Doctor appointments before Entrance into Religious Community Question


#1

Hi everyone, I have been discerning with the Sisters of the Precious Blood for almost a year and a half now. In January 2013 I will be invited to formally apply for the community to enter as a novitiate, following approval from the community and that I pass medical tests. The only thing that is holding me back at this point is my concern about what all doctors and appointments I will have to go through in this process.

All I can find online is "medical and psychological testing" what exactly, specifically doctor appointments does this include. Besides psychological testing obviously I understand that one. But as far as medical testing. What doctors would this include?

Thanks,

Katie


#2

It's been 25 years since I entered (it wasn't my vocation -- I'm now a mom :)), but as I recall the medical tests were those common to a complete physical given by my personal physician. Lab test things like fasting blood sugar level, cholesterol levels, urine tests for whatever those are for; as well as basic physical-type things like blood pressure, listening to lungs and heart, height, weight, etc. It was super duper simple and completely routine for a complete physical.

Incidentally, because I was raised not to be a complainer, my complete physical did NOT catch that I have asthma or that I have several moderate back problems! Evenso, I was able to more than keep up with the demanding schedule of monastic life.

God bless you! Give it all to God and worry about nothing.

Gertie


#3

[quote="katiebelle08, post:1, topic:292296"]
Hi everyone, I have been discerning with the Sisters of the Precious Blood for almost a year and a half now. In January 2013 I will be invited to formally apply for the community to enter as a novitiate, following approval from the community and that I pass medical tests. The only thing that is holding me back at this point is my concern about what all doctors and appointments I will have to go through in this process.

All I can find online is "medical and psychological testing" what exactly, specifically doctor appointments does this include. Besides psychological testing obviously I understand that one. But as far as medical testing. What doctors would this include?

Thanks,

Katie

[/quote]

Your regular doctor. It's to establish a baseline, in case you develop problems between then and the next physical you have. Some issues such as blood pressure anomalies; diabetes; urinary tract infections; or other infections can be diagnosed by usual office tests, and would have to be cleared up before entrance.

Psychological testing may include the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, which will help the novice mistress better tailor your novitiate experience. (I know the MBTI is given, and that would be how I would use it).

Which Precious Bloods? There are several.

HTH

Blessings,
Cloisters


#4

Most communities will have paperwork that you must take with you to the doctors appointments to be filled out, much like if you were applying for certification for teaching or or some other jobs. They will tell you what they require and it will be easy to figure out.

The bare minimum would be a physical and standard blood tests but you may also be asked for dental, eye, and gynecological exams.

As far as the psychological testing is concerned, don’t worry. Most communities don’t use these tests as a pass/fail tool but as a way to know what struggles you might face in living community life so that they can identify solutions before problems start. I know a young sister in my community who knew before she entered as a result of her testing that she really valued having close friendships and she needed time to nurture them. As a result, her directress allowed her to have extra contact with some of the other young sisters who she didn’t live with. It was really helpful that they both understood this about her before she was in the midst of the novitiate.

May I ask why you are concerned? (Don’t answer if it is private :slight_smile: ) Are you worried about a particular issue? Or are you worried about the financial aspect of all these doctor appointments? Either way, be at peace in that God has called you this far. A few needles or bills won’t keep you away.

Know of my prayers for you.


#5

Cloisters,

I am discerning with the Precious Blood Sisters Dayton. Dayton, Ohio.

I really seem to fit in with this group of sisters; from the chrism of the community to the sisters themselves. It has just been the best year and 4 months! And I have been discerning my call to the religious life for many years and have looked into my communities.


#6

[quote="katiebelle08, post:1, topic:292296"]
Hi everyone, I have been discerning with the Sisters of the Precious Blood for almost a year and a half now. In January 2013 I will be invited to formally apply for the community to enter as a novitiate, following approval from the community and that I pass medical tests. The only thing that is holding me back at this point is my concern about what all doctors and appointments I will have to go through in this process.

All I can find online is "medical and psychological testing" what exactly, specifically doctor appointments does this include. Besides psychological testing obviously I understand that one. But as far as medical testing. What doctors would this include?

Thanks,

Katie

[/quote]

Hi Katie,

I would ask the sister who is the contact person (for you) in the community. Normally when you "formally" apply there is actually some forms they would send you that your doctor would fill out. If you need specifics (now) I would give the sisters a call.

