I've got a problem

So… I don’t know precisely what I’m looking for in writing this. Perhaps just reassurance or something.

I am a high school senior, and I like being Catholic a lot. I am more of a practicing Catholic than my parents. Lately my mom’s been all like, “Don’t become a nun!” She’s joking, but she’s serious too. Thing is, I really don’t see myself as called to religious life. I really want to get married and have kids some day and be involved in the secular world, perhaps working in youth ministry.

But I feel like my mom thinks I’m weird. She doesn’t seem to believe me that I’m not interested in the nunhood. It makes me super uncomfortable. She just doesn’t seem to get that people without a vocation to the religious life can be deeply religious. I’ve never felt more awkward around her in my life. What should I do?

Maybe if you could sit down with your mother and clarify your feelings on the matter, and listen to her observations as well, it would clear the air. And if you’re a high school senior, what you can do right now is start getting ready to go to college! Education would be an asset no matter which vocation you ultimately feel a call to.

Hi Angela77,

It is wonderful that you have found happiness in your faith and want to nourish it- congratulations! I live near a university with a great Campus Catholic Ministry and those students often become part of our parish after graduation. I, myself am middle aged and went to Catholic schools my whole life…but this isn’t the same Catholicism I see in the youth of today’s Church! They really are on fire for God, and it brings something wonderful to the community- something amazing to be a part of.

And that’s what it has always supposed to have been.

Perhaps your mother has not found thisChurch yet. Maybe you are the person who she will find it in…?

Hopefully you have found a Neumann Center or some way of finding like-minded friends? Keep them. Find them, if you haven’t.:wink:

It is our job in life to figure out who God is calling us to be and to be that person. You have an idea about that. That’s all good.

If it continues to be an issue, consider this: the campus ministry clergy and/or Vocations Directors for a diocese tend to be very kind, cool, articulate people. Perhaps they can help you figure out the words to say to your mom that will bring peace and joy to everyone?

Good luck!

The lady who is trying to raise her kids to be like you:D

First try being comfortable in your own skin, You do not need to convince anyone, be it your parents ,friends, or strangers of why you are Catholic/ Christian and why you have any faith or any amount of faith in Christ.

Plus if you are certain you want to be married ( which remember that is a sacrament and a vocation with in itself ! ) then your mother an everyone will figure it out eventually when you have someone in your life that is apart of your faith, enriches it, and there wont be any need for such comments, be it serious or joking. Yet there could be this long standing joke of fewwwwww hey my daughters boyfriend you have no clue how lucky ya are i thought she was going to be a nun ha ha ha … so if the comments just never end and they are hurtful to you even though they might not be intended so by your mother, then you need to in your own way get that across with out starting world war 3, I have had to do just that with my dad as i have applied for the religious priesthood / and my dad loves to joke with me, but he also knows he can joke and get under my skin at the same time, so i pretty much have to lay down the law an have had to about three or four times because my dad is very thick headed, and old. An it was hard to do but necessary or else it would have kept going. An mind you I am 34, an my dad is half past older than dirt.

Then I will say if it isn’t your mother challenging your faith, it will always be someone in some shape or form, so keep that in mind too i would suggest.

Finally, consider this, do you not feel any calling to a religious life due to the comments by your mother and her actions towards you, or were you on the fence and thinking about it in some way shape or form and this on goings with your mom has tipped you to not really want to even consider it… Or perhaps your mother sees’ how strong your faith is, and perhaps you exhibit a lot of great qualities that suggests a religious life that you never thought of before… I mean so what if you became a nun like that is something bad ?

an you said you feel that your mom thinks you are weird, I can promise you since you said this here, your mother has no idea how you feel. I am going with the assumption you have a good if not great relationship with your mother, if that is the case talk to her, let her know what is going on with you. If it isn’t a good relationship then just stand strong, be kind and let her know to at least respect you enough to stop with the jokes because you do not find it funny and you take your faith in Christ and the Church seriously. ( kind of said the same thing twice i think but i tend to ramble )


Sometimes doing nothing is a choice. Are you planning to go to college? Perhaps focus on choosing a school or occupation that will foster your relationship with Jesus Christ. :thumbsup:

Many people, Catholics included, do not know that there have been many saints who were married or were single but not in a religious order. So when they hear someone contemplating living a devout life, they automatically assume that their vocation is to be a nun or a priest. Study your saints, find some who are married or single, and then educate your mom.

