The surprising struggle of young nuns (VIDEO)

If you’ve ever struggled with finding your purpose in this world, you’re not alone. Watch these two college-age young women as they tell their stories, and grapple with whether or not to become nuns.

Scene from the documentary Young Nuns. CRAZYNxt | Youtube

What do you know about nuns? If you’re like most people, it’s probably not all that much, even if they were your teachers in parochial school, or the women you saw at your family’s parish every once in a while growing up. For many people, nuns are even more elusive than that: they are characters in some of your favorite childhood storybooks, or a chorus you sing along with when you watch The Sound of Music.

The truth is, most Catholics don’t know much about nuns, even if they respect and admire them. Stereotypes and misconceptions often have people asking, why would a modern woman ever become a nun? Is that even something young women do anymore? While the reasons women answer this calling may vary, the vocation is still very much alive.

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According to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, there were more than 48,500 religious sisters in the United States in 2015. While that number also includes Catholic sisters (which are not the same as Catholic nuns), that’s still a sizable number of women belonging to religious life.

Of course, numbers don’t do too much in the way of telling stories. That’s why we love this 45-minute documentary simply titled Young Nuns. The film tracks the ups and downs of young British women who have recently graduated from college and are deciding to enter religious life. Even if our devout twenty-somethings are confident in their choice, they learn that answering God’s calling isn’t always easy. Will they miss their families? What about their friends? Will their orders allow them to make phone calls or have visitors? What about men—can they accept that their vows will prevent them from ever marrying or having children?

Young Nuns addresses these and many other common questions we all have about this unusual path with honesty and even a little humor. It’s so touching to watch these young women struggle with the prospect of committing themselves to chastity, poverty, and obedience. These sacrifices aren’t meant to be a cinch; they’re meant to be taken seriously—the same as any vocation any one of us finds ourselves called to. It takes strength to face your doubts and embrace something bigger than yourself. Whether you’re being called to be a nun or not, that’s something all people can relate to.

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