Did you know anyone as a child that had a vocational call to religious life?


Did you know anyone as a child that had a vocational call to religious life?

Did it surprise you?


No, but I think it happens. In the West, the concept of religious life has largely been marginalized since the Renaissance/Reformation. During the Middle Ages back to the original Church foundations, religious life, monasteries, desert fathers, saints (east and west) were a dime a dozen. Many in religious life were probably corrupt, but many sincere. (that has not changed either) I often wonder how much the Reformation rejection of the monasteries and the rejection of religious life as an option in our culture played a negative role here. Christianity in essence began to be shaped by mainstream culture, not the saints or religious life (much less so in the East of course). Still, I think there are those who are called by God to the vocation of religious life, whether or not they find Him is another question entirely, probably they do through God’s grace, right? That would make sense. We are all called to this more or less besides; this is the Christian faith at its most basic.


A friend who I have known since I was four, had since the age of two expressed a wish to follow his uncle who is a Benedictine monk. Soon after finishing his A-levels (aged 18) he entered the noviciate of the same Abbey, but only lasted a month. Five years later and he is now training to be a Doctor.

The problem, was that his parents had idolised his uncle for entering Religious Life, and as the eldest son he was ‘expected and gently encouraged’ to follow. He had never been raised to properly discern and understand where God was calling him, instead being raised with the belief that it was a familial expectation he was obliged to fulfil. I think such attitudes were once very common, as it was often the case that large Catholic families of a certain social class would pressurise a son and daughter to enter Religious and priestly life, as to maintain their social standing within the community. Many unhappy priests and religious existed as a result.


My daughter has known since she was 7 and has not wavered. She is now 18 and will be entering in two weeks.


I didn’t know a one. I was always reading books about girls who wanted to be nuns. I never met one single girl in real life who was discerning a call. Maybe they just didn’t share that info with their peers.


One would think attending a catholic school for 12 years it would be common to know kids that went into a religious vocation.


One would think that, yes, but it didn’t happen.


I have a few cousins who became nuns or priests. I have a niece who has stated since age 2 she wants to be a nun. She’s 12 and still desires this. Her brother is 14 and wants to become a priest.


My local priest grew up in my village… I didn’t know him very well though. He was in my brother in law’s class at school. Even as a young child he knew he wanted to be a priest and used to pretend to bless people from his bicycle :slight_smile:


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