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Roman Women are Converts to Convents
news.telegraph ^ | 11/28/05 | Hillary Clarke

Posted on 11/28/2005 6:26:59 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum

Roman women are converts to convents
By Hilary Clarke in Rome
(Filed: 28/11/2005)

Growing numbers of educated Italian women are throwing away their high heels and lipstick and opting for the austere life of nuns in closed convents.

A surprising 550 women in Rome chose to withdraw to cloisters this year compared with 350 two years ago, it emerged at a conference organised by the Vicariate of Rome and Italy's Union of Mother Superiors (Usmi).

Most of the country's 7,500 cloistered nuns have traditionally come from regions such as the Marches, making the sudden rise in the city of la dolce vita even more surprising.

Until recently, most women entering closed convents in Rome were third world immigrants with little education. Now the recruits are all Italians with university degrees.

"They are realising that what the world has to offer to them is not all it is made out to be," said Sister Pieremilia Bertolin, the secretary general of Usmi.

"They are starting to reason with their heads and not just believing the messages advertising throws at them."

In the past, a cloistered life really meant cutting yourself off from your past and from the material world. Today, however, sisters can stay in touch with loved ones and the world at large via the telephone and the internet.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events
KEYWORDS: cloister; moralabsolutes; nuns; romecatholic
Thought this was interesting...
1 posted on 11/28/2005 6:26:59 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum
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To: Knitting A Conundrum
"They are starting to reason with their heads and not just believing the messages advertising throws at them."

Good for them!

Now if more Italian women would do the same reasoning and decide to have children, there might be a few Italians left in 100 years.

2 posted on 11/28/2005 6:38:02 AM PST by Tax-chick ("You don't HAVE to be a fat pervert to speak out about eating too much and lack of morals." ~ LG)
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To: Tax-chick

they won't if they become nuns.


3 posted on 11/28/2005 7:05:27 AM PST by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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To: CzarNicky

Well, obviously ... but the ones who aren't nuns don't have children, either.


4 posted on 11/28/2005 7:06:40 AM PST by Tax-chick ("You don't HAVE to be a fat pervert to speak out about eating too much and lack of morals." ~ LG)
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To: Tax-chick

It goes deeper than deciding to have children. Feminism, which teaches that there is no purpose in the differences of the sexes, is one of the great heresies of our day that demeans the role of women. Christian women need to rediscover the truth that there is purpose in God's creation of us as male and female. Instead of trying to ape men, women should demand the respect of being women with the purpose of being God's instrument of bringing forth (both by bearing and by raising and educating at home) the next generation.


5 posted on 11/28/2005 7:14:15 AM PST by Petrosius
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To: Petrosius

I think you're preaching to the choir there when you say that to Tax-chick! She's absolutely one who put her money where her mouth is when it comes to that sort of thing....


6 posted on 11/28/2005 7:41:41 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

And she's a great example, too.


7 posted on 11/28/2005 7:42:04 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum; Petrosius

Awfully nice of you :-).

My point was that the decision for a religious vocation, like the decision to have children abundantly, requires a decisive rejection of society's and the media's presentation of what matters in life.

Petrosius is right that the rejection of distinctive characters for men and women is part of the problem. The concept that the most important values are money and "freedom," defined as irresponsibility, is a distortion of the best qualities of both men and women.


8 posted on 11/28/2005 7:49:25 AM PST by Tax-chick ("You don't HAVE to be a fat pervert to speak out about eating too much and lack of morals." ~ LG)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum; Tax-chick

I have no doubt about Tax-chick. God bless her! I posted only because I think we need to start attacking the roots of the problem which can be found in Feminism. Even among conservative leaders there is a reluctance to take on the root assumptions of Feminism and reaffirm the proper distinctions between men and women.


9 posted on 11/28/2005 7:49:36 AM PST by Petrosius
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To: Petrosius

I think feminism is a symptom, rather than the root cause. In my opinion, materialism is the cause - the decisive rejection of the eternal and invisible in favor of the temporal and concrete.

As some of the "Biblical family" advocates among evangelicals point out, men left the home and family first, in pursuit of money and worldly acclaim. Women just followed the example.


