Now, there are only two: the 81-year-old founder, Mother Mary Peter, and half-blind Sister Francesca, 75.
But these elderly women have found themselves at the centre of a storm of controversy – because the Catholic Church claims they are not nuns at all, and Mount Caritas is not a monastery.
The extraordinary story of the struggle between Mount Caritas and the institutional Church was revealed this week by the Hartford Courant.
The Church is trying to stop Mount Caritas from calling itself a monastery, as it has never undergone a formal process of recognition – and it also plans to crack down on the sale of the ‘Monastery Bread’ which provides the nuns with much of their livelihood. [more]