Discerning between 2 orders


So does anyone have any advice about once a person has discerned they have a calling to a certain vocation, deciding between to orders that a person feels called to. For me i have come to know that i am pretty sure that i have a third order vocation, but i am very drawn to 2 different orders. The Dominicans and the carmelites they are different in many ways but i feel called to both of them/ Any advice would be great. Thanks

  1. Pray, pray and pray some more.

  2. Make a promise to yourself to attend at least 2 meetings of each order.

I have just been through what you are going through for almost 6 months. Sometimes the first one you think is “it” is; sometimes not. But there will come a day when you just know.

If I may make a recommendation, ask each group to recommend 1 book you can read and 1 member that you can have a long talk with.


Don’t worry about the differences; instead rejoice in the similarities!

Peace and all good!


You should visit each community at least a couple of times. You will be able to determine which one you feel more “at home” in.

Also, understanding the Order’s charism will help you as well; Dominicans and Carmelites are quite different!

Someone else mentioned reading the writings of each Order’s founders or more notable saints will also help you discern where your affinity lies.


Hello, friend - I have found that when being called to become a Third Order Member and having to discern between 2 or more possible Orders, carefully pondering the requirements of each is essential. Since each Order has its own Charism, if one is truly and sincerely hoping to find one’s relationship with God growing and deepening over time, the Charism of the Order must speak to the heart of one’s personality as well as one’s reality.

Carmelites are a more Contemplative Order, as I’m sure you know. Perhaps an environment of quiet and prayerful reflection would be preferable to allow for more receptivity to God in silence. If one’s environment keeps one extremely active, maybe the more Apostolic Order of the two would be best. However, if one’s basic temperment is more quiet, but one’s present level of activity makes demands on one’s time and draws one constantly away from that quiet, the opposite may be true. Becoming a Carmelite might provide the way to constantly return to that quiet center within and refresh one’s spirit. These are some of the things I would consider.

A Third Option - Benedictine Oblates open the door for a life of both Prayer and Service and give one the space to write one’s own Rule of Life, according to the outlines of St. Benedict’s Rule. The emphasis is on prayer and work, Work is understood also as prayer when it is dedicated to God as such. The Divine Office is given a place of prominence and many Benedictine Monasteries even print their own version of it.

Of the Benedictines, their are degrees of solitude, also. The Camaldolese Benedictines lend themselves more toward the Contemplative, but even still do works and practice Hospitality, a Very Benedictine Charism.

Gob be with you in your process of Discernment!


another issue is that there is not a Dominican chapter in my area i would either have to drive 2 hours both ways or attempt to start one here ( which kinda scares me). I have to wait until springtime to visit the OCDS, but i am attempting to go to a vocational retreat at a Dominican convent to get a feel for the order in general. so this is where i am at. thanks for the advice i will keep praying and put it in Gods hands


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