How many Poor Clare nuns are there?

How many Poor Clare nuns are there?

There are 20,000 Poor Clare Nuns. As of 2011, there were approximately 20,000 Poor Clare nuns spread throughout 75 countries. They adhere to a variety of observances and are organized into federations. The Poor Clares adhere to St. Clare's Rule, which was authorized by Pope Innocent IV on the day of Clare's death in 1253.

The number of nuns in the United States has declined since its peak in 1966 when there were 16,000 members of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Since then the number of nuns across the country has dropped by more than 10%, to about 14,500 as of 2011. Many factors have been cited for this decline including but not limited to the increased cost of living, the difficulty in finding priests who are willing to serve as mentors or role models for young women, and the lack of community commitment among some sisters for whom nursing is a full-time career rather than a call to religious life.

Almost half of all Poor Clare nuns live in just five countries: Italy, America, Ireland, Malaysia, and Nigeria. Nearly one-fifth of all Poor Clare nuns live in France. In addition, there are nearly 500 nuns in India, almost 100 in Brazil, and nearly 70 in Canada. There are also communities of Poor Clares in several other countries including Australia, Belgium, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, and Switzerland.

What do poor Clares do?

Because each Poor Clare convent is largely autonomous, practices vary greatly, but in general, the Poor Clares are regarded as one of the most austere women's orders in the Roman Catholic Church, devoted to prayer, penance, contemplation, and manual labor, and usually adopting the strictest enclosure, severe discipline, and strictest enclosure, severe discipline, and strict enclosure, severe discipline, and strict enclosure, severe discipline, and strict enclosure, severe discipline, and strict enclosure, severe discipline, and strict enclosure.

Nowadays, they tend to be found in countries with a high percentage of Catholics, such as Ireland, Italy, Poland, and the United States. Although they were once common in Canada, today only two communities remain. The first was founded by Marie de Saint-Just le Page du Chaillu in 1854. The second, by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1890, which adopted an all-female monastic life under the direction of the French order.

In the Middle Ages, when poverty was seen as a virtue, the Poor Clares were among the few religious groups who remained impoverished. This made them symbols of chastity and humility for artists like Giotto and Caravaggio. Today, they are still considered images of beauty and purity for stories like "The Song of Songs" in which they appear alongside other female religious orders.

In addition to their own chapel, where they pray daily before the image of Our Lady of Sorrows, they often serve at Mass for other churches around their community.

Who started the Poor Clares?

Assisi's Saint Clare Assisi's Saint Francis Poor Clares and Founders! They were founded on Palm Sunday, 1212, by Saints Clare and Francis of Assisi, following the Order of Friars Minor (the first Order) and before the Third Order of Saint Francis for the people. The United States has the largest community with 4,000 members in 162 houses.

The order was established by Saint Clare when she was nine years old. Her father had money enough to support him and his three daughters, but not enough to also maintain a son-in-law and guard against poverty. So he ordered clothes made for his daughters with special measures taken so they would not wear out too soon. Young Clare liked this idea and asked her father for permission to become a nun. Her parents agreed provided a life of solitude didn't mean never seeing them again. So she went to live in a nearby convent where she could learn about spirituality and pray daily with other nuns.

When Clare died at age 31, her body was buried in its white habit. But two years later, her brother found out that she had been given away because there was no money left for her burial. He had her remains moved to a church where they remained until 1912 when her tomb was opened and her body was restored to its current location next to that of her friend and mentor Francis.

Is the number of nuns declining?

According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, the overall number of nuns, also known as religious sisters, in the United States has decreased from about 180,000 in 1965 to approximately 50,000 in 2014, a 72 percent decrease in those 50 years. The majority of these losses have occurred among Hispanic and African American women who were often drawn into the sisterhood without understanding the radical transformation that was underway in their lives.

While there are more women living as religious than ever before, most are not nuns but members of order communities such as congregations of Catholic churches or priests' personal secretaries. Only about 1 in 10 women living as religious is actually under the direction of a bishop or other senior official within a church hierarchy.

The number of nuns has been on the decline for several decades. In fact, they were so few compared with men entering religion that some scholars have suggested that there was a real possibility of extinction for this group of women. However, thanks in large part to increased attention to the issue by religious leaders, today that seems unlikely to happen.

Between 1980 and 2010, nearly 10,000 new nuns were born into the sisterhood each year, nearly twice the number being lost. But since then, that trend has reversed itself, with only about 500 new nuns entering the community each year.

The reason for this reversal is not clear.

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Virginia Rogers

Virginia Rogers is a woman with a mission. She has a degree in journalism and political science and she's always looking for the next story. Virginia loves writing about all sorts of things, from government corruption to animal rights activism.

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