Hi I will turn 45 soon and feel I have been called to a religious life for many years. What’s kept me was that I had a young daughter. She will be of age next year and is moving to England. I’m thinking now is the time for me to search for a convent to join.
Does anyone know of any orders who will take a older woman? Thanks.
My parish has photos up of all the seminarians currently in our diocesan seminary. One of them looks to be at least in his 60s. Having said that I would imagine there’s a number of convents out there that would accept someone around your age, though I can’t name any off hand.
A friend of mine recently looked into this, and she mentioned that there are some orders that accept new members up to the age of 50, and she also found out that the contemplative Visitation sisters at the monastery in Mobile, Alabama accept postulants up to the age of 60, if they are in reasonable good health.
This was in a thread last year or so and i have held onto it:
The Family of Jacopa Association is a new, Franciscan community for Catholic widow’s and single women over 40 years old. We have a Secular group and Sisters (Sisters of Jacopa) living together in common at the Motherhouse and will be invested in the Holy Habit at Novitiate (tunic and veil). We have been approved to start and form since Feb. 2013 by the Episcopal Vicar of the Steubenville Diocese and the Bishop. We are a legal, non-profit, tax-exempt corporation with a Board of Directors.
Please see our website and call for information about coming to the retreat or in joining our community. (740) 314-8455 or address: 124 Buena Vista Blvd., Steubenville, OH 43952 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I think you’re asking the wrong question. Though to answer the question you asked, yes, of course. I can’t help but think, though, that your question is akin to “I’m 45, is there a man out there who would marry me?” But you wouldn’t want to marry just any man who would be willing to marry you and you wouldn’t want to join just any convent that would accept you.
Better questions are where is God calling you? What spirituality are you drawn to? Are you looking for a cloistered life or an active life?
Do you see yourself as a cloistered nun? A teacher? A parish pastoral associate? Are you drawn to the Franciscans? Benedictines? Carmelites?
If your passion and your calling is to be a cloistered Benedictine, then you should be checking out Benedictine monasteries. If your passion is to work a “day job” while living in a community of prayer then you should be checking out active orders that live that way.
Many communities will state age limits, but not all. And even when an age limit is stated, it may be flexible. I have a dear friend who came into the Church through RCIA. During the time she was in RCIA she discovered the Poor Clares and fell in love with them. She attended Mass with them regularly and talked with the nuns when she could. Once she was received into the Church she wanted to join them, but they told her she had to wait two years before she could apply. That was worrisome since she was already more than 20 years over their age limit, but she waited. Ultimately she did enter the monastery. She was hardly their ideal image of a 20-something postulant, but it was clear on all sides that this was where God was calling her and this was where she belonged. The point is, she didn’t go around asking “I’m over 50, who would take me?” She joyfully pursued the dream that she and God shared for her life.
Are you seeing a spiritual director? Are you exploring different orders? Where are you being called?
Pax et Bonum!
Thanks for thinking of our Franciscan community on Catholic Answers Forum.
The Family of Jacopa link is here: familyjacopa.com/
We just moved to our new address on November 1st. What a blessing our new home is to our growing community. Please contact us at: 3100 County Road 56 (Mt Tabor Rd.), Toronto, OH 43964. Our new phone number is (740) 314-4023. Our email is still the same: email@example.com
The Bishop and Vicar for Religious are supportive and helping us as we progress into a Public Association of the Faithful. The apostolate given to us by our Bishop at this time is our daily prayers and to reach out to the widows in our diocese. We visit widows, pray with them and discern their needs. ---- Sr. Kathleen Ann Marshall (Foundress and Community Servant)
Please pray for the success of the founding of a Carmelite monastery in Independence, MO that will accept all ages and cultures. God’s every blessing of mercy and grace on those who pray, dear Lord, and may this monastery be blessed with bringing the most souls into Heaven, all for the honor and glory of the Infant King of Kings and His mother, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. AMEN
I could not reply much better than the above posting. My (second) vocation search began at a later age and coincidently in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
I can only emphazie finding a Spiritual Director or Priest or Sister to speak to. And as was noted above answer some of the above questions first, then if the Call seems true look at communities that accept “older vocations.”
Also don’t limit yourself to only those communities posted in the forums, broaden your search, once you have a general direction to go in. (Assuming of course you do continue your search)
Some websites with good vocation discernment resources, as well as community listings and other useful information are listed below:
This website began in a response to numerous comments from those who were older and were having great difficulty finding a religious community that would accept them. In an attempt to alleviate the headache (and heartache) of being unsuccessful, I used my God-given research skills to compile a list of communities that accept belated vocations, with a focus on ages 50 and older. Some of the communities listed are that which did not have an age limit stated and, as such, I am leaving it up to the individual discerner to get in contact with the Vocation Director from the community in question. You may notice that all the communities listed wear habits. I have nothing against non-habited communities but, due to the lack of habited communities that will accept older vocations, I felt it important to list those that do. I do not accept listings from private associations of the faithful, emerging communities, ecumenical communities, or non-canonical communities at this time. The community MUST be at least public with more than one member AND have approval from the local ordinary/Bishop for it to be listed as well as being entirely Catholic membership. I only list communities that have no known problems of late. Also, though a lot of effort was put into this website, it is not an all-exhaustive list and there may still be communities out there that I failed to mention. In that case, I urge you to contact a community if you have a great attraction to them because some will make exceptions if you meet their other requirements. You will never know until you ask! I make every attempt to update this website regularly as it has become a great resource and is visited often. Thank you for your interest and God bless!
My apologies for the sites not having been updated in some time. This past year has been super stressful for me personally, and I will have to look for part-time work outside the home this coming year.
there is a wonderful community called the congregation of Mater Ecclasiae in rugby england …they accept women of all ages …and they are Praying for vocations right now
So if you are a mature woman , and dont mind going to england , look them up
We are a new community starting up for older single women (36+), widows and some people with disabilities. We are in England and are just in the process of forming. Please look at our website for more:
(Put directly into the address bar in the search engine)
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