This morning the faithful bloggers at Rorate Cæli published an article, “Spain: Religious Orders prepare for the end,” outlining the decline of many religious orders.
There has been several decades of vocational contraception in religious orders not only in Spain, but you can name all the other countries in Western Europe AND in North America. All of the well known religious orders in the USA (the SJ, OFMs, Conventuals, CSC, Capuchins, to name a few) are clearly on the decline and are, in fact, preparing for death. In the last few years and certainly in the near future, some prominent religious orders of men and women are merging and monasteries closing. This past year one Benedictine monastic chapter voted to close their monastery and there are at least 9 others that could close and no one would blink.
No all is hopeless. One sees signs of hope among some provinces and some monasteries. But with new recruits not all is better: life in these communities remain fragile.
I am saddened by these events because there is no reason for the aborting of a charism given by the Holy Spirit for the Church. It is time for serious work in conversion, vocation and mission.