Can I be a nun AND a zookeeper?


#1

Okay, I realize that's a very odd question and that the straightforward answer is probably "No." But let me give some background information and explain:

In short, I've been giving more thought to my vocation, and I find myself full of uncertainty and in need of assistance in finding the direction I should go.

I'm 22 years old, I've graduated from college, and I have a job - I feel like I ought to have this figured out by now, but I don't. I've been feeling more and more lately like God is calling me to be a nun. I've never been in a romantic relationship with anyone, and the older I get the more I feel like I probably never will. I love my job as a zookeeper, but I don't want to turn my back on God's calling for me. So my question is, is there any way I can work with animals and be part of a religious order? I'm very much attracted to the idea of living in a supportive Catholic community where I can grow in my faith and commitment to prayer. Are there any orders that are involved in conservation and/or animal care? Perhaps one that runs an animal sanctuary or something like that? Is there any way to follow both a calling to work with God's creation and a calling to religious life?
Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!


#2

Well, it would ultimately be up to God, but it is not impossible, no. There is an order of Monks that live with and train up dogs as their source of income. The Monks of New Skete!

If there’s no equivalent for nuns right now, there might be in the future? I do know there are nuns raising animals on farms, but though done with love, some of those animals may very well be eaten. Or raised to breed with other animals… I think there are nuns who raise animals purely for fiber or eggs but don’t know any names off hand.

Keep the faith - I’m one of those people who just loves animals to pieces myself. Keep praying and you’ll find your way.


#3

Here’s some nuns who used to raise animals for meat but now raise cashmere goats for fiber. Scroll all the way down for cute pics of nuns being loved all over by goats…

stmaryseast.org/styles/Primary%20Pages/Farm.html


#4

Look into the Secular Franciscan Order. This way you can do both. :thumbsup:


#5

Just to be perfectly clear, the Monks of New Skete are Episcopal.


#6

[quote="RSD, post:5, topic:320642"]
Just to be perfectly clear, the Monks of New Skete are Episcopal.

[/quote]

No :( They used to be Byzantine Catholic :(


#7

Religious life is for the salvation of souls, but there is a gaping hole in pastoral care for those who work with animals, either in the veterinary sciences or animal shelters or zoos.

I have a group called Kateri Associates, and some of the members plan to form a religious community which will be Franciscan, promoting proper ecological stewardship, and work for the rights of indigenous persons, under the patronage of St Kateri Tekakwitha. That being said, your remunerative work of this religious community could be zookeeper.

Anyone who loves animals without putting them above the needs of humans and their salvation should check out our Kateri Associates. Please find the KATS page at the proposed communy’s website:

cloisters.tripod.com/ecology_kateri/

Blessings,
Cloisters


#8

If you think you are being called to be a nun then you should have a spiritual director to help discern if God is truly calling you. You may find an order of nuns that will allow you to use your skill and passion for caring for animals, but God comes first, always.


#9

I read that the monks were eastern orthodox


#10

[quote="Agent_Benedict, post:9, topic:320642"]
I read that the monks were eastern orthodox

[/quote]

I think you are right and I was wrong. I apologize.


#11

:confused:

So; they are still MONKS. :thumbsup:


#12

Sure.....nuns are holy women who tend God's flock for him. Noah was a holy man who tended God's flock for him too. There's no reason a nun can't tend BOTH God's flocks for him. :)


#13

What about farming? There are probably several orders who keep farms.

Here's the Abbey of Regina Laudis, in Bethlehem CT. These sisters keep a "non-commercial working farm." Their other claim to fame is this it the abbey Dolores Hart joined in the '60's, after acting in Hollywood. I recently saw a documentary about this nun and the abbey. It's called, "God is the Bigger Elvis." It was interesting. (As far as I know these nuns are Roman Catholic.)

abbeyofreginalaudis.org/sitelive/index.htm


#14

The Nuns who taught me were:)


#15

I think you mean “Sister”. Nuns are the female equivalent of Monks, i.e. cloistered. If you are a nun, chances are you won’t be a zookeeper. Sisters, OTOH, do work outside of the convent.


#16

^ This.
As they have said, nuns are cloistered and stay in the convent. Sisters do work outside the convent.
I was researching, and stumbled across this anunslife.com podcast. It’s pretty long, but it covers many topics, and one is animal ministry/working with animals:
anunslife.org/podcasts/ask-sister/as020-ask-sister
I wish you the best.


#17

The Benedictine Sisters of Mary have been growing, and they do some farming, including care of a couple cows and maybe some other animals. They are still a fairly small community, but have been working on converting their convent land. Ora et labora: prayer and work. They are in Ephesus, MO, within the Kansas City diocese.

benedictinesofmary.org/

They are associated somehow with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.


#18

[quote="Elluin, post:1, topic:320642"]
Okay, I realize that's a very odd question and that the straightforward answer is probably "No." But let me give some background information and explain:

In short, I've been giving more thought to my vocation, and I find myself full of uncertainty and in need of assistance in finding the direction I should go.

I'm 22 years old, I've graduated from college, and I have a job - I feel like I ought to have this figured out by now, but I don't. I've been feeling more and more lately like God is calling me to be a nun. I've never been in a romantic relationship with anyone, and the older I get the more I feel like I probably never will. I love my job as a zookeeper, but I don't want to turn my back on God's calling for me. So my question is, is there any way I can work with animals and be part of a religious order? I'm very much attracted to the idea of living in a supportive Catholic community where I can grow in my faith and commitment to prayer. Are there any orders that are involved in conservation and/or animal care? Perhaps one that runs an animal sanctuary or something like that? Is there any way to follow both a calling to work with God's creation and a calling to religious life?
Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

[/quote]

There have been several Benedictine suggestions, but you're going to have to find your spirituality first. The Holy Ghost works on attraction.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#19

Maybe a cowgirl?
Theres this
carmelitesminicorral.com/index.html
and
pacificariptide.com/pacifica_riptide/2010/10/unplugged-in-the-san-juan-islands-retreat-and-restore-our-lady-of-the-rock.html


#20

I don't know the whole story but from your initial post I thought you indicated that you think you might be called because you don't feel inclined to romantic relations. To my understanding that isn't a valid reason to consider the consecrated life. But like I said I don't know your whole story and could be completely babbling-- Cheers, and I pray you find your vocation!


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