Learn about women religious and how to become, engage and support Catholic Sisters.
Catholic Sisters Are Vital
American Catholic Sisters are such integral parts of our communities and our Church—working joyfully and often without fanfare—but they are among us. They are our friends and relatives, generously serving, leading and praying in communities and ministries across the country. They make the world a better place, bringing God’s love and mercy wherever they serve.
We invite you to read Understanding U.S. Catholic Sisters Today, a report that interprets the life of women religious in the United States on a continuum of the past, present, and future. The report explores their devotion, challenges stereotypes, and identifies 10 key themes for understanding sisters today.
We encourage you to learn more about Catholic Sisters, engage with them, donate, or even consider whether you have a call to join a religious community.
Get to Know the Catholic Sisters
10 Key Themes for Understanding U.S. Sisters Today
Path to Vocation
Entrance is influenced by encouragement/discouragement from parents, priests, and invitations from/examples of Catholic sisters
Ethnicity, Race, and Region
Increased ethnic and racial diversity and international entrants present cultural challenges/opportunities; regions shifting away from Midwest and Northeast
Generations and Gender
Congregations are more mono-generational, yet millennial entrants desire intergenerational living; perspectives between genders within the millennial generation inform vocation recruitment
Characteristics of Religious Life
Generational differences more than ideological perspectives influence adoption of certain religious practices
Age of Entry and Education
Sisters today are, on average, older and more highly educated when they enter religious life than ever before
Sisters’ ministries are increasingly diverse and sisters engage in multiple ministries
Congregations are collaborating more with each other and with laity, presenting new challenges/opportunities
Charism and Identity
Articulating charism and identity to prospective women and lay collaborators remains a challenge and important factor
Congregations recognize the need to develop leaders for the next generation of sisters and lay collaborators
Sisters’ Visibility in U.S. Culture
Awareness of sisters’ contributions to Church and society increased among U.S. Catholics, Americans more generally, and within academia
Look to the Past
“Recounting our history is essential for preserving our identity, for strengthening our unity as a family and our common sense of belonging.”
Live in the Present
“Grateful remembrance of the past leads us, as we listen attentively to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church today, to implement ever more fully the essential aspects of our consecrated life.”
Embrace the Future
“We all know the difficulties which the various forms of consecrated life are currently experiencing… But it is precisely amid these uncertainties… that we are called to practice the virtue of hope.”