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
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Would entering a religious community mean that I would have to sever my relationships with family and friends?
- Do religious communities offer a trial period?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- If I don’t believe that Christ is really present in the Eucharist, can I still 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?
- School was never something I really liked. Is the study part of formation very hard?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What if as a priest I need to take time out to care for a relative or family member?