Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Old Nuns, Asian Priests & the Allure of Habits

elderly nun3.jpgThree things surprised me about the study of nuns (by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University for the National Religious Vocation Conference) reported on by Laurie Goodstein in today’s New York Times (MSM):
–I knew the population of Catholic clergy was aging but this is truly amazing: “Ninety-one percent of nuns and 75 percent of priests are 60 or older.”
–I knew a lot of the new priests were non-white but figured most were Hispanic. Many are Hispanic but a) almost three times as many are white and b) there’s a very significant minority (14%) of new recruits are Asian and Pacific Islanders
–Those called now actually prefer some of the most traditional aspects of Catholic clerical life — communal living and wearing habits.

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posted August 12, 2009 at 11:57 am

Why anyone would want to be a priest or nun is beyond my comprehension, however it apparently appeals to some! Not surprised to find that most of the current nuns and priests are as old as they are.

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posted August 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Just thought…it was mentioned that the up and coming candidates for the religious life like the habits & communal living. I remember that commumal living was “the thing” in the late ’60’s, early ’70’s? Lots of communes about. Also the appeal of habits? Retro is in…take a look at some of the furniture and clothes being promoted.

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