Close to 20 years ago, a Carmelite convent was founded just outside the city of Florida, in the south of Uruguay. Today there are 12 Carmelite Sisters here, living a life of perpetual prayer in accordance with the Rule of their foundress, the great saint, mystic and Doctor of the Church, Teresa of Avila.
Exclusively non-natives, there are 4,000 or so Catholic Christians among the population of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, a country in northwest Africa which is otherwise almost 100% Muslim. Serving this small congregation in the country’s only diocese is a bishop, priests and religious Sisters who come from 20 different countries of Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Poor Clare Sisters in Brestovsko in Bosnia and Herzegovina are young, with an average age of 41. Only one of them is over 60, and the two youngest are just 24 and 26. The convent was founded in 1989, immediately after the collapse of communism in the country, at a time when the old Yugoslavia still existed. Four religious Sisters came from Split, now part of Croatia, to establish a new convent in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina.