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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?
- 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?
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- What does discernment mean when we’re talking about vocation?
- What is a deacon and how is it different than a priest?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- Can I leave the priesthood if I want, and is there any support if I do?
- If I become a priest, will I be living with mostly elderly men?
- 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?