More Women Open to Religious Life Today
Interviews conducted by CNS with vocations directors as well as the results of a new survey from Vision Vocation Guide, a magazine for those discerning a religious vocation, reported an increase in women entering the religious life.
The Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, N.J., is one of those communities. They have had 15 aspirants spend time with them in the past three years to discern whether to enter the community. Of the 15 , more than half entered the Dominican or other communities and two continue in the discernment process.
Other rapidly growing communities include: the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Mich., the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia in Nashville, Tenn., and the Sisters of Life in New York, that have up to 15 young women entering each year.
Other communities that recently have had a steady inflow of three to seven young postulants. Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich., founded in 1970; the Sisters St. Francis of the Martyr St. George in Illinois, founded in 1869; the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, based in St. Louis and founded in 1891; and the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Missouri, founded in 1874.
Why this sudden increase?
1. The influence of Pope John Paul II who challenged youth to live out their Catholic faith in a radical way and to not be afraid to seek out God’s will for their lives.
2. There are more campus ministries nurturing and promoting vocations.
3. Web sites making information on discernment and religious communities easily accessible.
4. Dioceses working with religious communities to promote vocations.
5. More general interest in spirituality among a growing number of young adults.
In the diocese of Wichita, there are no shortages of religious vocations. I believe that all of the above reasons apply plus we have perpetual adoration in many churches throughout the diocese and that makes a big difference.