When the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965, there were 329,800 men religious and almost one million women religious. They were to be found in almost every corner of the world. Less than a decade later, the figure for men had dropped by 18 percent and that for women by 10 percent. Though variations have been recorded recently for some countries , the United Kingdom for example, the overall downward trend has not been reversed.
The biggest congregations of women religious in the world today are the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Discalsed Carmelites, Franciscan Poor Clare Sisters. The congregation that has enjoyed the greatest growth is the Missionary Sisters of Charity , the congregation founded by the recently canonised Mother Teresa.
Globally, 98 women’s Congregations have more than 1000 members, 1132 congregations have between 100 and 500, and 418 have fewer than 100 members. Holy Faith Sisters are in the middle category.
So what are we doing about it? We are praying, we are open to women who wish to join us. We could probably be more active!
We have one young woman preparing to join us in October. We hope for more!