Guide to the Catholic Sisterhoods in the United StateseBook - 2002
From the Preface, written June 10, 1963
THE GUIDE TO THE CATHOLIC SISTERHOODS IN THE UNITED STATES has a threefold purpose. Its primary objective is to place the hands of young women interested in entering the religious life, a manual briefly describing the history, mode of life, nature of the work or works carried on, the spiritual life, training program, general qualifications for admission, and the descriptions of the habit with photographs of three hundred and fifty-two congregations of women in the United States. This information should prove of great value to girls in the selection of a community whose rules and apostolate are most suitable to their talents, desires, and aptitudes.
A secondary purpose is to provide a compact informational directory for priests, sisters, parents, teachers, and others who are employed in the vocational guidance of young women.
The volume is also intended as a reference for the general public. More than six hundred sisterhoods with foundations in the United States are included. Also included are pictures of professed members of the respective congregations in their distinctive habits. This should not only serve to make each community better known to the general public, but it should also result in a better understanding of the ideals of the religious life and a greater appreciation for the noble work being carried on by the sisters, not only in the United States, but throughout the entire world.
The Guide has well defined limitations. It is not intended as a complete historical or statistical account of the communities of women with foundations in the United States.
Moreover, to keep such an extensive undertaking within the confines of a convenient manual, each congregation, with a few exceptions, has been given a single page.
In every instance, a young woman interested in a particular community of sisters is provided with an address to which she may apply for more detailed information.
In this edition, the communities of sisters have been arranged according to their general apostolic work, viz., contemplative, domestic, foreign and home missions, nursing, retreat and social work, teaching, and writing and publications. Such an arrangement will prove beneficial to the reader. By arranging the congregations according to their main apostolate, it is hoped that the Guide will become a definite aid in fostering vocations to the sisterhoods. It will be helpful not only for girls who are interested in a particular apostolate but especially for those who are unaware of the many works of religious life.
Another feature of this edition is the inclusion of community addresses by city and state. Since many girls are interested in entering a congregation, which is close to their homes, a special index has been added which lists the location of every principal house alphabetically arranged by city and state.
To further aid the reader in interpreting the various names and nomenclature of the religious life used throughout this book, a special glossary of terms has been added.
Special consideration has been given to the over-age and under-age candidates to their religious life. Most congregations will not accept girls who are over thirty years of age. Some religious communities will receive late-vocations if they have sufficient intelligence and possess those qualities, which make them good religious women. The communities that will accept candidates over the age of thirty have been noted in the section under QUALIFICATIONS.
While a greater number of communities are reluctant to accept non-high school graduates, there are a few that will receive teen-age girls who have not yet graduated from high school, as candidates for the religious life. Such religious groups conduct what are known as aspirancies. These are community-supervised secondary schools, where girls