What vocations crisis?

For your Brick by Brick file…

Gregorian chantI wrote in the past about the wonder CD of Gregorian chant by the Benedictine nuns of Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation.

I wrote about the DVD, Watchmen of the Night, the monks at La Barroux produced.

I received a note from Père Edmond that EWTN will broadcast the monks’ DVD.

They are building a new monastery, Sainte-Marie de la Garde, in south-west France.

These two Benedictine communities have lots of vocations.

There are a lot of religious orders and institutes, indeed even Benedictine monasteries, without any significant vocations.

What could the difference be?

And is it serendipity or synchronicity that my friend Fr. John Boyle just posted this:   Convent experiencing “vocations crisis”!!!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. chcrix says:

    Nothing new I suppose.

    Back in the mid-70s I worked with a charming young lady – perhaps the most serene and saintly person I have ever met. She desperately wanted to join a religious order. She was constantly turned away, basically because of her orthodoxy.

  2. TJerome says:

    Because they’re overtly and proudly Catholic? How do liberal, double-knit dinosaur orders spin this? I guess they don’t get many vocations like traditional orders because they just didn’t explain the beauties of liberalism enough!

  3. lucy says:

    What is so striking about this video is that they are close to the land from which we came. The simple chores of everyday life. Praising God. Singing to God, of God, and for God. Reading and studying Scripture. Baking wonderful bread. Tilling the soil. Tending the grapes. Sewing the robes. There’s something profound in doing these simple things to live that we are missing out on in our crazy world.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    Most, but not all young people, are idealists. They want to do the big, hard thing-that is, they want something to which they can sacrifice their lives in a just and wonderful cause. The traditional orders appeal to that heart-felt desire, and just as Ss. Thomas Aquinas, Dominic, Benedict, Augustine, Clare, Rose, etc. felt the call to do the “difficult” for the love of God, so too, the young people joining strict orders are responding to the same call as did St. Francis.

    The problem with today’s priests is that they give in to the soft life, and do not challenge the youth. Look at the youth day in Kansas City last year. It was “all about me” stuff in Catholic dress, instead of the hard truth. I do not think that many rich, young men turn away from Christ because they are too rich. Some do. I think they are not asked, or have not seen the examples in their own areas.

    My parents, who are in their eighties and sacrificed all their lives for the Church, are scandalized that their PP goes to Las Vegas three times a year for vacation. My aged Ps have tithed all their lives, been involved in many ministries, including Serra Club, working as volunteers in the parish and school as a lunch lady, my mom, and an unpaid accountant, my dad, only to be upset by the laxity of the clergy. They were also scandalized when a temporary priest was offered their parish and he said NO to the bishop, as he did not like parish life. Good grief. And why Las Vegas for vacxations over and over again? These priests do not take over from other priests while they are there. As my old mom states, “Why can’t they just go to Minneapolis, or Chicago for holidays?” Or the Poconos….

    Youth want to see Heroes…..not self-indulgent men who have not responded to Christ’s call to give up all and follow Him.

  5. irishgirl says:

    Supertradmum-Amen and Amen! What you said!

  6. Jack Hughes says:


    You hit it m’dear; the fact that it is ‘difficult’ is why I’m speaking to the M.Carm monks in Wyoming (have a phone conversation with their superior on the 3rd Jan WHOOPEEEE – good news,) the Norbertines in California and considering talking to the Cannons of St John Cantius. I am NOT talking to a congregation that shall not be named which is fairly lax, nor am I talking to the Diocese anymore which whilst it boasts some very Holy Priests is overly dependent on Religious orders ( can you believe that the vocations director wanted me to wait 3 months after our initial chat before talking again?).

  7. benedetta says:

    Super T Mom, I third that! Right on!

    Jack, I will keep your discernment in my prayers!

  8. asperges says:

    I was told in the 70’s the story of the (now deceased) very traditional Abbot Jean Roy of Fontgombault, who was asked by one of his brethren at an international conference of Benedictine abbots: “How is it, Father Abbot, that we now have so few vocations, but Fontgombault is overflowing with novices?”

    “Ah, said the abbot, that’s easy: we follow the rule of St Benedict!”

  9. andycoan says:

    “We could, of course, refuse to accept new vocations. But that, to us, would be like a married couple refusing to accept the gift of new life: it betrays a lack of trust in God’s promise to provide for our every need if we seek only to do His will.”

    It’s easy to see why they’re being blessed with vocations beyond their means. Thank God for these sisters!

  10. AnAmericanMother says:


    It’s like a friend of mine said, “If it’s o.k. to believe anything, I believe I’ll sleep in on Sunday!”

    You hit the nail on the head — ardent young people want to be challenged to do the difficult, if not the impossible. If they aren’t being called to prayer and holiness, then they can do . . . whatever . . . from the comfort of their own home.


    I will continue to pray that you find your vocation.

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