Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nashville Dominicans welcome 23 postulants

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia have just welcomed 23 postulants to their Nashville, TN motherhouse. According to an article appearing on, "It's the largest group of new nuns in training in the United States."

While many religious orders in the United States are declining, the Nashville Dominicans are flourishing. Most of the new sisters are in their 20s and want to be traditional nuns — wearing full habits and living in a convent. They say that life as a nun offers more than the secular world could ever give them ...

They love Pope Benedict XVI and the retired nuns at the convent, as well as Christian rock bands Third Day and Jars of Clay. And they've left everything behind — families, friends, careers, even their iPods, cell phones, laptops and Facebook accounts — all for the sake of Jesus ...

Sister Mary Angela is encouraged to see all the new sisters coming to the order. Like many Catholic religious orders, they went through a hard time in the 1970s, after Vatican II had modernized many church practices. Some sisters left. But unlike other orders, many of which abandoned wearing the habit, the Nashville Dominicans retained many of their traditional practices ...

The young nuns in Nashville don't seem driven by conservative theology or ideology. Instead, they seem driven by a love for God.

Sister Mary Emily said that the nuns are glad to have the young women join them.

"We love our life, and we want to share it with others," she said.

Elsewhere in the article there is this short summary of statistics pertaining to U.S. women religious.

[In] 1965, there were 179,954 nuns in the United States. Today, there are 59,601. Most are senior citizens, said Sister Mary [Bendyna, senior research associate for CARA], who recently completed a study of American Catholic religious orders.

"There are more over 90 than under 60 [see here, page 26]. That was particularly striking," she said.

The average age of the 252 Nashville Dominican sisters is 36.


Anonymous said...

This is excellent news. Apparently the Dominicans of Ann Arbor are similarly blessed. These traditional orders continue on and grow once orders like the Sisters of Saint Joseph have gone to dust.

Just deserts for the SSJ and other orders that abandoned their charisms for the prideful pursuit of Women's Ordination and Heterodoxy.

Maybe someday, when we have a different Bishop, we may actually see these white habited sisters or similar here in the Diocese of Rochester. We so much need orthodoxy in our schools and parishes again. That's of course there are any schools left by the time Bishop Clark is done

CrankyProfessor said...

The Ann Arbor Dominicans were founded by a former superior of the Nashville Dominicans, too.

The Nashville Dominicans are shifting more and more sisters to Ph.D. programs so that they can staff their college (Aquinas in Nashville) more fully with sisters and so they can perhaps take on Catholic colleges owned by fading orders of sisters elsewhere the same way they have with schools!

Send them money for tuition!!

They're also working in Australia - and training Australian sisters.

Disclaimer: one of my lifelong friends will have the 25th anniversary of her solemn vows this summer - I send them money every year.