A reader sent me a link to the following article:
Vocations to female contemplative orders in Italy are booming, according to the Italian bishops’ conference.
In 2005, 300 women took their solemn profession of vows, bringing the number of contemplatives in the country to 6,672.
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian bishops’ conference, welcomed the increase at a prayer vigil in St. John Lateran Basilica last October, noting that it is part of a wider trend.
“The number of contemplative religious sisters is growing throughout the world, but — and this is more significant — this is also happening in Europe and in our own Italy, which often seems so hardest hit secularization,” he said.
Others, such as Church statistical expert Brother Giovanni Dalpiaz, a Camadolese monk from Bardolino near Venice, Italy, caution that the trend is only a start.
“It is not good to deceive ourselves that all of the problems have now passed and a new spring has arrived,” he said, pointing out that there have been only incremental increases from 2001 to 2004.
But Brother Giovanni added that the recent increase “is good because it encourages hope that the Lord is still capable of bringing about strong and generous answers to his call.”
Cardinal Franc Rodé, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, told the Register Jan. 13 that Italy is the exception with regards to women religious.