Mark Shea links to this report about the thriving Amish communities. They’ve doubled their population over the last decade or so. They have large families and most of their young people stay with the faith.
The Amish and Mennonites are Anabaptists. They’re from the same Reformation branch as Southern Baptists and all other sorts of Baptists, except they retain certain other traditions. They’re pacifists, and they reject all modern technologies. Thus they live without electricity, phones, computers, cars, etc.
One of my claims to fame is that my roots in Pennsylvania (and before that Switzerland) are Mennonite. My ancestors were a Mennonite family from Zurich who came to Pennsylvania in the 1770s. My Dad’s father grew up on a Mennonite farm, and a good number of my mother’s family were either Mennonite or Amish.
I have a lot of respect for them, and I’m sure my own desire to retreat from it all to a Benedictine monastery is really down my Mennonite blood.
One of the reasons I am a Catholic is that all that is admirable in all the different Christian sects, can actually be found within Catholicism. Do you admire the Amish, who cut themselves off from the world, eschew modern technology and ‘worldliness’ in all its forms? Good. Go join a monastery.