10 posted on 11/28/2005 7:55:22 AM PST by Tax-chick ("You don't HAVE to be a fat pervert to speak out about eating too much and lack of morals." ~ LG)
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To: Tax-chick
This might be chicken and egg discussion. Personally, I think that the retreat to materialism was started when the West started to loose a sense of the reality of sacred and eternal. I see a progression that started with the Protestant Reformation. This was a revolt against authority within the faith. This questioning of authority lead to the "Enlightenment" and French Revolution, which were rejections of faith itself. This rejection was given a major boost by Darwin who allegedly gave an explanation for the mystery of life; life which, according to the Evolutionary view, is just the result of random natural events. Thus life in general, and the creation of man as male and female in particular, has no purpose. With no purpose and no hope for eternity, the retreat to materialism is inevitable.
11 posted on 11/28/2005 8:13:46 AM PST by Petrosius
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To: Petrosius

Excellent points.


12 posted on 11/28/2005 8:48:10 AM PST by Tax-chick ("You don't HAVE to be a fat pervert to speak out about eating too much and lack of morals." ~ LG)
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To: Petrosius

Don't forget Freud, who told us it was all about sex. And many in the Church itself appear to have believed him.


13 posted on 11/28/2005 8:53:57 AM PST by livius
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

Very interesting. I think vocations to cloistered orders are up in Spain, too, particularly since some of the orders have started going back to various traditions - both informal "in-house" and liturgical - that they dumped after VatII.


14 posted on 11/28/2005 8:55:11 AM PST by livius
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

Hope for the future!


15 posted on 11/28/2005 9:07:33 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Tax-chick

Oh, I know that...I just know you are a great role model for a more appropriate approach. And I am pleased that some people are beginning to see what really matters!


16 posted on 11/28/2005 12:40:23 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Petrosius

Start it with the renaissance, and part of the cultural reaction to the bubonic plague, amongst other things. The Protestant reformation grows out of that particular matrix.

There's a lot of crossroads that got us to the point we are in now.

But here we are.

So we have to show the world the alternative.


17 posted on 11/28/2005 12:48:19 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

Thanks!


18 posted on 11/28/2005 3:44:08 PM PST by Tax-chick ("You don't HAVE to be a fat pervert to speak out about eating too much and lack of morals." ~ LG)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; ...

Pray for Vocations


19 posted on 12/02/2005 6:35:21 PM PST by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum; GatorGirl; maryz; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; livius; ...

I expect an explosion of regular (as opposed to diocesan) religous vocations over the next three decades. What are your thoughts?


20 posted on 12/02/2005 6:36:42 PM PST by narses (St Thomas says “lex injusta non obligat”)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

This is good news. God is calling these women, and hopefully He will call other men and women to marriage, family, and the proper upbringing of children.

Whenever I have visited Italy I have always been impressed by their love of children. Wherever we went with our own children, we always had a warm welcome. It's sad to think that the Italians were so seduced by the modern age that they ceased even to reproduce themselves.

Paradoxically, as some have already suggested on this thread, the calling of women into a cloistered life of poverty, obedience, and chastity may reflect a new turn toward God that will also result in a return to the family.


21 posted on 12/02/2005 6:47:24 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: narses

It's already happening with some orders. The ones who are growing are noted by their faithfulness to the church, being conservative theologically, the seriousness of their religious committment, and their wearing religious habits.


22 posted on 12/02/2005 6:47:49 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Coleus

I do! I even run a mail list where that's all we do. Every two weeks I send out a group of prayers, so in a way, it's a perpetual novena to St. John Vianney and St. Benedict for vocations.


23 posted on 12/02/2005 6:50:08 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

More to come, many more. A veritable explosion.


24 posted on 12/02/2005 6:51:08 PM PST by narses (St Thomas says “lex injusta non obligat”)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum
"They are realising that what the world has to offer to them is not all it is made out to be," said Sister Pieremilia Bertolin, the secretary general of Usmi.

Makes sense.

"They are starting to reason with their heads and not just believing the messages advertising throws at them."

Good news!

25 posted on 12/03/2005 8:43:34 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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