The exact tests may vary from community to community but trust me they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Normally as far as "what doctors" it would include.. it would most likely be handled by a general practitioner. (Rather than a specialist..again depending on what services your own doctor might offer) However I again would encourage you to just call sister up and ask her.

Blessings on your vocation discernment.


#7

Bless you, dear! And bless them, too!

We had a Precious Blood sister at our parish in Berea–Sr Camille. The parishioners gave her a dog, which she named Simba. She put his doghouse on the back porch of the convent. Not sure where they got off to.

The visions of Our Lady of America were given to one of their number–Sr Mildred Mary.

At any rate, will be praying for both you, the community, and the discernment process.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#8

The community I entered wanted the following:

Dental
General Medical
Gynecological
Myers Briggs

However, they administered the Myers Briggs and then wouldn’t show ME the results. That caused me some anxiety, but since they had accepted me, I figured it couldn’t be that bad… and was it my imagination, or was I being treated differently then the other postulants (and later, novices)? I felt like I was being excluded from things. There would be a picnic or some sort of outing for the young sisters, but I was “selected” to stay behind and take someone else’s place so that they could go. It wasn’t every single time, but it did seem to me that it was more often than not, while some sisters were always included in the outings.

YEARS later, at a teacher inservice, we were given a Myers Briggs and given the results immediately. I was on the far fringes of INTJ. The good sisters, in their way of thinking, decided that I would rather be left out than included, because I am from the rare type that likes to be alone and makes few friends. However, the “J” part caused me to perceive this as an injustice to me. So IMHO, the Myers Briggs is only worth taking if it is going to be used by people who actually know what they are doing.

My advice to you - ask a lot of questions. You want to know which tests, but you also know how they will be used. The hard part will be to do this without making it seem (to the sisters) like you are questioning their methods, 2nd guessing them, or worried that something will show up in the tests that you would rather not disclose. As they say, “You can run, but you can’t hide.” This is true when applied to your formation, because you can’t run away from yourself. You will have to face yourself, as you get to know who you really are, then work on forming that person into the beautiful bride of Christ you are called to be. You may find that things you struggle with in the world will not be the same things you struggle with in community.


#9

[quote="Nun_of_That, post:8, topic:292296"]
The community I entered wanted the following:

Dental
General Medical
Gynecological
Myers Briggs

However, they administered the Myers Briggs and then wouldn't show ME the results. That caused me some anxiety, but since they had accepted me, I figured it couldn't be that bad... and was it my imagination, or was I being treated differently then the other postulants (and later, novices)? I felt like I was being excluded from things. There would be a picnic or some sort of outing for the young sisters, but I was "selected" to stay behind and take someone else's place so that they could go. It wasn't every single time, but it did seem to me that it was more often than not, while some sisters were always included in the outings.

[/quote]

Sorry to hear that... that was a violation of canon law.


#10

Can you please cite the canon? That would be helpful for other readers. Also, it would have to be the 1917 code, which was in force at the time that I entered. The 83 code took effect after I was already professed.


#11

[quote="Nun_of_That, post:10, topic:292296"]
Can you please cite the canon? That would be helpful for other readers. Also, it would have to be the 1917 code, which was in force at the time that I entered. The 83 code took effect after I was already professed.

[/quote]

According to your narrative, there were at least two serious abuses in how they handled your situation. It was against canon law in the sense that even though they were not necessarily explicit situations verbalized by the canons themselves, they are part of the interpretation of those canons since they come from moral theology and prior/post instructions and decrees from the Vatican on psyche evals.

Relevant canons of the 1917 Code, among others, include 530, 544-546 (as interpreted according to canonical tradition), 1000... Plus moral theology on confided secrets and the separation of internal/external fora... (530 actually was softened whereby automatic excommunication was not incurred)

1983 canons include 220, 642, 630, etc.

You have in addition the right to remain silent (you can't be forced to self-incriminate, which is a possibility in the psych exams or if a gyn exam shows that there was a pregnancy), etc. I wrote (and published) my canon law thesis on (partially) this subject but will be giving a workshop on it at some point in the near future.

This is actually a lot more information than I would normally give on a forum post as it takes some research, so please be advised that this is the extent of what I will post here on this topic since there are materials out there online and in libraries for those who really want to do the research and canonists can be professionally consulted on the matter in individual cases of people wondering what is and what is not appropriate in the medical/psyche evals.


#12

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