Number of nuns in US is collapsing

Several hundred orders are about to become extinct, but there are signs of growth among 'traditional' orders

The website of the Philadelphia Archdiocese reports, several hundred religious institutes of women are likely to disappear in the next few decades. This report deals with nuns in America alone, so the situation in Africa and Asia is no doubt different. A question that historians will ask is why, in a relatively short space of time, did so many religious orders disappear. That … [Read more...]

Path to vocation varies, especially when sisters start out non-Catholic

Sister Makrina Finlay grew up in Yuba city as an evangelical Christian

Raised in an evangelical Christian family, a young California woman ventures abroad to study among the “dreaming spires” of Oxford University — and is introduced to a whole new world of faith. Exposed to the traditions of the Catholic and Orthodox churches by monks and nuns studying and living in local English communities, she realizes that she is moving toward an irrevocable … [Read more...]

Nun stories back in secular news

Women religious stories have been making a social and spiritual comeback over the last several decades

After being dismissed as relics of the past, nuns and women religious have been making a social and spiritual come back over the last several decades. While Catholic media has been watching these women closely, the secular media is finally beginning to take note of these remarkable women. The remarkable tale of starlet actress, Dolores Hart, who left a bright career as the … [Read more...]

Vatican issues new rules for cloistered nuns

May 15 instruction requires that individual monasteries have at least five members in order to remain open, membership in a federation

The Vatican published an instruction Tuesday aimed at applying norms established in Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic constitution on women’s contemplative orders, which emphasizes the need for networks of monasteries in contemplative life. The instruction states that all monasteries of nuns must be affiliated with a federation, or organization, of religious houses. Published May … [Read more...]

We’re not exploited

Mother Judith Zuniga, Superior General of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, among three sisters responding to Vatican magazine article claiming women religious are discriminated against

Last week, the women’s edition of a magazine distributed in the Vatican published an article claiming that religious sisters in the Church are poorly treated and economically exploited. The article appeared in Women Church World, a monthly women’s magazine published by L’Osservatore Romano, the newspaper of Vatican City. The Associated Press called the story an “exposé on the … [Read more...]

Dominican sisters communicate with visitors through iron gate at Hollywood convent

Every day at 4 p.m., the nuns gather to pray the rosary in the convent’s chapel

A cloistered convent in the city of Hollywood may seem out of place — but even the stars of Tinseltown need to hide away and pray sometimes. Bob Hope, Debbie Reynolds and Norma Foster were old visitors to the white adobe cloistered convent that is situated just off the Hollywood Freeway, and less than one mile from several tawdry shops and strip clubs. “Show me anywhere but … [Read more...]

Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles attracting eager, college-educated women

They wear the traditional habit they've worn since Mother Lucita first arrived in LA from Mexico in 1927

Bucking the trend, some millennials are seeking a nun's life, and an Order in Duarte is attracting eager, college-educated women. They wear the traditional habit they've worn since Mother Lucita first arrived in LA from Mexico in 1927. The gowns are brown — symbolizing the humility of the Earth; white — a symbol of purity; and black — a symbol of death to the world with life … [Read more...]

Supporting a daughter’s vocation to religious life

Vicar for religious for Diocese of Orange says parents can assist in discernment process

As parents, we want the best for our children. Nonetheless it is a challenge for us to support a daughter when she decides to pursue religious life.  In fact, one-third of women entering religious life were discouraged to do so by their mothers, according to a 2014 study released by Georgetown University, compared to just 11 percent of men considering the … [Read more...]

Why I wear the habit

A nun’s reflection on religious life

As Pope Francis’s year dedicated to consecrated life concluded at the start of 2016, one nun shared her thoughts on how her religious garb serves as a “visible sign” that God exists and loves every person. Though the official Year for Consecrated Life concluded earlier this year, it’s actually “the beginning of helping people get reacquainted with religious life,” said … [Read more...]

Don’t try to sustain the past

Former LCWR president tells religious sisters meeting in Anaheim they should embrace "transformation to a new form" as orders struggle financially, lose vocations

The following comes from an October 14 Global Sisters Report article by Dan Stockman. Global Sisters Report is a project of National Catholic Reporter.  Religious life in North America and Europe stands on a precipice of transformation to a new form that no one yet knows, and leaders need to embrace that mystery instead of trying to sustain the past, St. Joseph Sr. Carol … [Read more...]