Joining a religious order


I’ve been thinking of joining a religious order (not sure which one though), but I have a few questions: 1) What are the requirements (besides being a faithful Catholic). 2) Does it cost money to get your education/join the order?. 3) Generally, how long is the process, and if you do the full period, are you “guaranteed” to be accepted into an Order?

If I were to join an order, I’d love to be in one that focuses mainly on studying (Bible, history, etc.), praying, and assisting with the poor.


This is something I’m wondering about too. I don’t have answers, I’m just posting on this thread so I can see other people’s.


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction in your discernment.


As a monk? A sister? A Brother? A priest?
More info needed to answer. :confused:

There are no guarantees though…it depends on whether it’s a fit and you do reasonably well in formation.

Your best bet is to speak to the Vocations Director at your Diocese. He can answer most all your questions and steer you in the right direction if you are seriously discerning.


What a wonderful aspiration! It depends on your age to a certain extent. Orders normally require you to reach beyond school age to allow for a greater maturity in discernment. The education depends on the order. You should try to break down your interest to a couple of orders whose carisms attract you and speak to their vocational advisers who are the best to discuss process and requirements. May God be with you in any future career.


Generally there is a postulant period from 6 month to a year. Then a novice 3 years or longer depending on the order and the candidate. As all orders differ, you might make fist vows after 3 years or longer. Final vows are up to the orders to confer. Most active orders want you to get your education before entering. This is just a general outline. Write to various orders that interest you and they will send you details.

  1. Depends on which vocation is applicable to you (priest, brother, sister, nun).
    Generally you need to be between age of majority and 40 (although there are exceptions on that higher limit depending on the order), in good enough health to do your ministry, and not an axe murderer.

  2. Generally, no; not unless you leave before vows.

  3. Depends on the order, but can range anywhere from 4-12 years. You are “guaranteed” if you are accepted and do not present any formation issues.


My daughter is a sister at Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

She joined at age 18. Next year she takes her final vows (after 8 years). They are a teaching order and they paid for her college (graduated from Eastern Michigan University).

Now she is at a Mission in Texas (with several other sisters) teaching 4th and 5th grade and she loves it!

It really is a fantastic order, but we miss her terribly. We can only visit twice a year - although she will be able to come home for a week next year. She is only allowed to write letters every 2 weeks (and not at all during advent and lent). I think after her final vows she will be allowed to use email. It has been a huge sacrifice on our part. She really had to give up her family and join her new one. But now her sisters are my daughters too. I just love them all.

Their order is very traditional - pro Life, huge fans of John Paul II. I would highly recommend it.

Happy discernment!
John Marie Philomena


A religious order isn’t something one decides to join. One has to have an actual vocation. When one applies to enter a religious community, there are no guarantees. Even the day of final profession, the Mother Superior can decide not to allow you make final vows and ask the person to leave. In entering one is going to merely take the next step in testing their vocation.


A brother, sorry for the confusion.

@Deo Gratias42: I think God is calling me to do this, I really do. I’m willing to sacrifice my “normal” life for a religious life. :slight_smile:


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