A friend of mine has a daughter who joined an Italian religious order called the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Florence. They were founded by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat in 1800 as contemplative cloistered order consecrated to the Heart of Jesus and dedicated to the education of youth. Today they are educating Italian youth and offer a real hope for the future. Here's a wonderful summary of what's happening there:
Saving Souls in Italy: With Help the Italians are Returning to Catholicism
A new appreciation for children is awakening in Italy. For the past several decades the Italian birth rate has been one of the lowest in Europe and well below the replacement rate. But the pendulum may be swinging back.
News comes to us from the Institute of the Sacred Heart of Florence, operated by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Florence, that their school enrollment is once again on the upswing. In fact the increase has been so dramatic that they are in need of help.
[They] are a contemplative community dedicated to education. Their charism is to glorify the Heart of Jesus, the Love of God made visible in the Incarnate Word, by means of the sanctification of themselves and others. Through prayer and the development of the interior life, they strive to conform themselves to Christ and then, through the instruction of the youth, to radiate that love to others.
From their letter,..."Divine Providence has blessed us with an enormous harvest. Within the past year, the number of enrollments have greatly increased at every level of our school; Pre-school, Elementary, Middle School and High School. The challenge we face, hoever, is that we lack the proper facilities to be able to open our doors to all the souls that come to us." See more here.If you are looking for a worthwhile Catholic apostolate to support, what could be better than to strengthen the family and help form a new generation of Catholic youth committed to the faith? You can make a donation to help the sisters and support the school here. Remember the teaching orders of nuns who educated so many Catholic children in the faith? Let's help bring them back!