7 YEARS LATER: Eye Opening Article: “Disorder among the Orders”

April 21, 2015

Eye Opening Article: “Disorder among the Orders”

In 2008 I am wondering:

  • What became of the dissident orders listed below?
  • How has the model of the “sister who lives in an apartment alone and drinks beer on tap at the local watering hole” worked out?  Have folks like that stuck with the orders as the much older members needed care in nursing homes and the motherhouses got consolidated or sold?
  • What became of all the motherhouses?  We are just a few years away from a massive sell off of motherhouses that are the last homes to communities that no longer need them for formation.  For a number of them, they can’t today and most certainly won’t be able to use them in the next 10 years for existing members….  The combination of size, expense and unsuitability of a lot of these locations as nursing homes… And that is where the majority of today’s women religous who belong to the “Leadership Conference of Women Religious” will be – if they are still in this vale of tears – in the next 10-20 years.  Longevity for women who failed to have spiritual daughters will not prove to be a picnic.
  • Conversely, how are the Domincians in Nashville doing?  Ann Arbor?  What about in New Jersey?  How are the women of the Franciscans of the Eternal Word faring?  Are they in need of downsizing today?  Have they been forced into selling motherhouses for lack of bodies to fill them?
  • A recent study of 142 new or emerging communities of consecrated life by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University concluded that “the Catholic Church in the United States may be on the threshold of another cycle of rebirth in consecrated life — new groups of Catholics committed to a shared spirituality and the evangelical counsels [vows of poverty, chastity and obedience] that will address the changing times, concerns and needs in new and creative ways.”” – How did that play out?
  • What happened to the Basilian Sisters of Saint Basil the Great in Union Town?  Are they still at the motherhouse?
  • What happened to the Holy Cross Sisters at Notre Dame?


Monday, April 21, 2008

SOURCE: http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com/2008/04/eye-opening-article-disorder-among.html

Eye Opening Article: “Disorder among the Orders”

From Our Sunday Visitor

By Ann Carey
Emphases and (comments) mine – BW
With vocations shrinking and financial problems looming large, some women Religious find themselves at a crossroads
When leaders of Religious orders met with Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year, he praised and encouraged them, but also expressed concern that many orders are in crisis, with shrinking numbers, confusion over their role and identity, and even disagreement with Church teaching.

Speaking to a group of superiors general, Pope Benedict said that many orders are experiencing “a difficult crisis due to the aging of members, a more or less accentuated fall in vocations and, sometimes, a spiritual and charismatic weariness.”

Three days later, the pope met with leaders of the Jesuits and reminded them of their fundamental duty of “keeping the harmony with the magisterium, which avoids creating confusion and bewilderment among the people of God.”

It may seem strange to Catholics in the pews that Pope Benedict felt compelled to remind superiors that many Religious orders are in disarray and that they should be in harmony with the magisterium. After all, canon law says that sisters, brothers and priests in Religious orders are to be “totally dedicated to God” and to “the upbuilding of the Church.”

Yet, the pope was voicing the obvious: Many Religious orders that thrived for a century or more have given up their traditional work and common life and are struggling to decide who they are and how they relate to the Church.

Furthermore, many of the most outspoken Church dissidents are members of Religious orders, a fact that naturally raises this question: “How can one remain a member of a Religious order while at the same time rejecting Church teaching?”

While Religious orders of both men and women are struggling today, the men’s orders have remained more stable, probably because about three-quarters of the approximately 19,000 men Religious are priests, an identity that grounds them.

The crisis is more pronounced among women’s orders, which have about 65,000 members. What follows is a closer look at the current concerns about Religious orders via a focus on women Religious.

These include a loss of identity, shrinking vocations, retirement worries and at-risk property. Some of the sisters interviewed for this article asked not to be named out of concern for repercussions from their orders.

Some orders have lost a sense of themselves

Before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Religious sisters almost always lived in convents, where they shared Eucharist and common prayer with other sisters. They worked in their orders’ institutions in jobs like teachers, nurses, retreat leaders, counselors and administrators, and carried out their work in communion with the Church. They also understood their identity as vowed, consecrated persons dedicated to Jesus Christ and his Church — a role clearly defined by the Church.

