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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: The Vatican reported this week that the number of Catholics in religious orders around the world continued to decline. In the latest figures for 2006, there were just over 945,000 monks and nuns, down about 7,000 from the year before. The overwhelming majority, 753,000, about 80 percent, were women. Around the U.S. the number of nuns has also been going down, and their average age rising. But there are a few places where the reverse is true. Betty Rollin found a Dominican teaching order in Nashville fairly bursting with dedicated young nuns.
BETTY ROLLIN: They are the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee, a traditional order that began in 1860. Their day begins at 5 a.m. with meditation followed by a Mass. Meals are held in silence. Their vocation is to teach. The sisters here have come from different states and different backgrounds, most of them raised Catholic, some not. In 1965, there were about 180,000 nuns in America. By 2007, that number dropped to 63,000 with an average age of 70. The average age of the Dominican sisters is 36. Their numbers have increased so steadily in the past 15 years that they have had to build a 100,000 square-foot addition to the property. The sisters here -- the first year postulants, the second year novices, and those who, after seven years, have taken their final vows all say they have been called by God and that they are in love.
Sister KATHERINE WILEY: When you're a little girl, you're planning your wedding, you're playing bride. But just to allow the Lord to transform my heart to see that I would still be a bride, but I would be his bride.
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