Last week in class, I was teaching my sophomores about the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. I explained to them that all of us are called to live out these counsels according to our state in life; for example, poverty is lived out for the laity in a different way than the Franciscans. At this point, one of my students told me that her aunt was a Franciscan nun and that she owned her own house. I responded by asking if her aunt wore a habit. She did not. And thus, the reason why so many religious orders in America are dying out (especially amongst the women religious orders). If the habit goes, so does the order.
However, not all religious orders are dying. Here is a story of one such group that is attracting many vocations and not only inspiring the renewal of religious orders in America, but the renewal of the Church as a whole (St. Francis would be proud!).