A Connecticut nun, chosen to lead a wide-ranging Vatican investigation of women’s religious orders in the United States, has submitted her final report to Church officials.
Mother Mary Clare Millea, Superior General of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hamden, was appointed in 2008 to oversee the probe, called an “Apostolic Visitation”. The goal of this first-ever inquiry by the Vatican of American religious sisters was to evaluate their quality of life and learn why the numbers of women entering religious life have declined so dramatically.
But the secretive nature of the three-year investigation raised concern among many of the 59,000 nuns who live in the U.S. Members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious called for more transparency.
The probe’s findings have been submitted to Archbishop Joseph Tobin. He’s Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Speaking to the Catholic News Service in August 2011, he said the Vatican would have to try to regain the trust of religious women in the U.S.
The report’s conclusions are to be announced in the spring.