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An altarpiece in St Martin’s Cathedral, Utrecht, defaced in the 16th-century

Get thee from the nunnery

The Reformation may have caused women’s religious roles to be set back centuries

Visiting nuns venerate the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux at Westminster Cathedral (PA)

She never had any children, but as a dormitory mistress she lavished her maternal gifts on us

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

Despite the pleas of her mother – and quite a few marriage proposals – Elizabeth refused to abandon her vocation

'Without the habit, Religious become almost invisible to wider society' (Photo: AP)

Does religious life have a future?

Many religious orders in the West are declining and ageing, but there’s actually plenty of good news as well

Faithful cheer as Pope Francis enters St Patrick's Cathedral (Photo: AP)

At Vespers the Pope also warned priests and religious in New York against ‘worldly comfort’

Religious orders have become clearer about their own identity, according to Fr Jamison (Photo:Mazur/

Forty-five women joined religious orders last year, according to official figures

Women religious attend a meeting of the US bishops' conference (Photo: CNS)

Report was completed two years ago but not made public

Pope Francis prays in St Peter's (Photo: CNS)

Pope Francis adores Blessed Sacrament while visiting Camaldolese nuns in Rome

Sister Elizabeth, Mother Damian and Sister Juliana of the community of Poor Clare Colettines in Hawarden

A nun describes her dramatic journey from atheism to religious life

Pope Francis greets faithful from his popemobile (Photo: PA)

Pope Francis tells 800 superiors of women’s orders: ‘What would the Church be without you?’