Considering a vocation of sisterhood/nun

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Ankabaranka_87

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I don’t know where to start…but let’s say that

I feel a calling to become a sister/nun.

However, I do not believe that I know enough about their role to make the next major step of becoming a sister/nun (I am a person who likes to research A LOT before making the next step).

For example, there are these different orders: Dominican, Benedictine, Carmelite, etc. What does each order focus on?

I tried googling information, but mostly it is about different parishes where nuns/sisters are located.

I would like to find a website which gives me the overall idea of sisterhood/nunhood. (and not websites like wikipedia or wisegeek). Maybe later, when I learn more about each order and roles of nuns/sisters in this world, I would consider going into more specific websites.

Of course, I could always got to a nun/sister to get my questions answered, but I would like to have some information before doing that.

So, can someone help provide me some links to help me or give some words of advice? Are there any good books that can provide me with such answers?

Thanks!
 
Please move this thread to “Catholic Living: Vocations”…being somewhat new to these forums…i realized that i posted this in the wrong place 😊
 
You might find this blog quite interesting, not just for links, but also for being able to speak to people in a similar situation.
 
It depends what form of religious life you are attracted to. If you want to be cloistered and focus on contemplative prayer then a Carmelite order might be what you are looking for. If you want to teach, there is a wonderful order of sisters called the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville. They wear habits and are attracting quite a number of vocations. If you want to help the destitute then Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity might be for you. I’m sure there are many other great orders I haven’t mentioned. Just be careful, because there are some really whacky feminist, anti-pope orders out there, but most of them are dying out.
 
You can check my website: cloisters.tripod.com/

We have discerner resources listed, as well as cloistered religious communities, listed under “Other Religious Communities.”

HTH.

Blessings,
Cloisters
 
It depends what form of religious life you are attracted to. If you want to be cloistered and focus on contemplative prayer then a Carmelite order might be what you are looking for. If you want to teach, there is a wonderful order of sisters called the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville. They wear habits and are attracting quite a number of vocations. If you want to help the destitute then Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity might be for you. I’m sure there are many other great orders I haven’t mentioned. Just be careful, because there are some really whacky feminist, anti-pope orders out there, but most of them are dying out.
I think that the prejudices among the laity re the so-called “whacky, anti-pope orders” are just as destructive to budding religious vocations as these ‘whacky’ orders might be themselves.

Re contemplative orders, there are a number of major charisms besides the Carmelites. Not everyone wants to be a hermit. There are the Dominicans, Benedictines, Redemptoristine, Visitation, Precious Blood, Sacramentine, Augustinian, Poor Clares.

There are a number of habited and non-habited orders that are growing, not just the Doms of St. Cecilia.

I think that all these’ warnings’ about exploring religious life can only serve to put people off the entire process.
 
I think that the prejudices among the laity re the so-called “whacky, anti-pope orders” are just as destructive to budding religious vocations as these ‘whacky’ orders might be themselves.

Re contemplative orders, there are a number of major charisms besides the Carmelites. Not everyone wants to be a hermit. There are the Dominicans, Benedictines, Redemptoristine, Visitation, Precious Blood, Sacramentine, Augustinian, Poor Clares.

There are a number of habited and non-habited orders that are growing, not just the Doms of St. Cecilia.

I think that all these’ warnings’ about exploring religious life can only serve to put people off the entire process.
It’s not prejudice. “By their fruits, you shall know them.” I can count on one hand the people happy with the “updated” nuns. Nobody likes it.

In 20 years of promoting vocations, I have seen with my own eyes the “wiggy” orders turning discerners off by their worldly ways. They have essentially become secular institutes. They were told to return to the vision of their founders, and they did no such thing.

There are now “young fogeys” entering the “wiggy” orders, and insisting that they be allowed to wear the habit and veil. If an order’s rule permits it, nobody can stand in their way.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, has received letters from many older religious sisters stating that their rights had been violated by the “modern” sisters. I think that goes a long way to show just what’s going on in these convents. It almost sounds like vengeance for the way the “modern” sisters were treated in “traditional” novitiates. (At least to me, it does).

Blessings,
Cloisters
 
Thanks everyone for your response. 🙂

I have done some more research on the topic (not enough though…I am a very busy person) and thanks to your guidance, I have started to become interested in the Franciscans.

