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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
- 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?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- Can I become a bishop or cardinal and not a priest?
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- 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?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- If I take a vow of celibacy, will I get very lonely?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- What’s the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest in a religious order?