Discerning (Consecrated Virgin)


Hello all.

Currently, I’m discerning my vocation. I’m only 20 years old, and I am completing a college degree at the moment.

I feel this strong pull toward religious life. I believe this is what God wants me to do. It’s just figuring my vocation exactly is the problem! I don’t know whether I should go Contemplative, Religious or Missionary. All appeal to me. I want a life of prayer, but I also want to work. Travel would be nice too.

I discovered the vocation of the consecrated virgin recently. Reading about it, I felt this immediate surge of excitement. I like the idea of marrying Christ, dedicating myself to Him, and living in the world as His example. Yet, I also like the idea of having a community!

Any suggestions, or opinions?

Any help would be appreciated. :slight_smile:


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction on your discernment.


You are on an exciting journey, Sunland. I would suggest that you find out more about the different religious orders you are interested in. Speak to your Bishop about being a consecrated virgin as you would be answerable to him. Don’t forget that there is another option - secular institutes which are also recognised by the church as a consecrated way of life. God bless you as you search for his will for your life.


I would discern religious life first as college debt can keep you from it. It would be wise to get a good spiritual director. It’s easier to get one when you’re discerning a vocation.


Thank you all so much for the kind replies and prayers. :slight_smile:

Thankfully, I don’t have any college debt. Everything is paid for. Also, I’ve been trying to be as proactive in my discernment as possible. I’ve contacted the vocations director of my diocese, and I’ve emailed a few convents and missionaries that I’m interested in. So far I have gotten a very kind reply of the vocations director, and I’m patiently waiting for the other replies. So please pray that everything goes alright! I’d really appreciate any prayers.

I’ve a couple of questions too:

-Would my young age (20) stop me from joining an order, or becoming Consecrated?
-Ideally, should I try to complete my degree?
-My parents, I imagine, won’t be pleased if I announce that I have a vocation. What should I do there?

Again, any prayers and thoughts would be kindly received! :slight_smile:


20 is a very young age to become a Conscrated virgin, and your bishop will likely be hesitant to consecrate a person under the age of 25. Even at the age of 25, bishops are hesitant. It takes many years of discernment before becoming a consecrated virgin. It is a very permanent vocation insofar as it can’t be undone at all if it turns out you discern wrong. I’m not saying you have to be old and go look for Mr Right (as our vocations director thinks CV is a fallback vocation). CV doesn’t have an age limit on it, whereas religious vocations do.


I didn’t realise that. Thank you for telling me. :slight_smile:


Check out the Ignatius Discernment Rules. He talks a lot about trying to be as objective as possible, which I find useful. A lot of people fail ever to take a step in one direction or another out of fear of limiting their options. As with most things you should be at least like 60% sure and then just jump in. With most contemplitive orders there is a 5-6 year period of discernment within the community before you take your final vows so you have time after you take your first step toward it before you have to make your final decision. I’m not sure about being a CV, Active, or Missionary because I haven’t felt called in any of those directions, but there is nothing stopping you from just trying to be the best Catholic you can right now while you decide which direction to go in. Remember, our ultimate vocations are to be holy which is something we can all work on independent of where we are right now.

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