From some of their websites, I learn that they place emphasis on community life, but also focus on prayerlife and contemplation. I know for myself that I am a social person and love to help people (so, hermit life wouldnt suit me for long). However, I also need quiet prayer and meditation.

Right now, I am looking at Conventual Franciscans, but I am sure that there are other good orders. Maybe someone with experience with Conventual Franciscans could assist me with this?

And what orders help with the community? Other than Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity, what orders work in more abroad lifestyles (missionary-type work)?
 
Thanks everyone for your response. 🙂

I have done some more research on the topic (not enough though…I am a very busy person) and thanks to your guidance, I have started to become interested in the Franciscans.

From some of their websites, I learn that they place emphasis on community life, but also focus on prayerlife and contemplation. I know for myself that I am a social person and love to help people (so, hermit life wouldnt suit me for long). However, I also need quiet prayer and meditation.

Right now, I am looking at Conventual Franciscans, but I am sure that there are other good orders. Maybe someone with experience with Conventual Franciscans could assist me with this?

And what orders help with the community? Other than Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity, what orders work in more abroad lifestyles (missionary-type work)?
This sounds just like Sr. Rose Therese’s community in IL. She’s a regular on Phatmass.

phatmass.com/

Go to the Vocation Station, and look under “thread started by” and she’ll be listed under her real name. Her Franciscan community does nursing and education, I believe. Community life, prayer, habit, apostolate.

HTH.

Blessings,
Cloisters
 
Hello,

I don’t know if I should post a reply here, but I have always felt a calling to be a nun, but I have been married for 20 years and have 4 children. Is it possible for someone like me to be a lay nun? How does one go about it? I have shared my plan to become a nun should anything ever happen to my husband with only my oldest son, who is 18, and a very serious, faith-filled Catholic.

Thank you,
 
Hello,

I don’t know if I should post a reply here, but I have always felt a calling to be a nun, but I have been married for 20 years and have 4 children. Is it possible for someone like me to be a lay nun? How does one go about it? I have shared my plan to become a nun should anything ever happen to my husband with only my oldest son, who is 18, and a very serious, faith-filled Catholic.

Thank you,
You can PM me if you wish.

There is such a thing as a Third Order, to which you can belong while still in the world. Some go on to become religious after their spouse passes on.

But, as the usual “mantra” here on CAF goes–get a spiritual director.

HTH.

Blessings,
Cloisters
 
Thanks everyone for your response. 🙂

I have done some more research on the topic (not enough though…I am a very busy person) and thanks to your guidance, I have started to become interested in the Franciscans.

From some of their websites, I learn that they place emphasis on community life, but also focus on prayerlife and contemplation. I know for myself that I am a social person and love to help people (so, hermit life wouldnt suit me for long). However, I also need quiet prayer and meditation.

Right now, I am looking at Conventual Franciscans, but I am sure that there are other good orders. Maybe someone with experience with Conventual Franciscans could assist me with this?

And what orders help with the community? Other than Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity, what orders work in more abroad lifestyles (missionary-type work)?
Re Cloister’s reply:

Sr. Rose Theres on phatmass is a temporarily professed memeber of the:

Sisters of St. Francis of Peoria Illinois.

contact info:

contact@franciscansisterspeoria.org

website: franciscansisterspeoria.org/

Director of Vocations

Sister Agnes Joseph, O.S.F.

The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis

740 NE Glen Oak Avenue

Peoria, IL 61603

Phone: 309-655-4840
 
Ankabaranka–you sound just like me about 3 years ago. There are lots of resources out there, but I will tell you that in MY journey, I did not find out what really made orders all that different from each other, other than their apostolate (the work they do, how they pray). I do know that Fransiscans value detachment to things, even people and places, so they often move. Benedictines also value detachment, but they take a vow of stability, so detachment is approached in a different way.

As I’m writing this, I see how difficult it can be to explain spirituality to anyone. It’s a little like trying to explain ideals such as freedom, or like trying to explain your own personal relationship with God. There just aren’t enough words.

