I am a married Catholic man and I am in the process of discerning whether I am called to enter into a third order. Since I know that not all orders have third orders, I have been researching to find out what my “options” are (so to speak), given my particular circumstances. The information I have found has been rather confusing and has been mostly very specific to one particular order or another, so I’m not really sure where to begin. How can I find out what religious orders would be open to me in order to investigate further?
In most cases, it is preferable for a person to be formed by an existing third order in his area. I recommend you call your local diocese and ask for the names of lay associations for religious orders and congregations in your area. Once you know what is available to you locally, you can begin to narrow down your search from there.