When Vatican II documents directed Religious orders to update obsolete practices and to examine their lives and ministry according to their founders’ vision, confusion reigned in many orders. Some orders did manage to renew their practices — perhaps 10 percent to 20 percent of women’s orders — while maintaining their identity as consecrated Religious.

Pope Benedict alluded to those renewed orders in his remarks to superiors, saying they are a positive sign, “especially when communities have chosen to return to the origins and live in a way more in keeping with the spirit of the founder.”

However, many orders of women Religious went far beyond the mandates of Vatican II, even blurring the distinction between their vowed members and lay “associate members.” These orders have been outspoken in their efforts to “transform,” bring “systemic change” and “re-image” Religious life and Read the rest of this entry »

May 17: Blessed Giulia Salzano

May 17, 2010

Blessed Giulia Salzano, 1846 – 1929 Read the rest of this entry »

March 24: Blessed Maria Karlowska, Foundress – Good Shepherd Sisters

March 24, 2010


Blessed Maria Karlowska
1865 – 1935 Read the rest of this entry »

April 20: Blessed Chiara Bosatta

April 20, 2009

Blessed Chiara Bosatta, 1858 – 1887

March 26: Blessed Maddalena Caterina Morano

March 26, 2009

Blessed Maddalena Caterina Morano

March 24: Blessed Maria Karlowska, Foundress – Good Shepherd Sisters

March 24, 2009


Blessed Maria Karlowska, 1865-1935

Foundress of the Good Shepherd Sisters, she worked for the moral and social rehabilitation of prostitutes, and cared for those suffering from venereal diseases.

She is an intercessor for our times.

Happy 7th Anniversary To The Children Of Mary

January 17, 2009

Children of Mary –

An Emerging Semi-contemplative Community of Sisters to tell the world WE LOVE OUR EUCHARISTIC LORD AND THAT OUR EUCHARISTIC LORD THIRSTS TO BE LOVED BY ALL!

The Children of Mary is a semi-contemplative community of Sisters forming in the diocese of Columbus, Ohio. Read the rest of this entry »


December 23, 2008


The Children of Mary is a semi-contemplative community of Sisters forming in the diocese of Columbus (Ohio) under the guidance of Bishop Frederick Campbell. The Sisters spend time each day in humble adoration of Our Eucharistic King. We chant the Liturgy of the Hours (in English) and attend daily Mass. We serve our neighbor by praying and sacrificing for all of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, begging God to give grace to all to come to love and adore Him in the Most Holy Eucharist. Living simply and prayerfully, we seek ever deeper union with God. Each Sister spends part of each day in community prayer, work, recreation, adoration, and solitude, alone with God, in order to make ourselves available to God for the gift of contemplation, which deepens our love and increases our virtue. After preparation, each Sister consecrates her life to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and makes an act of abandonment to God’s loving, divine Providence.

The Sisters study the Faith so as to grow in love and appreciation for the gift of Faith, and also in order to be able to share the Faith with those who come in search of truth. Gently, humbly, we wish to share with everyone the beauty of the Catholic Faith and the astounding reality that God is with us in the Holy Eucharist. We pray for a greater awareness and appreciation of God’s Presence with us in the Holy Eucharist so that the natural consequences of such understanding – reverence and adoration, will blossom throughout the world.

SEE: http://www.childrenofmary.net/

Children of Mary
8353 Pleasant Chapel Road
Newark, Ohio 43056 USA

Phone: 740-323-1977

E-mail: childrenofmary@juno.com

VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Third Order Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

December 9, 2008

The Third Order Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate is an offshoot of the Franciscans Tertiaries of the Immaculate founded by Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI. They are totally dedicated to Our Lady sealed by the Marian vow of total consecration to the Immaculate, after the recent example of St. Maximilian Kolbe. They live a penitential life of prayer in community; have made private vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.


