The international media spotlight on the tension between the Vatican and the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious necessitates a comprehensive study of religious life for women in America. This book answers the call by examining contemporary religious life, particularly among womenwho have entered religious institutes in the United States since the end of the Second Vatican Council. Using two in-depth surveys of the entire population of women who became sisters during this period, the study presents a rich, multilayered portrait of women religious, highlighting the voices ofthose generations who entered after 1965. It provides up-to-date demographics for women's religious institutes in the United States; a summary of canon law locating religious life within the various forms of life in the Church; and data on the views of post-Vatican II entrants regarding ministry, identity, prayer, spirituality, the vows,and community. Beginning each chapter with an engaging narrative, the authors explore how different generations of Catholic women first became attracted to vowed religious life and what kinds of religious orders they are seeking. The book concludes with recommendations for further understanding ofgenerations within religious life and within the Church and society.Because of its breadth and depth, this book will be regarded by scholars, the media, and practitioners as the definitive sociological study of religious life in the U.S. for many years to come.