Sister Patricia Wittberg, S.C., co-author of New Generation of Catholic Sisters, asserts that "convents will survive" in a recent article exploring "Who Becomes a Nun in 2015?" in Pacific Standard magazine. The article, along with the book (also co-authored by Sister Mary Johnson, S.N.D.deN. and Dr. Mary Gautier), explores the number of young women choosing religious life. Although down from a peak of about 180,000 Catholic sisters in the United States in 1965 to about 50,000 currently (according to a 2014 CARA research study), millenials are showing a pull toward religious communities.
Many religious congregations have extensive social media presence, interactive websites such as VISION Vocation Match, podcasts, blogs, YouTube videos, and webinars and discernment chats, such as A Nun's Life Ministry. "This generation is shaped deeply by the Internet and social media, and it's important for older people and sisters to hear about that dynamic. It will enhance the whole group," Wittberg said. The community aspect of religious life is important whether it starts online or at an informational retreat. This new generation of sisters is bringing new perspectives and a new reality to religious life.
Check out the fourth and final event in the "Today's Catholic Sisters" series, which will be held on Jan. 23, 2016 from 9 am-noon at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, California. For more information or to view past events, click here.