In the Bay Area, four millennials in their early 30s became the first of the Nuns and Nones group to try out a residency program, temporarily living in a convent to witness and share in a spiritually grounded community life. At the Mercy Center, "a place where you couldn't escape spiritual wisdom," sisters and seekers learned from each other.
Nuns and Nones
In Part 2 of this series, Global Sisters Report explores the parallels between the unlikely community of women religious and millennial "nones" and their potential for a meaningful collaboration. While the decline in numbers at institutional congregations may be a discouraging trend to some, the union of these two groups may answer who could inherit the charisms that animate religious life today.
About a third of people ages 23-38 are "nones," people without a particular religious affiliation. Meanwhile, women religious in the U.S. are experiencing a shift toward most members being older, handing off ministries, reconciling property. Amid this change in consecrated life, what drives the "nones" reminds sisters of their younger selves — a passion for social justice, desire for authentic community, hunger for contemplative practice, and a willingness to devote their lives to a greater purpose. And they are meeting, in person, online and in community, to learn from and inspire each other.
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