Utilized Analysis within the Apostolate (CARA) echoes lots of the findings above whereas additionally stating that spiritual habits amongst younger Hispanics has additionally taken on a number of totally different kinds that usually happen exterior of conventional, institutional buildings. Educators at each stage ought to acknowledge that Hispanic college students who establish as Catholic could have various ranges of spiritual dedication and contemplate adjusting their method to cater to the varied spiritual wants of their college students.