How can I look into becoming a lay religious or consecrated single?


I may not be able to enter my desired religious community because it looks like my health isn’t improving, however, can I become a member of a third order if I’m sick or become consecrated?

What can I do to become one and what orders offer this?

Thanks in advance.

  • Rose


There are a number of options.

Lay associations – are similar to third orders & make promises after a short instructional period.

Secular Institutes – are consecrated after a formation program.

Third Orders – embody an order’s spirituality adapted to the lay setting.

Consecrated Virgin – works with a diocesan bishop and is consecrated to Christ.

All of the aforementioned aside, what are you attracted to doing?



I suggest looking in here for some third order or lay ministry that is local to explore and discern with them :wink: Though do keep in mind, that they do maintain the spirituality of the order in the world, so I suggest finding out what your spirituality is. If there is a particular charism (prayer, teaching, poor, elderly, etc.) that you are attracted to, that is also something to discern.

Good luck on your journey :slight_smile:


Opus Dei might also be an option. Not a third order or a religious order, but a personal prelateure which members enter into by contract with a distinctive spiritual tradition.


Talk to a priest about a recommendation to a priest for spiritual direction because you are discerning a vocation. Given the need for a spiritual director while discerning, priests are more willing to give up what little spare time they have for spiritual direction. Retired priests are also a very good option. You need someone helping you along the way who can give you an unbiased third party insight. Otherwise you’re just throwing darts blindfolded hoping you hit the bullseye.


Since you are still relatively young and your health may recover, it’s probably not a good time to make a decision unless the doctors have told you that this illness is permanent. There are religious orders that accept people with physical ailments as long as it is well controlled and you are mentally healthy. Such orders include the Visitation Nuns, Benedictines of Jesus Crucified, and others. It would be worth looking into them if you still feel called to religious life.

In that case, is there a spirituality you are attracted to the most - Franciscan, Carmelite, Salesian, etc? There are third orders available all over the world and most can be located through a simple web search. As for consecrated single life, you would have to look at Secular Institutes and contact the ones that you are most attracted to.

Spiritual direction is something you should look into if you don’t already have an SD. They can be invaluable if you find the right one.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit