The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia have just welcomed 23 postulants to their Nashville, TN motherhouse. According to an article appearing on Tennessean.com, "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.