Your article on the Dominican Sisters of Amityville is a valuable description of the bad side of the story .

It is true that the number of American nuns has dropped from about 180,000 to about 54,000 since 1965. As you point out, the average age of the Amityville sisters is 77. This is typical for religious communities affiliated with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of America's nuns.

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The other 20 percent are affiliated with Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, and their average age is 63. This group is more likely to wear habits, take religious names and live in a more traditional community.

If the communities affiliated with the Leadership Conference embraced these ideas, they would revitalize their membership.

Charles Mills, Glen Cove