Starting the day with Morning Prayer, the Sisters go out to work in a variety of church related occupations centered in the parish. They also make and sell rosaries, rosary bracelets, and a variety of craft items to help support the FI missions. Spiritually united with the other Sisters, each sister prays the Angelus, Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy and other community prayers. Living a life of love and joy in the Immaculate, the Sisters seek to make Our lady known and loved and to bring all to Christ through the Immaculate. Coming together for meals, the Sisters are spiritually renewed with readings from a variety of pious works.

The Sisters live in community, wear a traditional habit, and are in total conformity with the church magisterium. Under the guidance of the FI priests, the Sisters share the same charism and spirituality as the FI missionary friars and Sisters, and also evangelize through mission appeals to support the FI missions. The formation program consists of aspirancy, postulancy, novitiate, and profession. The Sisters accept candidates beginning with the age of 18, as well as delayed vocations. They have one retreat Sunday a month, make a variety of novenas during the year, pray the Stations of the Cross, Franciscan crown and have choir practice as well as other spiritual exercises throughout the month.

After coming together for evening prayer, the Sisters enjoy each other’s company at recreation. Closing the day with night prayers, the Sisters retire after singing a hymn to Our Lady enclosing themselves under her mantle with the knowledge that they have brought joy and solace to mission lands through their prayer and support of Our Lady’s missionaries.

If you are interested of knowing more about these sisters, please write or contact:

Franciscan Tertiary Sisters of the Immaculate
E-Mail: maryqueenofapostles@cox.net
Telephone (401) 725-8417

SOURCE: http://www.marymediatrix.com/religious-life/franciscan-tertiary-sisters-of-the-immaculate/

NOTE TO READERS: If you have any suggestions for orders or communities you feel should be highlighted for TCB’s “Vocations Tuesday” please Contact us! @ ASimpleSinner@gmail.com!


ZENIT: “As Christians of Her Country Face Persecution” Meet Saint Alfonsa of the Immaculate Conception. 

October 12, 2008

ZENIT: India to Have 1st Female Saint, As Christians of Her Country Face Persecution

ROME, OCT. 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- As Christians in India continue to face persecution for their faith, they will have a new advocate in the figure of soon-to-be St. Alfonsa of the Immaculate Conception. Blessed Alfonsa (born Anna Muttathupadathu) is one of four people to be canonized by Benedict XVI this Sunday. The other Read the rest of this entry »

Which One Is Which?

October 6, 2008

The always refreshing blog Roman Catholic Vocations has the following photo in a more recent post about three sisters who all became Carmelites:

It is noted in the text of the story: “Sr. Anne resides at the Carmelite monastery on Carmel Drive, Sister Miriam at the monastery in Covington and Sister Vilma, in Rhode Island.”

I wonder which two live in monasteries and which one lives “in Rhode Island”?

Any guesses? Read the rest of this entry »

VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Sister Servants of the Eternal Word

September 2, 2008

5 bob to Roman Catholic Vocations where it was written:

Sister Servants of the Eternal Word

A special thank you to Sister Catherine Mary, SsEW, for bringing her community to my attention. The Sisters have a wonderful website that is well worth a visit. In particular, if you are looking for retreats, I would highly recommend checking out their retreat schedule – they have several OUTSTANDING retreat masters scheduled!

From The Sister Servants of the Eternal Word website:

We, the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word, are a new order that follows the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi with St. Dominic and St. Francis as our patrons. Our foundress and superior, Mother Mary Gabriel, left her Dominican Read the rest of this entry »

VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Ann Arbor Dominicans (Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist)

August 9, 2008
“We are consecrated women first, and so our foremost model is Mary, the Mother of God. Inspired by the charism of St. Dominic, our prayer life comes first so that our apostolate overflows from a contemplation nourished before the Eucharist.”
– Mother Assumpta Long, O.P.
By living this strong sacramental and liturgical prayer life, we hope to:
  • Attract and form women to be faithful religious serving the Church for the good of souls, especially through the total gift of themselves as spiritual mothers and brides of Christ.
  • Establish and support Catholic schools steeped in the rich culture of the Catholic faith to nourish the spiritual formation of youth, their families and society.
  • Promote the culture of life and respect for the dignity of each person through apostolic work.
  • Respond to the needs of the Church arising in the third millennium through teaching, catechesis and evangelization.Learn more below:
  • ———————————————-

    NOTE TO READERS: If you have any suggestions for orders or communities you feel should be highlighted for TCB’s “Vocations Tuesday” please Contact us! @ ASimpleSinner@gmail.com! Include “VOCATIONS TUESDAY” in the subject line please!

    VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Portsmouth Poor Claires

    July 15, 2008

    5 bob to: Roman Catholic Vocations which reprints:

    “Poor Clares discuss their religious vocations”

    By Tim Puet
    Catholic Times of Coumbus

    CLOISTER – Sister Marie Therese (far left) Sister Imelda Marie (center) and Sister Marie St. Claire (right)pray at St. Joseph Monastery in Portsmouth, Ohio. (Catholic Times/Jack Kuston)

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Catholic Times) – Any notion that cloistered nuns who constantly pray before the Blessed Sacrament and spend much of their lives in silence must live a solemn, somewhat grim existence quickly disappears on a visit to St. Joseph Monastery in Portsmouth. Read the rest of this entry »

    VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church

    June 17, 2008

    Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church is a private association of the faithful approved by the Bishop of Spokane, Washington, Bishop William Skylstad. Read the rest of this entry »

    May 18: Blessed Blandine Merten

    May 18, 2008

    Blessed Blandine Merten, 1883 – 1918

    VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

    May 13, 2008

    We are the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, a religious community of sisters faithful to the Holy Father, the Pope. We are a pontifical institute who are clothed with the angelic garment of the Immaculate Virgin and clad with sandals of seraphic poverty, prayer, penance and perfect joy.

    Living throughout the world, in Marian contemplation and apostolate, in the convent and in parishes, in hermitages and in radio and television studios, on mission in country places and in the most populous cities, we strive to diffuse “the perfume of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15), and radiate the holiness of Mary Immaculate, recalling to all on earth the divine reality of the Kingdom of God.

    Our Goals

    Our love for the Immaculate presses us forward to share that same burning love with others in response to the call given by Jesus Crucified to our Holy Read the rest of this entry »

    VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

    May 6, 2008

    A diocesan order in full union with the Holy See (Saint Benedict Center in Still River is not associated or affiliated with St. Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire! – a seperated branch not in full union with the Holy See!) they are pictured above with the Dominican Sisters of Summit NJ on their way to see the Pope in NY.


    A Unique Consecration…An Urgent Work

    A slave of the Immaculate Heart of Mary lives what Saint Louis Marie de Montfort called True Devotion to Mary-striving daily to “be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, walking in the footsteps of His poverty, humility, contempt of the world . . .” Members of the Order take vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience and live these vows in union with Mary.


    Urgent Mission

    Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary proclaim by their life and message the way of salvation. They do this zealously, convincingly, “in pure truth, according to the Gospel and not according to the maxims of the world,” contrary to today’s widespread errors which minimize, if they do not nullify, the teachings of Christ and His Church on the message of salvation. Our Order was established to defend the doctrine: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. This doctrine is comprehensive and universal. Its scope includes all Church teachings-the reverence due the Papacy, the importance of the traditional Latin liturgy for worship, the sacredness of human life in all its forms. Its message extends to all men, Catholic, non-Catholic, rich, poor, educated, un-educated.

    Two-fold Means to Accomplish the Work:

    1. Education-an indispensable facet of our mission.

    Our religious constitution states as one of our goal “to restore Catholic ideals among the youth so as to foster religious vocations and responsible Catholic leadership in society.” To accomplish this the Order conducts a school on both elementary and high school levels, provides evening Read the rest of this entry »

    VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

    April 22, 2008

    Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles


    (Benedictines of Mary, also known as the Oblates of Mary, in Massachusetts.)
    The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles is a traditional monastic community of women who desire to imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary in the giving of herself to God to fulfill His Will, especially in her role of assistance by prayer and work to the Apostles, first priests of the Catholic Church. Read the rest of this entry »

    Stop, Drop & Roll « Overheard in the Sacristy

    April 10, 2008

    Stop, Drop & Roll « Overheard in the Sacristy
    Stop, Drop & Roll
    April 9, 2008
    Nun saves burning man with her habitA Nun saved a burning man from death by jumping on him – then smothering the flames with her habit.

