The convent was a buzz this weekend with celebrations of all sorts! And not just among my own nuns but it seems it was a nunapalooza for many congregations! My Facebook newsfeed was filled with photos and links and congrats to sisters celebrating their jubilees (25, 50, 60, 75 year anniversaries of being a nun) as well as to women professing vows, being received as novices, and entering as candidates and postulants!
I am delighted to celebrate with my own IHM community the reception of two novices yesterday and two candidates just a couple weeks ago. Our big jubilee celebration comes later in July. But Sister Maxine and I did have the honor of celebrating with the Sisters of Saint Francis of Sylvania, Ohio on Saturday, and our friend Sister Mary Peter who celebrated 50 years!
We also celebrate with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods with whom we had done a Motherhouse Road trip podcast -- one of our guest sisters just professed first vows! Congratulations Sister Arrianne Whittaker, SP!
All of these women are a great testimony to the fact that religious life is alive and well! Over the past 5-10 years it seems that there have been some folks suggesting that religious life is in decline and others who have noticed a growing trend to enter religious life. I've written about a few of articles on the recent decline/growth of religious life in past blog posts. Not saying my Facebook newsfeed is scientific fact, but I certainly see a lot of anecdotal evidence that women's religious communities are in a new moment. That's not to say that some of us are facing some very tough situations in terms of membership and ministries. But it is to say that there is something very good happening in the Sisterhood. Each of us needs to continue to fan the flame of the Spirit!
For those of you who may wonder if religious life is for you, I so encourage you to check it out! These are exciting, grace-filled times and an experience that is nothing short of an adventure of a lifetime!
Picture: From the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana