For the past year or so I've felt that I'm called to a religious life. I want to become a nun. However, I have about 33,000 in student loans and a car loan together. I think I remember reading some place that you have to be debt free before you can enter a convent. Is that correct? If so, then I'll probably have to wait for another 15 years or so. My current jobs (I have a full time teaching job and a part time job) don't pay a lot and I'm only able to make payments for the 20 year plan, of which I've completed a little over 5 years. If you do have to be free of debt, is there a process within the church that can help expedite the pay off?
Most dioceses have a director of vocations. I've heard of a couple of organizations who provide some subsidy for the relief of student loan debt for entering seminarians, but I don't know if that is available for religious. I'm willing to bet, though, that if something does exist, the diocesan vocation director might know how to access that resource, or be able to put you in touch with someone who does.
There are certain organizations such as the links below that try to provide help for those considering religious life with student debt.
This is a general guide of steps to take when in debt and considering a vocation:
I knew a woman who had debts to pay off before entering religious life. It did take several years, but the time helped her to deepen her faith and strengthened her call to the community she eventually entered. Hang in there. God does and will provide. A vocation is a call and a gift from God.
Thanks everyone. :) I checked out the links, but it seems I need to secure a letter of acceptance from someplace before I can take advantage of the financial support. As of now, I've asked my priest to hook me up with a spiritual director and I'm "trying" to set a budget to get my loans paid of ASAP. I'm hoping w/in the next 5 years...."hoping"...is the key word there lol :D
I face the same issue and am an aspirant with The Labouré Society. I would encourage you to continue discerning and doing all you can to resolve your educational loans in the meantime. Whether you are called to religious life or not, you’ll want to be debt-free. And if you are called to religious life, educational loans should not keep you from saying yes to God’s calling. He will provide in His time and there are wonderful people and organizations like The Labouré Society that do all they can to assist aspirants to enter formation. Stay faithful to what He is calling you to do and He’ll take care of the rest. I will keep you and your discernment in my prayers.
Peace in Christ,
Blog: Truth in Love - supporttarasvocation.wordpress.com