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I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
It has been suggested that 70% of religious institutes eventually go into decline. They rise up to meet specific needs at a particular time in history. Circumstances change, however. In some instances, the state takes over their work, and their service is no longer required so they fade away. This is not to be lamented. It is inevitable. New communities and charisms arise in accordance with the needs of the world.
Of course, the major Religious Orders and Congregations (Benedictines, Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits, etc.) seem to have that unique quality of adaptation based on a charism that remains relevant and enriching for people in every age. This is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Most popular questions
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- I feel I have a specific charism to youth outreach. Can I live this charism out as a priest, or must I follow the charism of the order I join?
- What if as a priest I need to take time out to care for a relative or family member?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- As a priest if I decide that I no longer want to do something, such as work in a specific parish, do I have any say or is it all out of my hands?
- If I become a priest can I decide where I go and what I do?
- What’s the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest in a religious order?
- I have a girlfriend but I feel called to religious life. If I go into training for the priesthood can I still keep my girlfriend in case it becomes clear that I don’t actually have a vocation?