Monday, June 8, 2009

Nuns in habits, teaching school and thriving.

While many older religious orders of women are struggling to attract new vocations, some communities are showing how it is done.

Not too surprisingly, the secret seems to involve returning to full habits, a rich community life, and a deep commitment to prayer and the Eucharist.

The CNA provides us with the inspiring story of the Nashville Dominicans.

[W]hile other religious orders are struggling to stay alive, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, better known as the Nashville Dominicans, are thriving. With 230 sisters serving in 34 schools in the United States, as well as starting a ministry in Australia, the order is truly alive and flourishing.

Founded in 1860, the Nashville Dominicans are preparing to celebrate 150 years of service to the Church. Marked by their full black-and-white habit, their teaching apostolate, and their charisms of joy and fidelity, they are an order that continues to see abundant new vocations in modern times ...

The Dominicans currently have 45 sisters in their initial formation program and are preparing for a large class of postulants to enter the community in August.

Sister Mary Emily, Vocations Director for the Nashville Dominicans, told CNA that she has seen “a steady increase in the interest in religious life and a great openness to considering it.”

“Many young women are attracted to this life that includes a strong prayer life, a strong community life, a single apostolate of teaching and the witness of a religious habit,” Sr. Mary Emily explained.

Read the full report here.

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