Cut off age for religous life

Hi ,i was told by a Capuchin Friar that they have a cut off age or 35 for people wanting to enter religous life.

Does anybody know if most Catholic Orders are the same and have a cut off age?

I dont know why they do this,in the Orthodox Church i know many elderly or older people have become monks.

In the Catholic Church ,if you are too old is there no hope of becoming a religous?

Do not compare Orthodoxs, who also hve different congregations, with Caholcis. Comparison is hell.

Each congrgation has its own regulations.

Most religious institutes have an advisory cut-off age, although this is often negotiable. Different houses or provinces of the same institute may have different limits, however - for instance, one Benedictine monastery might say 40, and another might say 45. This is because there are degrees of subsidiarity or local decision-making permitted in most institutes. So it’s always worth asking, because these limits may or may not be absolute.

There’s no real definition of what ‘too old’ would be, so there are no clear answers. Some institutes will take people in their sixties, but there are a lot of factors such as health, life experience, training and professional background to take into consideration. In a teaching community, there may be an issue of the expense involved in training someone to teach when they only have a few working years left by the time they’ve finished religious formation; if it’s a contemplative community, the formation itself will ‘train’ the person in prayer.

I entered religious life in my forties, and to be honest I didn’t really expect to be accepted, although I hoped and prayed very hard. :slight_smile: I’m in pretty good health, have a relevant professional background for ministry, and had known my community for some time before applying, but I was a little surprised even so. :o

But I would give anyone the same advice: a call to religious life should be based around the nature of the charism of the particular religious family and their way of life and the ministry they offer: it’s best to discern to whom God is directing you, and only then discern how that call may be lived out. For instance, if a person is called to the Carmelite tradition to which I belong, they can express this as a nun, as an active sister, as a friar (ordained or not), as a secular priest enrolled within the third orders of the family, or as a lay person within the same third orders. Or they may simply live out their commitment to the charism as someone who studies and prays within the Carmelite tradition.

This sense of a particular call is very important in determining God’s will for us, but it may not be as simple as I’ve made it sound, obviously - it’s possible to feel a call to monastic life, for instance, without knowing which community is the right one to approach, and so further exploration and discernment is needed. But I believe that it’s not a good idea to begin a discernment based upon the exceptions that are needed for entry to be possible. I don’t think one should enter e.g. a monastery just because they’re willing to take you, but because they are a place to which you feel called and to which you can make a contribution in line with God’s will. Discernment is not an easy process of self-learning to undergo, but it is rewarding and necessary.

Best wishes.

Ok Thanks for that

God Bless

There is a seminary in the Boston area ( I think it was founded at the direction of the late Pope John Paul ll ) that specializes in older seminarians . One of my neighbors and fellow parishioner's is studying at this seminary currently . I believe they take candidates up to the age of 55 ( my former neighbor is at least in his early 50's ). This seminary trains "regular"/ parish priests .

As an aside , on last week's ( week of Mon . 7/25 ) EWTN's ," Coming Home " program , they had a convert who was later widowed and subsequently became a priest who trained at the seminary I mentioned above . He did have adult children .This gentleman ( who was an attorney ) was in his 50's when he entered this seminary . This gentleman also mentioned that there was a retired "full bird " colonel , a retired navy master chief , business executives , salesmen and others with varied life experiences in his seminary class . My neighbor was a journalist and then a communications specialist . Whatever your skills , God can use them . Good luck !

You might try St. Bernards Abbey in Cullman, Alabama....Theyve taken older men who were full-fledged armed service member & lawyers. They have both Priests & Monks &
they are quite orthodox....

[quote="HOLYHEARTS, post:6, topic:250412"]
You might try St. Bernards Abbey in Cullman, Alabama....Theyve taken older men who were full-fledged armed service member & lawyers. They have both Priests & Monks &
they are quite orthodox....

[/quote]

Please see this thread from the moderator of this forum.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=581407

I wrote St. Bernards Abbey in Cullman, AL & it is and always has been part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham. The Abbey of Christ the King was not under the dioces. But now, it also is under the Roman Cathoilc Diocese of Birmingham. St. Bernards is Benedictine & the Society of St. John Cantius (from Chicago) run Christ the King.

A friend commented a few monthst ago that he'd been making enquiries with some of the Tradtional groups of priests regarding a vocation to the priesthood. All told him that he was tol old - their limit is 40 and he's mid-40's. The only reason I've heard for anything like this is that an oldr man may be sonsidered too inflexible and set in their ways to become accustomed to the requirements of the priesthood - specifically the equirements of obedience. But this applies in many areas of life, so I'm not convinced. Also, 25 years ago, a teacher I had from school was ordained as a priest for my diocese aged 66, so somebody obviously thought he was capable!

