Do the American nuns have a future?

…studies show that despite conservative claims, traditional orders are not doing that much better than the liberal communities.

In 1992 the Vatican set up a rival organization to the LCWR, called the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, or CMSWR, to serve as a home for more old-fashioned religious communities. The CMSWR umbrella now comprises convents with about 10,000 nuns, or about 20 percent of women religious in the U.S. as opposed to the 80 percent under the LCWR’s aegis.

An analysis of vocations data to be published in the Aug. 13 edition of America magazine, a national Catholic weekly run by the Jesuits, shows that both traditional CMSWR and progressive LCWR communities are drawing the same number of vocations: Each has about 500 women in various stages of becoming vowed sisters.

Moreover, other research shows that the retention rate in both types of orders is only about 50 percent.

Head to Religion News Service for more on this story.

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