I recently had the opportunity to talk with Ann Carey, author of the popular Sisters in Crisis and her updated edition, Sisters in Crisis: Revisited — From Unraveling to Reform and Renewal, and ask her a few questions about why she felt the need to revisit the situation with the sisters.
Q. Why now? What motivated you to revisit this topic? A. Well, the original book cameout 16 years ago, and a lot has happened since with women religious. For one thing, the newer orders that I call classic — that is, the newer orders that are following a classic model of religious life by living together in community regularly and following a corporate apostolate, maintaining close fidelity and ties to the
Church. Some of those new communities and some of the old communities that renewed themselves are attracting new vocations and
many of them are growing; I wanted to show that the picture for religious life for the future is much more optimistic now than it looked like back in 1996.
Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist and the Dominican Sisters —they haven’t gone back to the 1950s, but young people are being attracted more to communities where life is distinct from that of a lay person, where they live together and community prayers
are an important part of their faith. Contrast that to most of the other orders of women religious; I would say that 20 percent of the orders of women religious in this country follow that classic model. Q. Were we looking also at orders like the Sisters Adorers of the
Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest, who are part of the Institute of Christ the King, where the order’s purpose is to restore the
Tridentine Mass? A. Well, I was not talking liturgically, I was talking more about how the Second Vatican Council told some of the orders to update