Saturday, February 23, 2008

Remember This?

Less Than A Million... with the BBC story about how the number of worldwide religious had fallen below a million?

Magister as always presents for us the bright side:

But there are many of these. Some, although not very well known, are astonishing.

One of these, for example, is the Institute of the Incarnate Word.

Founded by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela in 1984 in Argentina, in the city of San Rafael in the province of Mendoza, after just a quarter century it counts today, in its men's branch, 302 priests, 21 deacons, 195 seminarians studying philosophy and theology, 51 novices, and 95 students in the minor seminary.

Its generalate house and its center of formation are in Segni, 40 miles east of Rome, in the empty buildings of the diocesan seminary. The bishop of Segni, with the approval of the Holy See, recognized it in 2004 as an institute of diocesan right. But it is also present in 32 countries, including Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, China, Tajikistan, and Greenland.

Its women's branch, named the Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matarà, counts 226 religious under perpetual vows, 251 under temporary vows, and as many novices and postulants. It is headed by a young Dutch sister, Maria de Anima Christi Van Eijk, and is present in 22 countries. A Dutch bishop is also a close friend of the institute, Johannes Baptist Gjisen, who is now in Iceland as head of the diocese of Reykjavik.

Furthermore, there is a burgeoning third order composed of laypeople, under vows and not, with various degrees of membership.

t's spirituality is founded upon the Incarnation of the Word, and is expressed in both a strong missionary impulse and in the "evangelization of culture."

The central feature of formation in the institute is the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, mediated by one of the greatest Thomist philosophers of the 20th century, Fr. Cornelio Fabro.

The bolding and the link in the article are mine. Another example here in the US is the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist up in Michigan. I've gotten letters from them several times asking for funds to enlarge their mother house because as the cute form letter puts it, they are undergoing a 'vocations crisis' of a different sort. Then there are the Carmelites out in Wyoming, etc. Unless they are all misrepresenting their numbers and orthodoxy, I don't think the state of the religious life as put out there by the BBC is quite so stark.

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