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Some, mostly of enclosed communities, have undertaken the work of Perpetual Adoration, while others devote themselves to ecclesiastical embroidery and the making of church vestments.
The minimum amount of the dowry required is generally fixed by the rule or constitutions of the convent or order.
Several orders have, by their rule, no lay sisters, among them being the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Bon Secours, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the Poor Servants of the Mother of God .
The internal arrangement of a properly constituted convent is, for the most part, similar to that of a monastery for men (see ABBEY and MONASTERY), but from poverty and other obvious causes, many convents have had to be established in already-existing ordinary dwelling-houses, which do not always lend themselves to ideal adaption.
undertaking educational, parochial, hospital, or other work), and others unite the contemplative with the active life, without, however, being strictly enclosed.
As a general deduction it may be stated that the contemplative life, in which women are actuated by a desire to save their own souls and the souls of other by their lives of prayer, seclusion, and mortification, was the idea of the older orders, while the distinctive note of the more modern congregations is that of active work amongst others and the relief of their bodily wants.