Cana woman with a child become a Sister or Nun?

Okay, this is probably a premature question to ask and my emotions aren’t exactly the most “stable” at this point, but I’ve been pondering something lately. Can a woman with a child be a Sister?

I am married at the moment, but my husband left me and our child. We are now legally separated and divorce is on the horizon. I am considering my future. First I am a mom, so it’s a given I will continue to raise my child until she is an adult. But after my daughter grows up, what do I do? After what I’ve been though I feel like I never want to be married again and I really like the idea of helping people. The harder things have been for me lately, the more I feel pulled towards the Church. Now I know I can volunteer and do things for the church as laity, but I wonder about becoming a Sister.

Is that even possible if you are divorced? Or what if the marriage is found null, is it still possible if you have a child?


It is possible after your child is grown and if your marriage can be annulled.

The child ought to be a legal adult, able to be on his own in society. Also, you will need an annulment as well to become a Sister.

However, you may want to settle things in your life first. The separation may be hard to cope with on different levels.

Your time will not be wasted if you continue following the Lord in prayer and acts of compassion until you have all requirements to join a christian sorority.

Hi, you should start browsing through the internet ,looking at nun’s sites. A lot of the convents have their own websites. you could ask them questions about their life. it’s very interesting… Good luck:)


The Child must first be grown up or deceased; and the Marraige with the Husband either annulled; or wait until one is a widow.

Ie; once you attain a “free state” you will be able to consider a vocation seriously; however this should not in the mean time deter you from any retreats or experiences in the religious life.

A famous example of a woman who did this was Héloïse d’Argenteuil who was married to the Theologian Peter Abelard and had a child named Astrolabe. After being abandoned by Abelard; who was castrated and joined a monestary - Héloïse became a nun and eventually an abbess.

My dear sister in Christ – what a difficult trial you are having to endure at this time :frowning: Know that you and your family will be in my prayers!

I am a single mom, my son is six, and my ex-husband “left” us four years ago. That is, he just decided he didn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone, and he hasn’t dated anyone in that time, so maybe he was right. He is still in his son’s life, however, and is a pretty good dad.

I also, many years ago, was a postulant and novice in a contemplative community for two years (1987 - 89). When I went through the divorce and annulment, and many times in the years since, I have also felt drawn to the religious life. I have even considered whether Our Lord could be calling me to start a community for single moms – but that feels more like speculation (thinking outside the box) than vocation.

Meanwhile, I have deepened my spiritual life by binding myself more closely to Christ and His Church. I have chosen not to date for the past couple years and offer every little sacrifice I can think of for the conversion of my son’s dad (my ex). I am not “waiting” for him to come back to me. I am actively storming heaven until he comes back to God! Then what God does with him is God’s business :thumbsup:

This time of transition is one of the most difficult experiences a person with a loving and open heart can go through. I will be praying for your husband’s conversion and the saving of your marriage.

In the meantime, do your best to cleave to Christ in your current state of life (mother) and bring your child to God through your love, and sorrow, and compassion, and discipline, etc. I promise you, your life will not always be this way…

Big hugs from Colorado :hug1:


That is great advice…:thumbsup:. A lot of divorced or single mothers will go out and “party”…searching for that next "great"guy(I’m not saying every single mother but I know some like that)…Good for you for searching and finding Jesus and being a great example for your child.

Thank you and may God bless you. :slight_smile:

I am 50 yrs old and have 2 grown kids (27 and 24) and have been called when they are 10 and 13. God did His work on myself, my kids and family in the following years! I would have entered before now but waiting for my house to sell - getting near to selling it looks though now.

Even though I could not enter, I contacted orders in the past and up to now. Even the ones that give an age limit, often will consider older if you write and enquire. I have a cloistered vocation and I have always looked at Carmel and the Poor Clare Colettines and the Visitations.

I am going to visit the PCCs in Chicago (refounded by Mother Mary Francis (author of A Right to Be Merry) - - at the end of October and I am planning to visit the Carmelites of Armstrong, British Columbia - - in Sept or Oct too - I am waiting until they settle into their new monastery.

I have visited the Cristo Rey Carmel in San Fran and the Philly Carmel but though they considered older, I wasn’t sure it was “home”. Also orders in the UK and Ireland are very open to older women. I have visited and loved the Carmel of Kirk Edge, Sheffield - - very strict 1990 and austere Carmel and I love it! I am just making sure I am not called in the US as it will be a big sacrifice to leave not just family but also country. But for God, I would only do it.

I considered overseas as I am a “traditional, full habit, orders following their foundress” type of vocation so though there are orders in the us - some Carmels and some Poor Clares - not PCCs - they are either modified habit or no habit and have other things that I am not attracted to.

As for the Visitiations, the Toledo Visitation - - and the Snellville GA - no website but see these articles: - their Superior was married, had kids and grandkids as do many fo the sisters in their now (going to visit them early Oct), lovely slide show, article with the slide show and additional pictures

Also the Children of Mary I have talked to and wanted me to come and visit but they are to “active” for myself:

As for active orders, I like the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne - - as I have a relative who was one of these sisters in the 50s and I am a nurse, but I am just not active vocation. Their limit is 50 but they may easily take a bit older if they felt the woman had a true vocation to them - same as the other orders. I’ve had orders tell me “yes, we’ll consider older, etc.” and then then a friend my age be told “no” - perhaps sensed she had no vocation to them.

There are MANY late vocations the past years I have seen and many orders tell me of the number of older woman with grown kids who contact them - some curious and others like myself who know they have a vocation and just searching for where God wants them.

So don’t fear, you are not alone! Also if not mentioned above in other posts, you would need an annulment if you were divorced (as I was) and, obviously, not needed if you are a widow.

Otherwise find what type of vocation you are - contemplative, active, semi-contemp or semi-active - and write those orders. Also even if you think you know you are one, do write the other types because you never know! I have heard and met many stories of nuns in cloisters who could have swore they were active and ended up not!

Hello, have you inquired with the Passionists nuns, they are cloistered and they wear habits. They have a website:)

Yes I have a few years ago I emailed/wrote the ones with the full habits and all of them said no to my age and some suggested I write their other monasteries (who had either already said no or did later) and some suggested I write the Passionist nuns in Clarks Summit and other ones who don’t wear the full habit so that was a “no way”!

I recently wrote to the Passsionist nuns in Pennsylvania - I think there is a thread on them and they have a new website - Philly? Forget where. But it’s been a few months and no answer - if they are going to at all.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that another woman my age doesn’t get accepted into one of these Passionist’s communities. I have found that it all comes down on where God wants you! If He did want me in one of these, one of them would have said, “come and see us” and then accept me if it was God’s plan. So He has the final say - so these “no’s” are good sign posts or guidance of where He **doesn’t **want me! Though I’d prefer He tell me where He does!