St. Cunegonde, one of the saintly queens, I believe, was married and devoted to caring for all of God’s people. Blessed Pier Giorgio was a single man. He also had some struggles with his parents who were not devout until years later.

I know some very devout Catholics who are married or single, some are in the lay orders, some are on their own personal, but still orthodox and devout, path.

Some people cannot contemplate themselves, or others, living a chaste life without joining a religious order. In some countries and cultures, you are either married or a nun. In other cultures, you are either married or a prostitute. No options. A single woman seems to make some people very uneasy.

An interesting thought: in earlier times, single women in many Catholic cultures were considered suspect for not marrying so they frequently joined the convent because there was no place for them to exist elsewhere. Ask your Mom how she sees your options in this day and age. It might bring some interesting biases to light and open up some good dialogue.

Thank you so much everyone!! You’re making me feel so much more normal!! :slight_smile:

@john78 - Thank you for all the wonderful insight! That is interesting that you bring up the question of whether my mom has possibly turned me off from the nunhood. I’ve wondered that myself. I had honestly never even considered the nunhood until she started joking about it. Then I was all like, “Maybe I SHOULD be considering this.” So I googled it, but I really don’t think I have a calling. Of course, if I change my mind and decide God is calling me, I’d follow it, but I just don’t see that happening.

@Warandpeace - Yes, I’m going to college next year. But my mom actually said she’s afraid the nuns will recruit me if I go to a Catholic school, which adds to the tension. Only one of the schools I’m applying to is Catholic. She went to a Catholic school and claims that the nuns really pressure people to join them. I find that hard to believe though. I would think that they wouldn’t push something that might be against God’s will.

You’ve really nailed down exactly what my mom’s problem is! The idea of researching married/single saints is a good one. Not that I think I will be a saint or anything… I could only wish! But that might make her understand. Thank you!

There are many public universities with active Newman centers and/or FOCUS (fellowship of catholic university students). I couldn’t justify the cost of a Catholic University for myself.

Yeah; I definitely want to go to a place with an active Newman of FOCUS group.


Tell your mother that nuns don’t recruit. One has to approach the order and really PROVE that one is cut out for a vocation. You would have to meet with the vocation director of your parish, most likely, and certainly the sister in charge of novitiates in the order. They don’t take anyone who applies, either. It truly is a vocation, a calling. Maybe if you approach your mother in a lighthearted, yet informative manner, you can straighten this out. “Ha ha Mom, good one, like the nuns are going to walk around campus just waiting for someone to pounce on! Really, Mom, you do know that someone has to apply to be a nun, you can’t just walk up and say, ‘Here I am.’ Anyway you don’t have to worry, I don’t have the calling to be a religious sister.” Big smile for Mom, give her a little hug, and go your way.

Here’s the first webpage that turned up on a search for “How to become a Catholic nun.” Scroll down to the lower half of the page, and you can see the process for joining a religious order. It’s quite intense and NOT something you can be press-ganged into!"

A Nun’s Life

First off, I totally understand your position because I was in the same. My parents didn’t go to church but I did succeed in getting my mom to go. She got more into it when I invited her to my college’s campus ministry dinners. I think today parents don’t want the stigma associated with religion especially if they are not into it themselves. It is very rare that the kids are more into it than they are. Maybe that makes your mom feel like things are upside down.

In any case, when I was involved with campus ministry I attended a conference called Campus Ministry Leadership Institute (CMLI). It is a great experience and something to ask the ministry program you are interested in to see if they attend.

I would maybe explain to her that even secular people can be religious. The early Christians were in a sense the first religious. We are called to be religious, to be distinctive from the secular, atheistic society we live in.

Some seculars become tertiaries.

Some were saints, like St. Thomas Moore who was a lawyer and a chancellor.

At Catholic Colleges, very religious seculars are common. Iin the adjacent communities, religious (but secular) mothers are also common - they tend have seven to twelve kids.

It’s good to know others have been in the same position I am in. Thanks! :smiley: Yes, I think my mom feels like it’s upside down, and so do I, which probably contributes to my discomfort.

Mothers of seven to ten kids who are religious seculars? As close to a saint on earth as I can see…:slight_smile:

Hey Angela,

Great question! If you do decide to talk to your mom, I suggest the following approach:

*]Tell your story: Give her the facts of where you’ve been and where you are right now
*]Tell her your tentative conclusion: “I think right now God is asking me to…”
*]Ask for her feedback: questions, concerns, etc.
*]Keep on loving your mom and praying for her

God bless,

Fr. Scott Kallal, AVI

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