| Staff Report

Groundbreaking Study by Desales Media & Vinea Research Finds 1 in 5 Devout Catholics “Uncomfortable” Sharing Their Faith

Brooklyn, New York, October 31, 2022 — A significant study conducted by DeSales Media in partnership with Vinea Research found 1 in 5 devout Catholics are uncomfortable publicly talking about their faith. The study examined over 3,200 people who declared their faith “central to their lives” but still overwhelmingly expressed a desire for more formation in the area of evangelization.

“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.”

While only 16% of those surveyed felt that sharing their faith is a personal strength, the majority of respondents say they pray daily and indicated prayer and the sacraments are pivotal to living out their faith. They cited print and digital media as an integral component of this. 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.

“The results of this study are critical for those in ministry to identify and understand the spiritual journey of intentional disciples. This study shows how we as a Church can help Catholics form deeper relationships with God and with others—to see Christ in the other. I hope our findings inspire ministries to create the most effective and needed resources to facilitate this important work,” said Dave Plisky, DeSales Media Director of Production and Innovation.

“I hope that the results of this study will inspire those in ministry to create the most effective and needed resources aimed at building greater participation in and spreading the Catholic faith,” said Dave Plisky, DeSales Media Director of Product and Innovation. “We want these insights to allow the Church to respond to the needs of those who in turn lead others in the formation of their spiritual lives.”

Other key findings include an expressed 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.

DeSales and Vinea collected responses during the period of May-December 2021 and compiled the research in 2022. Respondents were gathered in partnership with 22 Catholic organizations, most of whom are listed in the report.

“This type of research is essential for pinpointing the needs of the faithful for those in ministry,” Plisky said. “We want these insights to allow the Church to respond to the needs of those whose faith makes it essential to share the Joy of the Gospel with others.”