— While the last 40 years have seen an overall drop in the numbers of women entering religious life, a new book released by the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious says orders that are more visibly countercultural seem to be flourishing. The council represents the superiors of more than 100 religious communities of sisters whose members wear an identifiable religious habit. A canonically approved organization founded in 1992 to promote religious life in the United States, the council notes that the average age of its member communities’ sisters is under 35. A book, titled “The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision” and published by Ave Maria Press, is a project of the council. It explores why the orders represented by the council are gaining numbers and how they are living out the vision of consecrated life described by the Second Vatican Council. A book, released May 16, consists of essays written by six religious sisters representing five orders. The topics they address are: religious consecration, the spousal bond, the threefold response to vows, communion in community, and mission.