Nuns Under Question

Mother Mary Clare Millea (

Mother Mary Clare Millea (

I’m a little embarrassed that the recent Vatican investigation of American Catholic Sisters has just recently come to my attention. Here is a nice summary of events: Religion in America

In short, “Mother Mary Clare Millea, Superior-General of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who was appointed to head the investigation, will prepare a confidential report to the Vatican on the state of each of about 340 qualified congregations of nuns in the United States.”

I have no idea what the resulting report will mean for these 340 congregations, nor do I really understand what spurred the need for a report. I do know that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, historically, has worked tirelessly to support Catholic women religious…and I am saddened to learn that their intentions seem to be being brought into questions. I am also always inspired by religious women and confident that their collective wisdom and ability to discern right action will shine through.

Let me know what you think and now about this development: What do you know about this visit by Mother Mary Clare? What is the role of investigations like these in American Catholic life? What kinds of concerns do you expect to be in this report?

Kate Dugan is co-editor of From the Pews in the Back: Young Women & Catholicism and a PhD student in religious studies at Northwestern University.

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