Sister Sandra Schneiders’ essay on U.S. Women Religious and the Apostolic Visitation is a must-read essay for all Catholics, all people interested in Catholic sisters and nuns and/or in U.S. history, and definitely all those discerning religious life.

The National Catholic Reporter has just published an essay by Sister Sandra Sandra Schneiders, IHM, called Why They Stay(ed) (NCR, August 17, 2009). The essay addresses two sets of questions concerning U.S. women religious that are “roiling the waters” in and outside the church today:

  1. Why are religious disturbed about the apostolic visitation?
  2. What is the real motivation for this investigation?

What follows is the most lucid discussions on the topic of the Visitation that I’ve encountered. Not only does Sister Sandra address how the Apostolic Visitation is being received by many U.S. sisters and nuns as well as many priests, men religious, and lay people and why it’s disturbing, but she explains what the situation of women religious is and has been since around the Second Vatican Council.

Please bring your questions, comments, and thoughts about this to the comment section below.