More on increase in religious vocations

More on increase in religious vocations

The phenomenon of the increasing numbers of religious sisters is attracting more media attention, but the reporter seems to miss the essential ingredient in all this, that the orders experiencing the most phenomenal growth are those that are the most orthodox and most traditional, both in the sense of Tradition and in the sense of their way of life.

Contrast the orders that are profiled—all of them known as much for their fidelity to the faith and their traditional charisms as for their enthusiastic embrace of the habit—with the so-called experts’ reasons for the increase.

Like many of the convents experiencing growth, St. Cecilia is a traditional order. Some young candidates say they are looking for communities that still wear habits and are rooted in conventional theology.

Individualism leads to loneliness and the millennial generation is searching for a sense of community, says Dr. Alice Laffey, associate professor of religious studies at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

Meanwhile I think they credit too much of the success of new vocations to things like ad campaigns and slick promotional materials. While those things can help make connections, in the end the most important piece is the individual woman’s desire for orthodoxy and the fact that there are orders out there which are unafraid to embrace so-called “conventional” theology, i.e. orthodoxy. And that these orders have been inspired by, among others, Pope John Paul’s call for a new evangelization and an embracing of the fullness of the Gospel.

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  • The rise or fall of religious vocations seems to differ depending on who’s interpreting the stats, or something. Why am I reading about potential causes of the decline of religious vocations in my diocesan paper one week (“Vicars for religious urged to be part of Spirit’s ongoing history,” Visitor 3/29,) and here I read about phenomenal religious growth?
    Are we experiencing an over-all decrease, with an increase in certain orders (orthodox, traditional?) or an over-all increase with the more liberal communities disintegrating?

  • The Diocese of Fort Worth is currently set to send 10 men to seminary next fall, which is twice the current record of 5. I think we will have 20 men in formation, up from about 13 or so. We are ordaining 4 to the priesthood this summer, so my numbers are off 1, not sure where.

    But you get the point.