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Surprising Number of Young American Women Want to Become Nuns

To the surprise of journalist Eve Fairbanks, an astonishing number of young American females have a serious desire to become a Catholic nun. Unexpectedly, they demand every strict condition and requirement the orders demand.

A (2017) Georgetown University-affiliated survey of American Catholic women age 18 to 35 found that 13% “had considered becoming a Catholic sister.” Only a small percentage will or have gone through with it, but the spiritual contemplators total at least 900,000! Catholic organizations generally get 350 queries per year. In 2019 they got 2,600.

They have never been younger--the average age of a young woman making the commitment was 40 about a decade ago. In recent years it has been 24. Most are doctrinally conservative and are devoted to their beliefs. They fervently protest abortion. They celebrate virginity not as a necessity to free up time to serve God, but as something in itself holy.

In general, young Americans are often more likely than their elders to believe in “heaven and hell, miracles, and angels, and ... are more likely …. to assert that their faith is the ‘one true path to eternal life.’”


Eve Fairbanks, “Behold, the Millennial Nuns,” HuffPost (7-11-19)

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