USA Today has an article on Sisters and Nuns, and the lack of encouragement that they receive at home. It can be found here.
I previously posted an article with some of the statistics on todays Consecrated Women, and I already found it incredibly alarming that more then half of women joining the convent have been discouraged.
For your average young woman, or teenage girl, Cosmopolitan’s view of the woman’s purpose is life is shoved down their throat, filled with all sorts of hypocritical contradictions. If there are almost 800,000 women in the world who have chosen this life then there can’t be anything odd about it, yet it is considered so odd.
Two years before I joined the Order of St. Augustine, I brought my dad to an ordination of one of our men. It gave him enough comfort to let me go into the hands of these friars. My dad doesn’t just have some sort of media or entertainment driven image of religious life that makes them all into bitter old prudes, my dad was actually in minor seminary. My dad was in a minor seminary in a separate religious Order, and knew a few friars that were raving mad, and in his own experience he has some reason to have reservations.
Having him regularly spend time with the Friars was enough to give him comfort with letting me go. It might be a good idea that young women discerning a vocation find a way to bring their parents to the convent so that they can meet the Sisters, see their smiles, eat food with them, and experience the natural and even supernatural goodness that drew their daughter into the convent.
There is also a certain irony in all this. When a girl gets engaged, everyone gets very cheerful. Women start screaming and squeeling, and they all gather together plotting. Most of all they express their excitement to each other. For a young woman who enters the convent, she is living out an expression of an engagement to Jesus Christ, and the reactions should be similar. Ironically they are not. That is why, whenever a young woman admits to me she might have a vocation I would make an extra effort to express regular support.