A friend of mine has accumulated some debt over the years yet but still feels a strong calling to the priesthood and/or to religious life. He’s found places for men ,one has to be debt free. (School debt seems to be acceptable to many Orders). In California primarily if not in any other states. Thank you.
I’d imagine that any religious community would require one to be out of debt before entrance, as after all, one will not pay it off while living in religious poverty.
Abandoning a debt would not be consistent with service to God and others.
Suggest to him that he ask his spiritual director how to proceed. If he is in
vocational discernment, he should have had a SD long since.
Some orders may have wealthy benefactors who will make payments on the debt while one is pursuing studies and may continue as long as the candidate peseveres. But I would imagine the payments would stop if the candidate does not persevere.
Some dioceases may also have such benefactors.
The Laboure Society was set up for exactly this purpose
I just saw their founder interviewed live on CMTV on Wednesday.
This is a link to the video, but I don’t know if it will work…
ETA: If he is accepted, they will make the minimum quarterly payment while he is in seminary. Then, upon ordination, they will pay off the whole thing.
Thanks exNOAAman, for the info. Unfortunately, they only take care of school/debt
Oop…I foolishly assumed. (Well, maybe someone can use the info somewhere.)
No problem. Those with school debt can use this information.
Thanks Berg. This group only helps with Academic debt.
As a not-wealthy donor to such organizations, I find it troublesome that someone would look on them as debt havens.
Paying a seminarian’s cost of religious education? No problem. Paying for his past life? Not so good.
Has he considered filing bankruptcy or taken other such measures to reduce his debt?
It often occurs to me that our current generations have been pulled into debt slavery by unscrupulous and unregulated debt/credit cards, who are predators on people. I have known numerous people having to claim bankruptcy, or lost their homes, because they were naïve, in need of money, and the credit cards seduced them into losing everything.
If the Church wants to help people, especially those feeling called to the religious life, and even if not, they could help tremendously by establishing “debtor havens” where people could pay perhaps $50 a month for a room, have a monk or priest be “house father” and learn to pray the divine office together, attend Mass, while spending several years working and paying off their debt. A Catholic collection agency could represent the debtor and work with the company. Many companies evidently will lower the debt, rather than get nothing from a bankruptcy.
Religious orders try to respond to the need of the times. This is a huge need, and keeping many people in creditor slavery.
We have huge financial institutions who practicing “usury” which was forbidden by the Bible itself. Sudden jumps in amounts due, if overdue, to 30% interest. It is sickening. It is entrapping and disabling people.
The generation in their 80s were not subjected to this. Banks were very cautious to give out loans, and tried to establish the probability of it being paid back. They never were victim to this unscrupulous credit card attack on our population. I think if we pulled the string to who is behind this attack, we might be surprised how deliberate it is.
That is no longer the case, and thus the mortgage crisis, with people getting in over their heads and losing their homes.
The Church could actually take this on as a cause and rather than beating down those in credit slavery, or turning them away as losers, they could give them shelter, and provide group housing with very inexpensive rooms and call them St. Benedict Houses, where they could live, pray together, study Scripture at night together, go to daily Mass, have a monk/priest as house father, have a chapel and adoration room, and grow in their vocation and spiritual life.
They may be able to pay back a majority of their debt in 2-3 years, and have grown spiritually tremendously. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?
God bless all those with vocations and struggling against this unscruplous tide of financial slavery sweeping our nation.
Great advice and insight to this credit debt problem especially on those that try to live debt free lives yet somehow get swept into this debt tide. Thank you for your positive input.
Thinking about your friend, he might try praying to St. Joseph, who has traditionally been viewed as a patron of providing for the needs of monasteries, etc. St Theresa of Avila said people were not aware of his heavenly influence, and she always had her monasteries under his patronage, to provide for their needs. So Novenas to him by your friend might open up doors and help clear up his financial situation.
Get a statue of The Infant of Prague also, who is said to help with the needs of a monastery or home, when honored. He might study this devotion and apply it to his situation.
Hopefully, he can find a group he likes and visit them often and keep in close touch as he works through his situation, and perhaps even meet with the Bishop of the diocese he would like to be in, and see if he could help initiate a Debtor Haven for all, especially for those with call to religious life, for a group house and sharing expenses, use bus line, etc, to minimize costs, share costs, and quickly pay off debts…
Wouldn’t that be fantastic?
God bless you and your friend.
Has your friend tried taking a personal finance course with a focus on debt-repayment (like Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University)?
Paying off debt can be a good spiritual exercise in self-control and sacrifice.
interesting point. I will pass this along.
If his income is low enough he could file bankruptcy and then join the religious community. It is so sad debt holds back so many from God.
In California he can file for Bankruptcy if he makes under $48, 498
I know that with the Dominican friars, one can enter with something like $20,000 of debt and they’ll take care of it, if you join.
The orders that require a college degree, like the Dominicans, have to expect that people will be in debt this day and age.
I’ll make a note of it. Thanks
great idea. I’ll pass that along.