The Agence France-Presse (AFP) just published an article which appeared on Yahoo News — “The Modern US nun is an ex-soldier, lawyer and has a blog” by Jocelyne Zablit. There appears to be wide interest in what is happening here in the US in terms of young women interested in religious life. Here’s a snippet:
They are among a growing number of women in their 20s and 30s across the United States who have shed high-powered jobs, career ambitions and boyfriends for a nun’s veil and a life devoted to the church.
Though the trend is by no means spreading like wildfire, several Roman Catholic communities throughout the country say they have noticed a surprising and welcome phenomenon in the last decade as younger women join their ranks.
The article focuses on a particular way of living religious life which is exemplified by the Sisters of Life community in New York. While each religious community varies in its mission, spirituality, and community life, there is a common thread of living the evangelical counsels — poverty, obedience, and celibacy — and following Jesus. You will find this in all religious communities regardless of dress, location, size, or mission. And women coming to religious communities have similar attractions:
“These women are looking for something deeper,” said Brother Paul Bednarczyk, executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference. “They are looking to develop their Catholic identity and given our secular values in the United States where we promote sex, money and power, it is a very counter cultural thing to profess celibacy, poverty and obedience.
The article also highlights the role of the Internet in helping women learn about and connect with religious communities.
But apart from divine intervention, those interviewed also credit the Internet with breathing new life into the nunnery. Most orders today have Web sites and about 20 nuns run their own blogs.
“The (Church) today needs to be on the Internet because that’s where young people are going to go,” Bednarczyk said.
As I’ve suggested before, more women religious need to get online, get a blog going, and interact with the cyberspace community. It is a wonderful blessing.
Jocelyne Zablit’s article concludes with a few a lines about yours truly.
Julie Vieira, 35, who began a blog entitled “A Nun’s Life” last July to chronicle her experience as a sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said she gets about 600 hits a day and at least a half dozen e-mails from people inquiring about religious life.
“One of the reasons I started the blog was to explain what it’s like to be a nun and to address the stereotypes out there,” Vieira, who works at Loyola Press, a Catholic publisher in Chicago, told AFP. “I just wanted to tell people ‘Hey I’m an ordinary person’.”
Do read the full article by clicking here.