    Brave Sister Donatella Ciucciumei, 51, saw the elderly man douse himself in petrol in a street in San Severino Marche, in Italy.

    She ran towards the 71-year-old as he raised a lit match to his body.
    And as he was engulfed in flames, she jumped on top of him, spreading her habit to douse the flames.

    The nun was unhurt and the man is recovering after sustaining second degree burns to most of his body.

    Sister Donatella has visited daily to offer him counselling. Police said he was depressed because his wife left him.
    Posted by Fr Loren Gonzales

     I think that explains why I would feel so much safer around her…rather than her…

    Byzantine Carmelite Sisters

    July 16, 2007

    (On the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 2007) In the city I grew up in, there was a monastery for women located in the inner city. Well, more accurately, it was nestled into a cemetary.

    Located at the end of a long drive in an old brick building with vines creeping all over the façade, I had figured it was yet one more empty old church building that had seen better days. One more testament to more active days, with more vocations. I had assumed the grounds were kept due to its location on a cemetary where folks are regularly still interred for their period of physical repose before the Second Coming.

    I was wrong.

    Home to 15 nuns who engage in contemplative life, without active apostalate into the world but rather for the world in prayer, there were still quite active. And, blessedly, attracting every few years, a young member to keep their median age rather lower than a good deal of the orders out there.

    Good for them. Better for us!

    What is it about the monastic cloistered life and the pursuit of Christian perfection that calls some to – against all impulses instilled in our fallen nature and fallen culture – to leave the world and pursue such a vocation? My best guess would be pure Love.

    The image at the start of this post is Bl. Mary of Mary of Jesus Crucified. An Eastern Catholic Carmelite of the the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Palestine of the 1800s and a stigmatist at that she achieved much sanctity even in the context of a belagured and persecuted culture among Catholic Christians in withdrawing to contemplative life. She did not less that participate in the establishment of a missionary Carmel in India. All this in an age where travel was not easy, Christians were especially persecuted in these places, and women traveling abroad were definately targets.

    Now I have come to find out that here in America a Carmel has just established its 25th Jubilee in the Byzantine Catholic Church. In Sugarloaf, PA, it has not only been going strong for 25 years, it now has established a daughter Carmel back in Europe after the collapse of Communism, it is now the home of 5 Carmelites from India of the Syro Malabar Church!

    So what do these sisters do? They pray. For you. For me. That is what they do.

    On the side they do some baking and raise mini-horses…. Yea, I don’t get the mini-horses thing either. (Maybe they get better MPG?) But their true apostalate and goal is prayer.

    Folks interested in learning more about the good Byzantine Sisters may visit their website (http://www.byzantinediscalcedcarmelites.com/) or write them at:

    Holy Annunciation Monastery
    Byzantine Carmelite Nuns
    403 West County Road
    Sugarloaf, PA 18249

    If you could happen to find some extra change between your couch cushions or in the bottom of the washing machine, I am sure they could use it.

    Folks interested in hearing the good sisters in prayer and seeing video of their chapel should check out: http://www.byzantinediscalcedcarmelites.com/page17.html The recording was made some several years ago (Pope John Paul II is commemorated in the opening litany) when the community was slightly smaller. I would rather love to hear recordings of them today. I am not sure if any are available.

    But what can these folks teach those of us who are not called to monastic life? In a word faith. In two words, hope & faith.

    Remember, no matter how over-grown the façade of the Catholic Church becomes in some areas, how abandoned it looks, how quiet it seems, worthy prayers are being offered therein, with total faith and hope.

    Pray for this simple sinner.