A nun chants while she and her sisters pray together during Vespers at their home near Dumfries, Va. Unlike older sisters shaped by Vatican II, a new generation of women are flocking to more conservative orders.
Credit Barbara Bradley Hagerty / NPR
Sister Mary Jordon Hoover, principal of Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, Va., is a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. The order falls under the jurisdiction of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, a more conservative organization.
Fifty years ago, Pope John XXIII launched a revolution in the Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council opened on Oct. 11, 1962, with the goal of bringing the church into the modern world. Catholics could now hear the Mass in their local language. Laypeople could take leadership roles in the church. And the church opened conversations with other faiths.
For American nuns, Vatican II brought freedoms and controversies that are playing out today.