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
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- 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?
- School was never something I really liked. Is the study part of formation very hard?
- I do not consider myself to be exceptionally holy, I try to pray every day and follow the commandments. I have always been very interested in the priesthood but I have never felt a burning passion for it. Could I still be called to the priesthood?
- The idea of public speaking is very challenging to me and I avoid it if possible. How can I be a priest when I hate public speaking?
- Why do we have priests? Can’t lay people do the work of priests?
- Can I become a bishop or cardinal and not a priest?
- What’s the difference between a sister and a nun?
- Can widowed or divorced people enter religious life?