The best thing to do is visit someone. If you’re just starting, almost any community is good. If it isn’t the right one, you’ll know, but the vocation director will be able to give you lot’s of help. They should have a copy of Vocation Guide or a book that lists communities. Sometimes you can get a feeling from these, or at least a web site and more contact information. A good vocation director or spiritual director can help you narrow your choices. I also found the book Vocations Anonymous tremendously helpful.

Also try vocations.com.

Hope that helps. You’re in my prayers.
 
I hate to say this, but use extreme caution. Not all congregations are alike regarding their orthodoxy. Even within a congregation, like the Franciscans, one community of Franciscans may be very orthodox, but another community of Franciscans 100 miles away may be totally flaky and be into worshipping crystals and trees.

In other words, not all Franciscan (or whichever) communities are alike. Once you’ve settled on a congregation, you then need to evaluate them on the community level.

Here are two lists that may be helpful. They probably have something like this in Canada.

This is just a rule of thumb–but I believe it to be a good one–AVOID any congregations/communities included in this first list:

Leadership Conference of Women Religious
lcwr.org/index.htm

and--------seriously consider any of the congregations/communities included in this second list:

Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious
cmswr.org/index.htm
 
Ankabaranka
I am so excited to see another vocation to the religious life burgeoning within another soul. God has sent you a gift that you must find a way to share. Seek your vocation with great joy and patience. God will lead you to your calling. I always tell young people to “protect” their vocations from those seeking to destroy or push their preferences on others. We must all find our vocations and pursue them in the midst of those that would be against us. This is normal. I tell my oldest son to protect it, even from me.

I am so so happy to see someone take the calling serious. Praise God for your answering the call. I am praying for you. My greatest joy would see the Catholic Schools filled again with religious not only for them, but for the children. So that the Bishops can put their money where their mouth is to support all Catholics a good Catholic education. WE need those $5 tuitions again. Personally we can’t afford without seriously harming ourselves, but we’re in a public school that is typically much better than most private schools. Oh the irony. My wife and I teach CCD and hope to begin an apostolate of some sorts or hook up with one that will help build the CCD programs first locally hoping it will catch on. We’d like to see Catholics put their money where their mouth is by actually participating more fully by bringing their families to CCD with the rest of the congregation/parish. Sounds kind a Protestanty doesn’t it. But it works to build unity.

Praise God for your vocation. Many prayers for you. Candle burning for you now.

PAX Christi tecum
 
Thank you all for your response. At this present moment, I am at a stage where I do not know if I have a calling for single, religious or marriage vocation. I felt a ‘pull’ for religious vocation for a couple of years (not daily, but spurts of it) and decided now that I should learn more about it and see if this ‘inner pull’ is actually something.

That being said, this will take me a while for research, since I am in a rigourous program (engineering) and take a few extracurriculars (fortunately, 3 of them involve our religion)…leaving my mind quite flustered and busy.
 
You should try to go on retreat to some convent over the summer. A really good convent is Casa Maria run by the Sister Servants of the Eucharist. They are a fairly new order and they run a retreat house in AL. sisterservants.com/
They would be able to tell you all about the different orders, and would be able to help you decide. They are wonderful nuns that live life to the fullest, and their priest is one of the most saintly I have ever met. I would not be surprised to know that he went to heaven when he died.
If you do go, you will have to make a reservation, and when you do that just tell them that you are trying to learn all about the different orders, to see which would fit you best. I would not be at all surprised if they found all sorts of sources for you. They are computer savy and they would gladly help you.
You could even just e-mail them and they might help you through e-mail. You never know and it can’t hurt.

Yours Through Our Lady,
Margarite
 
If Franciscans appeal to you, you should look into the Francescane dell’Immacolata–Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. They are really joyful and kind, and also they have the second most beautiful habits I’ve ever seen. I met them by chance whilst studying abroad. I could go on about them for a long time but maybe I won’t right now. Their website is marymediatrix.com.
 
Congratulations to you on listening to God’s call. One step I would first recommend is to find yourself a good spiritual director, someone who can walk with you as you begin your journey. You can find someone in your area by going to Spiritual Directors International. sdiworld.org/ My personal advice though would be to talk to others in your diocese who might suggest someone they are familiar with and will joyfully work with you. This person can help you unravel God’s plan for you.

Many blessings to you, and prayers for your discernment.
 
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