Following an unusual surge in the mid-20th century, the number of men and women religious today more closely reflects a number consistent with the beginning of the last century.
After a period of preparation (called formation) sisters and nuns take lifelong vows.
Usually they take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; that is, they promise to live simply, to live celibately, and to follow the will of God through their community. Religious communities continue to exist even though some individual communities, because of age and fewer members, may merge with others or die out altogether.
Most vocation directors acknowledge that their role is to accompany those in discernment, not to recruit them.
In addition vocation directors have a duty to their communities and the church to properly assess and offer honest feedback about a candidate’s fitness for religious life. A vocation director is designated by a religious institute to promote vowed membership, to help others discern their vocation, and to oversee the application process of new members entering the community as a postulant.
These three things — prayer, ministry, and play — help us stay healthy so that we can be more effective ministers and happy people.
In the area of work or ministry, many priests, brothers, and sisters have one main job, such as teaching, parish ministry, social work or hospital work — all of which have somewhat regular hours and predictable demands.
Sister Pat is in Concordia; her phone number is 785/243-4428 and her email is [email protected]
, meaning “to call”) in reference to the call to be a priest, sister, or brother.
Religious communities have always had an ebb and flow since the days of the early church.
The needs of the time and the movement of the Holy Spirit are the impetus for new communities to form and others to fade away. S., while many religious communities are merging or consolidating, others are being founded or are attracting new members.
In addition, there is a rising interest in religious life among North American Catholics, as noted in recent VISION Vocation Guide surveys.