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Posted on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 7 a.m.

Ann Arbor convent one of few attracting younger nun candidates — a 'vocation explosion'

By Pam Stout


Sisters pray in the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist chapel in Ann Arbor Township. Melanie Maxwell |

The Associated Press reports that a despite a decades-long slide in the number of women choosing to enter Roman Catholic convents, a select few, including Ann Arbor Township's Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, are attracting more young women to the sisterhood.

According to the article, more than nine in 10 religious sisters who have taken final vows were age 60 years or older in 2009. But the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville has an average age of 36, with 27 new nuns in training entering the convent this fall.

Ann Arbor's Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of Eucharist comes a close second, with 22 new postulants, many fresh graduates from prestigious universities such as Harvard University and the University of Notre Dame. The average age at Sisters of Mary is closer to 28, the article noted.

"We're having a vocation explosion," said Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, vocation director for the order. "We can't build enough. I expect a lot more than 22 (postulants) next year."

"The world's very confused as to why they've (postulants) entered a convent," Bogdanowicz said. "They're doing it because they want to make a difference in the world. We're not just teaching facts but the why behind life itself, ultimately that God has a purpose for all of us."

Read the full article from the Associated Press, as well as a September 2009 article about St. Mary's growing community.