The Sixteenth Century Journal. Once an aspiring nun has entered the convent and has the economic means to afford the dowry, she undergoes the process of apprenticeship known as the novitiate period. See also: Religious sister Catholic. A nun who is elected to head her religious house is termed an abbess if the house is an abbey, a prioress if it is a monastery, or more generically may be referred to as "Mother Superior" and styled "Reverend Mother". Mary of Nazareth and Calvary Community of St. Cheng reviewed earlier studies which suggest that Taiwan's Zhaijiao tradition has a history of more female participation, and that the economic growth and loosening of family restriction have allowed more women to become nuns. A small movement still exists, and its legacy is seen in the names of numerous hospitals.
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