Are you older than your children?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 29, 2004

Sister Christine Vladimiroff, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, comments on the fact that women's religious orders are dying out, as their members grow old and are not replaced by younger women entering the orders.

But, she said, it is not only the religious communities, but the entire population in the U.S. that is aging.

True. You're aging; I'm aging; we're all aging. That's not the point.

The question is: Will we be replaced?

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  • Posted by: - Dec. 30, 2004 7:22 PM ET USA

    When the sisters of an order are ultra liberal, loudly feminist, and do nothing more than any other social worker (if even that), why would a young woman want to join them? Let such orders die out. Most orders of nuns/sisters who are growing have young women who are strong in their faith, are conservative, faithful to the Pope, and very much in love with God; so much that they see God in their actions rather than serving humanity for humanity's sake. These orders will continue to grow.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 30, 2004 5:46 PM ET USA

    It sounds to me like she is saying: "We're doing all the wrong things but we're doing them for the right reasons, so God will bless us." Really. And, I suppose this pseudo rel. group expects God to bless and approve those who have given up all pretense to accepting Catholic teachings and dogmas and have embraced such things as Wicca, use of the enneagram, New Age, etc., etc. None of her statements seem to affirm the proper motive of Religious life, i.e. fulfillment of the 2 Great Commandments.

  • Posted by: shrink - Dec. 30, 2004 10:15 AM ET USA

    Comrade Vladimiroff and her fellow travelers have been on the pill for decades--spiritual birth control, that is. It has demonstrated almost 100% effectiveness, so few spiritual babies are being conceived or born with her genes. This is a real blessing, for her breed of religious will soon become extinct. Almost makes me a believer in evolution--whatever.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 30, 2004 9:20 AM ET USA

    Sr. Christine is president of LCWR:Leadership Conference of Women Religious. In 1992, CMSWR:Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious was canonically established. This group tends to teach children, wear habits, attract the young,etc. The bishops' National Religious Retirement Office is lopsidedly burdened with grants to the LCWR communities. Is this to be interpreted as support of dissidence? Info about who get how much can be found at

  • Posted by: - Dec. 29, 2004 10:01 PM ET USA

    I belonged to an order founded in the 1500's for 8 years. I entered it to teach and work with children. Before I left, community prayer and daily Mass became optional and we were being urged to find other ways to serve the Church. After I left, they discontinued their habit and began living in apartments near their places of work. Why would girls enter a convent when they can do all the work that nuns do while being on their own or married? They no longer follow their foundress or her vision.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 29, 2004 8:59 PM ET USA

    The Notre Dame Sisters of Joyful Hope and the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are experiencing explosive growth. The latter has increased 1300 percent in 6 years. Most of the sisters are in their twenties. The secrets to their success: unwavering orthodoxy, constant prayer, the traditional habit and joy. The contrast between the old, corrupt communities and the new could not be starker. Faithful young women are drawn to Jesus -- not to feminism, pantheism, socialism and secularism.

  • Posted by: sparch - Dec. 29, 2004 5:34 PM ET USA

    As I read the news article about the views of this religious, I could not help but reflect on Mother Thresea and how she went about God's business. There was very little jargon and explaination. There was alot of praying and a lot of doing. How are the numbers in her order ?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 29, 2004 4:39 PM ET USA

    "ministries for a new millennium"???? No wonder your order is dying out, Sister.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 29, 2004 12:44 PM ET USA

    It seems the focus of religious life has become the service of our neighbor as a means to reach God instead of a life of striving for intimate union with God first and then going forth to serve our neighbor with the fruits that that union produces. Much of what the religious do today can and perhaps should be done by the laity in living out their vocation. We need more cloistered contemplatives living a life of prayer and penance. The supernatural needs to be valued again.

  • Posted by: Fr. Walter - Dec. 29, 2004 12:38 PM ET USA

    Sr. Vladimiroff could have written for PRAVDA, "back in the USSR." The Communities are dying, no one under 40 considers joining, each remaining member must find a ministry and place to live, and many are depressed, confused and bitter. YET Comrade Sister declares "We are passing a way of life to another generation... this is generativity!" No Sister, it is not, and no you are not. This is a slow, demoralizing, self-inflicted death. You have nothing of the greatness of your founders.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 29, 2004 10:57 AM ET USA

    Quote: "and not be absorbed with survival" You can say that again Sister.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 29, 2004 10:47 AM ET USA

    "We" certainly are being replaced. By the children of recent immigrants. After two decades of public schools being closed here in the suburbs of Chicago, the surge of new immigrants has caused many of them to reopen and many to expand. God doesn't do the same thing twice. A new generation is being born. I wish the Sisters peace as they go to meet their Father. Many bore fruit. Others just hung out on the edge of their banal lives.

  • Posted by: Monk247 - Dec. 29, 2004 10:03 AM ET USA

    Sadly enough we are being replaced: Three vacations a year, luxury cars, jewelry, hugh houses are more important than having children. Our young adults of parenting age are eluded by the concept of sacrificing for the needs of having children. In a word we are being replaced by selfishness

  • Posted by: - Dec. 29, 2004 9:55 AM ET USA

    After reading the news story, it is glaring how she ignored the communities of sisters who are recapturing religious life as brides of Christ. The focus is supposed to be on God through an ordered life centered on Christ. I have great admiration for the sisters who live in community and wear their modified religious habits. This is true obedience to the VII docs. Happily their numbers are flourishing. I pray for the repentance of the brides of Christ who divorced themselves from Religious Life.