"Third World" comes in first for women's vocations growth

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Thursday 26, August 2010 | Category:   Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life

Catholic sisters in India attend
a continuing education program
Although India is an overwhelmingly Hindu and Islamic country, a recent report by Catholic Culture showed that the country led the world in the number of vocations to women’s life in the Catholic Church. India recorded an increase of 9,398 women religious from 2002-2007. In addition to India, the rest of Asia made considerable gains in the number of female religious since 2000. Vietnam saw an increase of 2,545 sisters, while South Korea and the Philippines had increases of about 500.

There was also an upward trend in Africa, where the numbers of sisters in Tanzania and the Congo grew by about 1,500. Nigeria, Madagascar, Kenya, and Angola added 500 to 800 sisters.

In Europe, the Americas, and Oceania, however, there was a downward trend. Overall, 99 nations have seen increases in women’s vocations since 2000. Unfortunately, these gains have not been able to offset the 4.6 percent decline among Western religious sisters. Italy, for example, lost 11,156 sisters from 2002-2007. The United States experienced a loss of 10,454 during the same period.

Currently there are about 750,000 religious sisters serving around the world.

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