[quote="Mark1970, post:9, topic:250412"]
A friend commented a few monthst ago that he'd been making enquiries with some of the Tradtional groups of priests regarding a vocation to the priesthood. All told him that he was tol old - their limit is 40 and he's mid-40's. The only reason I've heard for anything like this is that an oldr man may be sonsidered too inflexible and set in their ways to become accustomed to the requirements of the priesthood - specifically the equirements of obedience. But this applies in many areas of life, so I'm not convinced. Also, 25 years ago, a teacher I had from school was ordained as a priest for my diocese aged 66, so somebody obviously thought he was capable!

[/quote]

Here is the thing. I went to my home diocese where I live and the Bishop told me I am too old (It really upset me and hurt me as it isn't my fault that I am 41 I'd much rather be 21) My home diocese has only two new seminarians. The diocese I was accepted in that is my neighboring diocese has many more vocations and seminarians. It isn't up to anyone who God sends to the priesthood. There are plenty of younger guys but there are some good wonderful qualities of delayed vocations. For one when you reach your 40s you pretty much are who you are. You have tons of experience. I find it quite offensive when you are rejected for age. I can see if you are 80 and have lung cancer. but 30s 40s even 50s you have lots of time ahead and remember tomorrow is promised to no one. We all only have today. There are many diocese that accept delayed vocations and they are doing much better with vocations than the diocese that want only 20 year olds. For us delayed vocations it is a heart breaker to be rejected cause of age especially a reasonable age and 40s even 50s is not all that old.

In a religious order I can understand it a little bit more, in an order you have rules and routines and close quarters. But in diocesan priesthood you have more freedom and live by yourself so you can be yourself much easier than having to change your whole person to fit in. So a 20 something is much easier to mold into their community than a 40 something. That is why we have seminaries geared towards second career vocations. If you have a strong desire for community I would suggest the Assumption Abbey in Ava Mo. Been there many times and they are really nice to visit. They take men up to 45. Scoob.

[quote="scoobydoo6v92, post:10, topic:250412"]
Here is the thing. I went to my home diocese where I live and the Bishop told me I am too old (It really upset me and hurt me as it isn't my fault that I am 41 I'd much rather be 21) My home diocese has only two new seminarians. The diocese I was accepted in that is my neighboring diocese has many more vocations and seminarians. It isn't up to anyone who God sends to the priesthood. There are plenty of younger guys but there are some good wonderful qualities of delayed vocations. For one when you reach your 40s you pretty much are who you are. You have tons of experience. I find it quite offensive when you are rejected for age. I can see if you are 80 and have lung cancer. but 30s 40s even 50s you have lots of time ahead and remember tomorrow is promised to no one. We all only have today. There are many diocese that accept delayed vocations and they are doing much better with vocations than the diocese that want only 20 year olds. For us delayed vocations it is a heart breaker to be rejected cause of age especially a reasonable age and 40s even 50s is not all that old.

In a religious order I can understand it a little bit more, in an order you have rules and routines and close quarters. But in diocesan priesthood you have more freedom and live by yourself so you can be yourself much easier than having to change your whole person to fit in. So a 20 something is much easier to mold into their community than a 40 something. That is why we have seminaries geared towards second career vocations. If you have a strong desire for community I would suggest the Assumption Abbey in Ava Mo. Been there many times and they are really nice to visit. They take men up to 45. Scoob.

[/quote]

Just a suggestion...may be talking complete rubbish here (if you've read some of my recent posts you'll know what I mean)...

Is it possible thatage is being used to act as an extra entry requirement for seminaries/religious communities that are over-subscribed/have too many applicants? The guy I mentioned, who was told he was too old (he was 45 and he was told the limit was 40) had considered joining one of the traditional orders. Don't know for certain, but I've heard that their seminaries are full and they always have too many applicants than they can cater for. Could they be using an age stipulation as a way of reducing intake to managable levels?:shrug:

I have had trouble to get in to an order because I am to old. But that didn't stop our Lord from calling us. Now if men over , 35, 45, 50 all cut off ages, become a third order and take vows then live in community and call it a semi cloister, (They my have to work and come back) can they wear a habit. they would live on there own money. We would do and act just as a real cloister, monastery, or abbey. ( for prayers) What do you think?

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