I feel called to serve Jesus as a monk, but how Im I bringing up the subject with my priest?


#1

Hi, Im 23 years old and are after long periode of time Im set to be initiated into full communion at Easter. I’ve felt drawn towards a life as a munk for several years, but has kept it to myself becouse I wasn’t even sure if the Catholic Church was the right for me until 6 months ago.
Lately I’ve felt like God wants me to live my life as monk more than ever before, so my question is: How do I approach this subject with my priest?
I mean, Im actually a bit afraid of being a laughing stock for him and other priests.
As mentioned above, Im not even initiated yet so I feel like it may sound preposterous that Im thinking of entering an order.

How should I bring up the subject and when is it appropriate?

Thanks in advance for any answers I may receive.

  • Peace in Christ

#2

It’s quite simple:
“Father, I’ve been discerning, and I think I feel called towards monastic life.”

You can talk to him, and he can suggest a plan going forward, or you can contact a monastery that might interest you directly, and see what they say.


#3

Make an appointment with your Priest and let him know now. Also, try to find out if there are any retreats in your area that you might attend that deal with becoming a Priest.

If you want to contact a Monistary directly please look up the Westminster Abby in Hope, British Columbia. (I visited there in 1990…it is a beautiful place and is a Benedictan Abby. Near by is a Convent of Carmalite Nuns.) I am sure they can help you with some information. If you get a chance save your money and go visit. You could try to contact St. Annes Parish in Abbotsford, British Columbia and they would certainly have information they could provided about the Abbey.

Good luck.


#4

I would advise patience. After your initiation at Easter, I would talk to the priest about finding a spiritual director. Learn to walk, before you try to run.


#5

If you do not want to tell him face to face, send an email and then ask to make an appointment to discuss it in person. Also, you can contact your diocese’s Office of Vocations and speak to someone about your calling to religious life. Do not be surprised or discouraged if you are advised to wait a year or two. It is common practice to have converts wait for a while before they go into the priesthood or religious life; you need some time to practice and grow in your faith before you make such a commitment. NO ONE WILL LAUGH! If they do, it will be out of joy for you and for the Church. Welcome Home!


#6

This is exactly what I was thinking. My friend, I’m not Catholic (yet), yet when I approached my dear Catholic Priest and told him I felt called to be a nun, he didn’t laugh at me, nor make fun of me. Instead, he was happy and excited for me, and helped me with everything I could possibly need help with. Go to your Priest. He won’t laugh at you. He will help and guide you. Feeling a monastic vocation isn’t something to laugh at, it is something so many Catholics cherish and pray for daily. Good luck to you, and may God bless you on your journey!


#7

Here’s the thing: Even if someone did laugh at you, which I doubt will happen, you will not be the first convert to feel this calling; there are many before you who knew their call before converting.

So relax on that issue.

Then you get to CHOOSE a monastic community. Even within a specific order there might be four monasteries near you, so you might want to visit several and get a feel for it. My friend visited four and chose the one that he felt needed him the most (that was HIS idea; he did not like it the most).

Next, the process of joining a monastic community is a very well-planned process. You will go for visits, longer stays, trial periods of discernment, and during that time your own spiritual counselor or someone else will be helping you with the discernment. It is a good process that helps prepare you and your family and helps you to finish anything that needs finishing, like school, paying bills, finding more family support, etc.

Then once you are in the novitiate, you get a long period of study. Many people decide to leave before ever taking their final vows. There should be no shame when that happens–the world just receives a very special lay person who is more disciplined, spiritually, physically, intellectually. And if you stay, the monastery has gained a wonderful soul who will pray and suffer for the world’s pain and suffering.

The thing about monasteries that most impresses me is that the monks bring and develop incredible skills and talents that are often put to good use: art, music, writing, healing, helping, bookkeeping, teaching, science, agriculture, working skills. ALL are put to some use.

Good luck and God bless you in your discernment. Read about monks, monasteries, Thomas Merton’s and Maria von Trapp’s stories. Learn more and worry less.


#8

Basically this times 10. And then times it by another 10. :slight_smile:

Also, I would like to say that here’s a lot of fantasy involved in the prospect of being a monk or a hermit, that many people feel it’s the life for them, but when they try, they realize how difficult this particular lifestyle is, and how it was nothing like they imagined. Please remember that the monk’s way of life is basically one of self-denial, obedience and willing crucifixion of oneself. It isn’t one where u relax and expect everything to be all rainbows, green grass and butterflies.

Anyway, I’m not sure if there would be any place that would normally accept anyone who just became Catholic into their community. It’s a very good idea to know one’s faith first, and to practice it for a good amount of time before attempting to jump head first into a religious vocation.


#9

Most religious orders have minimum requirements for accepting new candidates. The most basic one is that you are a practicing Catholic for at least three years.

So after you become Catholic you need to actively practice the faith. This means daily prayer, daily mass if possible, involvement in parish ministries, living a chaste life, having regular confession and spiritual direction.

While practicing and living the faith you may also begin discernment regarding a religious vocation.


#10

Thanks for all the answers:)
I’ve decided to bring up the matter to my priest in January as he is very busy at the moment.
I have a special love for Mama Mary so Im looking into some of the ‘Marian’ orders.
I will definitely talk this over with my priest.
I will however ask him to get an appointment over email as Im not sure how to bring up the the subject, hopefully it will be fruitful;)

God Bless you all.

  • Pax Christi

#11

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