Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Study finds...

New vocations younger and more educated. (CNA)

Survey says: Vocations are increasing.  From 0 to 60 in seconds - like a car ad.  Kidding aside, it does appear to be the case - just think of the 'new' Dominican women and reforms like the Franciscans of the Immaculate, CFR's and so on.  And these vocations truly are young.

Survey says:  Vocations are younger.  What this study calls young used to be called delayed vocations.  Still - all is good - because the age limit no longer seems to be a barrier for the over 40 crowd.

Survey says:  Better, or more educated.  I've always thought higher education was pretty much a prerequisite with most groups - especially for younger vocations.  On the other hand, the burden of student loans seems to be what keeps increasing numbers from entering religious life in the first place.

I've usually associated really 'young' vocations with those just out of college, or those just out of high school.  A contemplative community in my area accepts young women just out of high school - those I've known, entered and stayed.  Education, or a 'life experience' equivalent seems to have always been a requirement for most religious orders - the emphasis on education of course.

Good news all around, however.

That said, I'm not sure many of the lay-brother, lay-sister saints - and even some priest saints, would make the cut for several major religious communities in our times.  

Photo:  Little Sisters of the Very Highly Educated 


  1. Unfortunately, some of the "new" orders attract a lot of seekers, but they don't stay. The CFRs are a good example of this.

  2. I didn't realize that.

  3. You post a lot of weirdly disturbing photos, Terry; and this one is right up there!

  4. Little Sisters of the Very Highly Educated

    Aren't they though? I wonder is Therese of Lisieux or Teresa of Avila would make the cut now ;)

    You make me laugh. Love the photo.

  5. "On the other hand, the burden of student loans seems to be what keeps increasing numbers from entering religious life in the first place."

    There is a wonderful remedy for this problem: The Laboure Society at If you go to this site, and look under aspirants, you will find a young woman who is planning to enter The Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Valparaiso, Nebraska this July and is just shy of paying off her college loans, thanks be to God.

    My daughter is at that convent, a convent with an amazing story. First of all, all the Masses and all seven offices are in Latin. The rule is that a Carmelite convent should not have more than 21 nuns - unless they are planning a new foundation. My daughter entered in 2007 and they had about 26 nuns at the time. They went up to 35 or 36 and then made a new foundation in Elysburg, PA. Once again, Valparaiso will have 35 nuns when Samantha enters in July. Surely they will be making a new foundation soon.

    As for education, there are at least two nuns there who are graduates of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula. My daughter is a philosophy major from the University of Dallas, and another nun has a degree in theology from UD as well. The funny thing is that none of that really means anything very much in a contemplative convent. They don't ask for a transcript.

    To put this more statistically, out of the 34 nuns presently in that convent, my daughter who entered in 2007 is now 13th in seniority. Incredible.

    Somewhere I heard that Valparaiso has had more white veils (novices and simple professed) in it at one time than any other Carmelite convent in the history of the order.


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