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The Foundations of Religious Life

The Foundations of Religious Life

Revisiting the Vision 

Author: Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious

Price: $19.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 256

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-198-5

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: May 10, 2009

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The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) has maintained the historical form of religious life, with sisters living in community and wearing the habit. While many religious orders are currently facing marked decline in novitiates and the aging of their members, the communities of the CMSWR are experiencing growth on a worldwide scale.

In this collection of foundational articles, the CMSWR articulates how its perspective is in keeping with the vision set forth by Vatican II, suggesting that its commitment to a more visibly countercultural life and ministry is what sustains its orders and attracts young women to the CMSWR communities. The Foundations of Religious Life is ideal reading for sisters and those in formation, as well as their counterparts in men's communities.


"Mind-opening, challenging, and essential reading."

"Essay collections rarely mark an intellectual turning point. This volume is a notable exception to that rule. In large ways and small ways, the authors show just how profoundly Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body has revitalized Catholic thinking about religious life, while putting the spousal love of which St. Paul spoke to the Ephesians at the heart of the vocation to religious life. Mind-opening, challenging, and essential reading for all those, whatever their vocation, who take seriously the universal call to holiness."

George Weigel, Author of
Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

"Poignant words."

"The five authors coming from different religious congregations sing an admirable quintet. They find poignant words to highlight the beauty of a total self donation to God as a key to finding oneself and to true communion with others. Though living a different calling, married people would greatly benefit by reading this book; it is a clarion call for them to re-discover the beauty of their own vocation. Supernature does not eliminate nature: it fulfills it. This is why the words of these Brides of Christ will superabundantly fecundate those of us living in the world."

Alice Von Hildebrand, Author of
The Privilege of Being a Woman

"I highly recommend it."

"At exactly the right moment, this marvelous new book on religious life, written by women from five different and thriving religious communities, offers a vision of the religious vocation for today—and into the future—that is fresh, authentic, compelling and true. I highly recommend it."

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver