Hello , I am a mature Catholic Woman of 50 yrs of age. I have always felt Gods presence in my life and have considered a religious life many times in my life. Recently many things have occured in my life and His Call to me has become very clear. I am lost as to how to find a community that will concider someone of my age as many have told me it is too late to be just begining. Also there are no communities here locally that accept woman my age, and the cost of perhaps visiting several communities till I find a fit would be very expensive. I live in Hawaii. Yet I know God would not put such a burning desire to serve him in my heart for no purpose. His love has changed me forever and I pray every day to find a comunity where His will is leading me to service. I find I am at an impass in my search and feel somewhat lost. Any Sugestions. Your Sister in Christ
Maybe you could look into becoming a 3rd order, or lay member, of a religious order.
"Third Orders signify in general lay members of religious orders, i.e. men and women who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order.
Well I am fairly sure I dont want to just be of the third order. Not that there is anything wrong with that at all. It is just that it would not be much diffrent then what I have been doing for the past 5 yrs. I have even gone as far as making private vows in chapel in the presence of sacerment and in church but in the knowledge of only God and myself and still I feel drawn to do more. I have thought of trying to Petition our Bishop here to form a community for older woman, who like myself are drawn to religious life yet I am unsure of how to really go about that. Please pray with me to find His way for me. Thank You for your input . God Bless you and may His Peace be with you always. Your Sister in Christ
You could start a thread: How can I start my own community in my diocese? I'm sure you would get a lot of good advice.
Thank You , that may be a great idea . I just felt so lost I did not think of it myself . Thank God for you, I sincerly beleive God uses each of us to communicate His will. Thank you So Much. God Bless and the Lords Peace be with you . Your Sister in Christ
Have you contacted the Vocations Director for your diocese? He might have some ideas and suggestions.
Also, I just found this thread that has some good information on orders for older women:
The problem is not your age, although that will limit the number of communities that would consider you. The problem is your location. Since there are no communities in your local area and you have no money to travel to visit others, then perhaps your first priority is to find some source of income to start saving for discernment visits?
I am in my late 50s and will begin a discernment visit in less than two weeks but I have had to work and save for the past year in order to get the money to pay for the visit to a community which is in the US (I live in Australia).
You also don’t say what type of community attracts you, active apostolate or cloistered contemplative. If you don’t know this yet, another thing you have to do is find a good spiritual director (check with your diocesan office to get names of some or start speaking with your priest). You will need some help to discern because even if you go for a visit, when you come back you will want to discuss this with your SD (spiritual director).
Don’t be downhearted. I was 54 when I first started discerning religious life and have been through quite a lot, but every step of the way God has been with me, guiding me and loving me and teaching me how to trust Him.
I will pray for you.
Hello, much blessings to you in your discernment , I will pray for you on your journey. And Yes I do realize that if I am to serve God somewhere other than here I will have to invest time to save to visit a community someplace else. I am contemplative and there is a community in Texas that I feel may be a good fit to what God is calling me to do in His service. And I will visit as soon as I can save for the Airfare and expences. I am in the process of finding a new SD because the SD I have been speaking to for over a yr now is himself relocating soon away from the islands. I was just feeling a bit overwhelmed with how long it was taking and that I had to once agian resign myself to work in the secular world but I know now that the ajustment will be ok and though Gods grace and prayer I will have time to continue living in His way and remain in the world and be not of it. Thank you much for your kind words of encouragement and love. Your Sister in Christ Avia
One of the dangers of being an older vocation is that we think we have to rush things because it is getting late. But this is what Abraham and Sarah did by using Hagar to give birth to a child instead of trusting that God would take care of things in His own good time. When God did come to tell them that Sarah herself would give birth, she laughed because she knew that she was beyond child bearing years. But to God, nothing is impossible and so he told them. And guess what? Sarah gave birth in her nineties!
So don’t think you have to hurry. If God is calling you to religious life, then that means he already has a place prepared for you, and in His own good time, He will show it to you. Until then, you do what you need to in order to get ready both exteriorly and interiorly. And trust Him. If a child asked for bread, would their father give them a stone? Late vocations aren’t easy, that’s true, but on your side, you need patience, trust, and perseverence. Spend time alone with Jesus and let Him be your strength. God be with you.