[quote=Shinobu]Forgive my ignorance for this thread, but many times I see Catholics refer to themselves as Christians. However when a Christian feels they have a religious vocation as a nun, priest ect they are told they need to be Catholic. Perhaps you can see my confusion.
Can anyone here please explain and help educate me? I understand there are different types of Christians. I would search the internet on my own but I am not certain where to start or how to start.
Before the Protestant Reformation there was one Church-- the Catholic Church. Within this one Church people formed communities to carry out Christ’s mission in the particular way they felt called.
These order of priests, monks, and nuns chose to live in community and serve with a particular spirituality and goal. For example some orders are dedicated to healing and medicine, some to teaching and preaching, some to prayer and contemplation, some to helping orphans, those in poverty etc.
At the time of the Reformation, these communities were one of the aspects of the Catholic faith that was rejected by the leaders of the reformation-- such as Luther and Calvin and Henry VIII in England. They did not believe in this form of living out Christian mission. They denied the priesthood. So, in places where the reformers took power, the monasteries and convents were disbanded and not allowed.
The concept of nuns, priests, and monks, and the orders in which they live and work, were only preserved within the Catholic faith.
That is why you must become a Catholic to become a nun-- the orders to which nuns belong are a part of the Catholic Church and are under the authority of the Pope. One must first believe in and practice the Catholic faith before they can become a member of one of the Catholic religious communities.
Best of luck in your search for what God is calling you to do. Do look into the Catholic Church. I know a girl who went through RCIA (convert class) and then several years after becoming Catholic determined that she was being called to leave the business world (she was an accountant) become a religious sister, a nun.