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Spiritual Dryness in Non-Ordained Catholic Pastoral Workers

Quality of Life, Spirituality and Coping, Institute for Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
Munich School of Philosophy & Research Centre Spiritual Care, Technische Universität München, 81675 Munich, Germany
Pastoral Psychology and Sociology, Faculty of Theology Paderborn, 33098 Paderborn, Germany
Caritas Science and Christian Social Work, Faculty of Theology, Albert-Ludwig University, Freiburg, 79085 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mary Rute Gomes Esperandio
Religions 2016, 7(12), 141;
Received: 11 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
Background: We wondered whether “spiritual dryness” as a specific phase of “spiritual crisis” or insecurity is mostly a matter only of Catholic priests or can also be found in other pastoral professionals. Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, we measured the prevalence of spiritual dryness in non-ordained Catholic pastoral workers, and identified relevant predictors. Results: In a sample of 3.277 pastoral workers, 50% would occasionally experience phases of spiritual dryness, while 13% experience it often or even regularly. There were no significant differences between women and men, professions, or age groups. The best predictors of spiritual dryness were low transcendence perception and a low sense of coherence (both are resources), as well as depressive symptoms and stress perception (both are demands or stressors), which would explain 41% of the variance. Self-efficacy expectation and social support were not among the significant predictors. Conclusion: Both the proportions and the main predictors are similar compared to Catholic priests. It is thus not the underlying profession or vocation and the related life situation or differences in social support, but predominantly specific perceptions, feelings, and attitudes that are related to the phenomenon of spiritual dryness—and these can be found in all pastoral professionals who seriously live their spirituality. View Full-Text
Keywords: pastoral workers; spiritual dryness; stress perception; sense of coherence; transcendence perception; Catholics pastoral workers; spiritual dryness; stress perception; sense of coherence; transcendence perception; Catholics
MDPI and ACS Style

Büssing, A.; Frick, E.; Jacobs, C.; Baumann, K. Spiritual Dryness in Non-Ordained Catholic Pastoral Workers. Religions 2016, 7, 141.

AMA Style

Büssing A, Frick E, Jacobs C, Baumann K. Spiritual Dryness in Non-Ordained Catholic Pastoral Workers. Religions. 2016; 7(12):141.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Büssing, Arndt, Eckhard Frick, Christoph Jacobs, and Klaus Baumann. 2016. "Spiritual Dryness in Non-Ordained Catholic Pastoral Workers" Religions 7, no. 12: 141.

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