Consequences of Vatican II
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Sisters in Crisis -

Nuns Close the Doors to New Applicants

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
An article in the progressivist National Catholic Reporter caught my attention. I thought: "Here we have – for those with eyes to see – a perfect demonstration of the fruits of Vatican II and another sad addition to my Sisters in Crisis series."


Sisters meet to discuss closing or merging
their various Orders

The picture at right shows a group of religious nuns representing their congregations in the Wisconsin Religious Collaborative, a civil corporation established to administrate the ever-growing number of aging religious congregation members who can no longer take care of themselves: A situation unthinkable before Vatican II.

Also unthinkable before the Council is that those once prospering Orders with a steady stream of replenishments of idealistic young women would one day declare themselves defunct. And today they do so with shocking calmness and resignation.

"I'm big into the Providence of God," said Sr. Gladys Guenthe, representative of the Sisters of the Holy Family. What that Providence is showing her is that no younger women have any interest in joining their institution. The Order can no longer recruit and maintain new sisters, she explained, so they have made the decision not to accept any new applicants. The aging sisters will die off one by one in the senior care facilities that are replacing convents, and the Orders cease to exist.


Holy Name Sisters cheerfully sign a governance covenant & wait for the death of the Order; below, the Franciscan Sisters of Mary follow suit

meeting contract
The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood did the same. It had been so long since any recruit made a final profession that the sisters sold most of their property, made their infirmary a nursing home, and closed the doors to applicants. When the last sister dies, the mission ends, Sr. Janice Bader calmly explains. So much for the Springtime of Faith proclaimed by John Paul II...

The Franciscan Sisters of Mary have also closed their doors to applicants: They stopped pursuing new members in 2001, sold their convent in 2011, and most of the senescent sisters, no longer able "to work," moved to a retirement community. "It (the Order) is coming close to the end," said current and probably the last "President" Sr. Susan Scholl. "We must recognize that we are journeying toward completion."

The list of Orders and Congregations of Sisters going under goes on and on. These post-conciliar sisters abandoned their former rules, took off their dignified habits, and left off their missionary teaching and nursing vocations to pursue university degrees and make commitments to social justice issues like human trafficking and immigration, and environment issues like climate change and lack of water.

They alleged that this was where the “Spirit” was guiding them after the Council. Now we can see that it is a death march that this “Spirit” is leading. As the communities dwindle, the options have changed: merge communities, enter under the protection of a civil governance corporation or simply close the doors of their Order while awaiting its death.

What I cannot understand is how this cheerful group of quite well-educated old nuns can be so stupid as to not recognize the bad fruits of Vatican Council II. With serious faces they declare themselves faithful to their founders' ideals and "original missions." Those ideals and missions attracted young women by the droves to their Order. After Vatican II these women attract no one.

What do the present day worldly old ladies shown above have to do with the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood founded in 1845 in Switzerland with the double aim of carrying out Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and making the active apostolate of teaching girls? With its expansion into America, the Congregation established many new communities, attracting a constant stream of idealistic young women.


Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in O'Fallon, Mo, 1870

When I showed the picture at right of a group of Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in Missouri to two idealistic young women who have recently joined the Tradition in Action fight, they were charmed, in admiration of the noble spirit of sacrifice these women exude by their mere presence.

On the other hand, when I showed them that group of old women above who represent their various Orders, they were strongly repelled. "Those aren't sisters," one said with disgust. And she was right in essence.

Changing their mission, losing their habit, no longer concerned about helping others convert to the true Faith, these women have become something different from the initial ideal of their institution. Now they are ministers of social justice at the service of the Universal Republic of Man so enthusiastically promoted by the post-Conciliar Popes.

An apostasy predicted a long time ago

It is very sad to think of how many vocations have been lost because young women no longer have the correct models who would inspire them to follow in their footsteps of prayer, sacrifice and service. In fact, this loss of vocations was one of the prophecies concerning our times that Our Lady of Good Success made to Mother Mariana in the 1600s.

Holy Family sisters

Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans, 1899, raised the admiration of both Catholics and Protestants

She told Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres that, shortly after the middle of the 20th century, a great crisis would break out in the Church. Many vocations would perish because of the abandonment of the Rules and the loss of the spirit of Religion. Priests and religious would become worldly, more concerned about careers and man, than humility and the love of God. In an apparition of January 21, 1610, Our Lady specifically mentioned the lack of vocations that the religious institutions are experiencing today:

"The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay. The precious light of Faith will gradually be extinguished until there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations." (The Admirable Life of Mother Mariana, vol. II, p. 23).

Certainly we are witnessing this dearth of vocations. The religious have lost the divine compass and strayed from the road traced by God for their religious ideal. But in that "dark night," Our Lady also offered a great hope for the future. She promised her intervention, made in a marvelous way, when all would seem lost and paralyzed.

Then, she prophesized, she would send a "Prelado" who would return the Orders to their original Rules, restore the spirit of priests and religious, and guide the souls consecrated to the service of God in the cloisters, once again "making light the yoke of the Lord, Who said, 'My yoke is sweet and my burden light.' (Ibid, p. 88).


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted August 12, 2019

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