As more cloistered nuns pass away and new applicants dwindle, Malta is looking abroad to ensure that some of the most traditional monasteries on the island do not shut down.
The Monastery of the Augustinian cloistered nuns of St Catherine in Republic Street, Valletta has found itself in quite a predicament.
Where once over 60 active nuns would fill the halls and pray daily, just four elderly nuns are left, forcing authorities to bring over three Filipino nuns to help bolster the ranks.
“I have great faith in the mercy and providence of God for the future of the Monastery,” madre Mikelina Mifsud told ONE, before speaking about the three new inductees.
“These three nuns will come here and settle here… if they aren’t Maltese, they can be Filipino – what’s important is the monastery, especially the Augustinian cloister, remains open in Malta.”
Madre Mifsud said that the modern world has led to a major decrease in new nuns applying to join their vocation.
Recounting how there were around 63 nuns when she first entered, she noted that all religious vocations were struggling to find new blood.
“Nowadays, it’s not easy to say you are becoming a cloistered nun.”
However, when asked if the monastery would ever close if it ran out of nuns, Mifsud was clear.
“No – once you have faith in God, this won’t even cross your mind.”
Have you ever considered entering the cloistered life?