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HollyDolly

Women's communities no longer around

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HollyDolly

I think I mentioned this already but the Handmaids of the holy trinity in soubend,Indiana are permanently closed according to Google.

also the mission sisters of the Holy Spirit of Saginaw Michigan are also permanently closed .They were in the book Convent Life by Joan Lexau.Also in The Guide to Catholic Sisters in the United States by Rev.Thomas P. McCarthy.

The Catechist Missionsry Sisters Of St.John Bosco of Taylor Texas are gone. iMessage the last sister died several years ago.

Don't know if the Sisters of Christian Love of Detroit are still here.The founders Sister Judy died I believe last year. Don,t know if there were any other sisters besides herself.

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HollyDolly

I also want to add the CATHOLIC MISSION SISTERS OF ST Francis Xavier of the Detroit archdiocese are no more. Sister Mary Agnes Malburg the last member of the Xavier Sisters as they were called,died May 11,2020.

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HollyDolly

Maybe, but not sure what Holy Mother Curch would call them. Over the centuries many orders of mem and women have disappeared For various reasons.

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gloriana35

I am not familiar with the communities you mentioned, but I'll admit that it saddens me that various communities I knew - who had hundreds of members when I was a young woman - have died out. I do not see this as heralding some wonderful age of the laity - I find it to be very sad. I often wonder if there really is any solid concept of religious life any longer.

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Nunsuch
5 hours ago, gloriana35 said:

I am not familiar with the communities you mentioned, but I'll admit that it saddens me that various communities I knew - who had hundreds of members when I was a young woman - have died out. I do not see this as heralding some wonderful age of the laity - I find it to be very sad. I often wonder if there really is any solid concept of religious life any longer.

I understand your sadness, but most of the very many sisters I know are quite happy, and have clear understanding and appreciation of what their life is all about. I think it is important to remember that the true value of something is qualitative and not quantitative. Have you asked any sisters lately about what they think religious life is all about? 

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gloriana35

True value is qualitative and not quantitative? That is quite pompous. I am not young, and many of the Sister I knew have died, or are part of a handful of those left from the communities. I have no complaints about their quality when I knew them. I'm sure you can tell us what the Sisters you know think religious life is about - and no-one could have any other viewpoint.

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underatree

Sometimes a congregation which was founded to address a particular issue  disbands or dies out — for instance, a congregation founded to care for orphans might not continue once a country has closed its orphanages. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, more that some congregations have a very particular mission to fulfill in the Church and once this is finished they disappear. It can be incredibly sad and disappointing for community members who certainly never anticipated being “the last ones out the door.” It requires a great deal of maturity and acceptance of God’s will to successfully navigate this. 
 

I think part of the issue right now in Catholic religious life is that the Second Vatican Council (which among so many other things asked religious to examine and make changes to their way of life) happened at essentially the same time as tremendous changes in secular society. For some congregations, society changed to the extent that their mission seemed outdated, something from a completely different world. It’s not surprising that so many religious left their congregations, or that congregations themselves changed dramatically. It wasn’t very long ago that if you were a Catholic woman and you wanted to be a nurse or teacher (i.e. you wanted some sort of career), your default option was to become a religious. The current prevalence of vocations literature is partly due to the fact that women now have so many more options. 

 

I think religious life is about the same thing that life in general is about. To love God, to love others, to accept what God gives us and to do what we can with it. God doesn’t give us all exactly the same gifts in the same ways, so we have to help each other and be in relationship with each other — this is the Body of Christ. We can’t judge each other because God has not delegated that authority to us. I hope, pray and trust that the people in my life are somewhere on their path to God. My consolation is in knowing the goodness and merciful love of God, that he is working silently in my heart and in the hearts of all his children. He is so good, so faithful, and he has never abandoned a single one of his children, and he never will. 

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Francis Clare

I just returned from a 5 day silent retreat at the monastery of a very small community of Benedictine sisters whose mission/community life/charisms they lived at one time years ago just could not be sustained, nor did they want to sustain it. They have morphed....dare I say evolved......into a beautiful life-giving/sustaining community and they wouldn't have it any other way. Yes, it's small.  But it is also vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive.  

I hasten to add that I'm a very traditional RC, yet I respect these women, what they have done, and what they continue to do as they move forward.  I know of the scholarship Nunsuch has done (and is doing) and her knowledge and involvement with many communities of religious women.  Please don't dismiss this as "pompous" as she didn't pull her comments out of thin air.

Edited by Francis Clare

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gloriana35

I didn't pull mine out of thin air, either.  I do NOT think that the current situation means that the past had quantity, the present, quality. (I could list a number of credentials, and my experience, but it's not worth the effort.)

Edited by gloriana35

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Francis Clare

I need to clarify my last post.

One thing I'm having trouble understanding is the attitude here.  I hoped we were past that.  That is the main reason I signed off for such a long time.  The sniping and passive-aggressive posts really got to me. 

 I thought respect for the opinions of others was a hallmark of VS.   

Edited by Francis Clare

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gloriana35

I'm going to drop my Brit stiff upper lip for a moment, and say it breaks my heart! I well remember when there were many religious congregations, with many Sisters (even when there was the mass exodus of the 1970s). I hadn't thought of it in years, since there is no-one I know personally now who is seeking to enter religious life, but many young people may have known few, if any, religious Sisters in their lives. Many have had no example of consecrated life, and, as I have seen on this forum, searches for those who are seeking to fulfil vocations to religious life well may be doing so on the Internet.

Most of the many Sisters I know have died -  a handful are very old, others long left the life.  Many communities I knew have completely lost their corporate apostolates. (I do not know the monastery at all, but it made me sad, reading another thread, that nuns from a particular monastery seem to all be in a nursing home.) A few Sisters I knew ('kids' in their late 60s and 70s - perhaps the youngest in the congregation who are left) spend so much time going on about their 'oppression' that I cannot imagine this would appeal to potential candidates.  I've seen information from other communities I once knew, which express only hopes that some element of their work will continue through associates. 

I believe the eschatological witness of consecrated life is of great value, and I do believe this decline is a great loss.

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GraceUk

I feel sad  when I see reports of some congregations having few or no vocations and especially of communities that have been in existence for years in danger of dying out. It's especially sad when these large old monasteries shut down.

I   read about a French Abbey our Lady of Chambarand in the French countryside of Trappist nuns.  They had a large retreat house which attracted people from all over Europe and I thought it would be lovely to visit it one day. It shut down last year because it was too big for the nuns to manage. And they have gone to different communities. It's meant to be being taken over by a community of Bernardines. It looks a beautiful old place. 

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HollyDolly

I know it,s sad but I guess such is life. However if one apostolate ends why not go for another one?I you country shuts orphanages down then why not teaching,home nursing, elder care work with prisoners etc?Communities like the Daughters of Charity are still around I think because of their willingness to expand their apostolate so.

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