God will always provide for His Church. In this there is hope. CNA ran a story last week about a 43 year-old prioresses who has revolutionized an old Poor Clares convent in Spain, turning it onto a magnet for dozens of young professional women. And we think we have a vocation crisis in the US? Consider Spain. In the whole of Spain, the Jesuits have 20 novices, Franciscans, five, and the Vincentians, two. Religious sisters are being imported from India, Kenya or Paraguay to prevent the closure of convents inhabited by elderly nuns Most priests are above the age of 60.
Sr. Veronica answers the call. According to the Spanish daily El Pais, Sr. Veronica “has become the biggest phenomenon in the Church since Teresa of Calcutta,” as “she has made the old convent of Lerma into an attractive recruiting banner for female vocations, with 135 professional women with a median age of 35 and 100 more on a waiting list.” The paper adds that Sr. Vernoica has also “opened a house in the town of La Aguilera, 24 miles from Lerma, at a huge monastery donated by her Franciscan brothers."
According to El Pais, the majority of the young sisters who have been attracted to the cloister "have been in relationships and had careers.” The women are strong in their knowledge of theology, and are “urban and educated.” “None are immigrants. There are five sisters from the same family, eleven pairs of blood sisters and a few twins. Most are from the middle class. And they have college degrees. This community offers a complete roster of lawyers, economists, physicists and chemists, roadway engineers, industrial workers, agricultural workers and aeronautics engineers, architects, doctors, pharmacists, biologists and physical therapists, librarians, philologists, teachers and photographers.”