Late traditional vocation-community?

I am a “late” vocation at 37…some people consider “late” anythung after 60 but it seems like the communities I find online have max ages of 30 (some 35). Those that I do find that are “older” tend to lean the opposite of orthodox in staying true to church teaching and tradition. Does anyone have recommendations of communities that are mid-aged and traditional?

Or does anyone have any thoughts about what it would take to start a community? Maybe not even necessarily a vowed religious community, but a catholic community for “misfits” of sorts. I know there are some communities where religious, singles, couples, etc sort of live together in community. Anyone know of any good examples of these?

Last random thought…why do seminaries except men in their 50/60s but religious communities have cut offs of 30?

TIA for any wise words you might have!

This is a question for your local Chancery.
Inquire there.

Where are you located?

Are you male or female?

The misfits could be drawn together into a private lay association of the faithful without the intention of becoming an institute of religious life.

That, in turn, could turn into a religious institute or Society of Apostolic Life.

What exactly do you mean by traditional?

I am in Minnesota, about an hour from Minneapolis-St Paul. I am female.

Traditional to me is extraordinary form and all the customs that go along with it. I love the tradition and feel like part of my calling may be to simply stay in a state in life that allows me to support the parishes, priests, and communities that continue these traditions…especially as the “fight” progresses within the church. Yet I do feel called to religious life, and ultimately I need to decide if that call outweighs the love I have for tradition. I think I am ready to give up some of it but so many of the communities have zero, nothing, nada, no hint of tradition left in them. My original question is the only way I can sort of combine both aspects.

Thank you for the descriptions you provided…that gives me a good start of what to start researching. I dont know that I want to start anything new, but I do have resources that a community might be able to build on so I am interested in talking with some of these associations/societies. has a section for orders accepting late vocations.

My organization keeps a running list of emerging charisms, and the “Traddies” as I call them don’t have many, if any, vocational resources for those over 30. That is why we are offering vocational opportunities through our CONF branch. More on that later, though.

I will, however, give you two other options that would be available to you. If you’re still physically a virgin, the Order of Virgins (“Consecrated Virgin”) could be an option. This is for those who do not feel a draw to religious life. CVs usually frown on women using their vocation as a springboard to religious life.

Another option is diocesan hermit. They are involved in parish activities, but are responsible for their own financial support.

I had mentioned our CONF communities. Our Charity charism is going to be “bi-ritual & bi-lingual” meaning they will be prepared to work in either kind of parish and will alternate Latin and English in their prayers. We bundled all of the proposed charisms, except for two, into the Charity charism, and one of those proposals included parish workers.

Two seed vocations for this charism began their “ad experimentum” phase on November 29. New charisms begin as their own third orders, and theirs is known as CAMM (Charity Associates of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal). We require that those wishing to enter this new Society of Apostolic Life become CAMM first.

Our Gilbertine Restoration will utilize Latin because we are going to use their original Institutes and Rite, which was based on the Cistercian tradition. However, they will be cloistered. The Gilbertines engaged in very limited philanthropy, though, so we do not know how the charism will truly emerge as of yet. I still need assistance with translating the documents found in the Monasticon, though. The Lay Gilbertines are being established and I am developing their second year of formation.

My advice is that if there is a community you are attracted to, contact them and speak with a vocation director directly. Don’t pay much attention to the age limits posted in vocational literature and online, honestly. My community says the age limit is 40, but I know of several who entered older than that, one even in his 60’s. There are probably others I don’t know know about. Religious communities have a lot of autonomy and can make many exceptions as long as it does not contradict Canon law. If God is calling you, there is a way.

This too, but EFLR/MEF communities are usually dead-set against allowing older vocations into new communities. I know this from discerners’ experience.

Which communities do you know there locally? Start there first, and keep an open heart as to what God wants you to do.

Here is the Deo est Gloria page for MN:

Schoenstatt, the last entry on the page, is a secular institute.

Exactly - the more “traditional” they seem to be, the younger their max age is and the more strict they are on it. And I absolutely can understand why from a formation perspective.

I have visited most of the communities in MN on that list, many in surrounding states, and have had contact with others outside of the midwest (I’m not set on any one location). The Schoenstatt one was new to me though and kind of interesting.

I also appreciate PapyrusDouay’s advice - I have convinced myself that I don’t want to be the “exception” to any community’s age rule but I do feel I am called to this vocation and perhaps this is a means for my prideful ways to be broken.

Pax et Bonum! I wondered if you have tried Third Orders or Secular Orders? They do not have age requirements although there are Religious Orders who accept older vocations saying a person can be “called” at any time - Abraham was called at 75 yrs of age!

When starting a community, before it can be canonically erected, your community would have to be living a Rule of Life for quite some time and in a position of sustaining themselves.

There are more traditional Associations approved by the Church following original Rules of Life - (international)
- (early Franciscan writings from first followers)

These are the 2 that I remember the most; hope this helps! angeltime:gopray2:

Pax et Bonum! Just noticed you are from Minneapolis/St Paul area - this is where the Brothers and Sisters of Penance Assoc. was first approved and established.

Best wishes and prayers! angeltime:gopray2:

Indeed this could very well be true. However…I would still recommend he OP contact them, as we never know, especially since local leadership or needs of the community can change.


Yup! It’s not up to us and whatever limitations we put on ourselves, no matter the reason. Religious life is about submitting your will to the Lord in a radical way. As the saying goes He “doesnt call the qualified; He qualifies the called”…or something like that. If you’re an exception to the rule, you’re an exception to the rule. I wouldn’t think twice about it. There are a lot of “exceptions to the rule”, because it’s up to God, not us and our rules.

God has a place reserved for you somewhere.

Here’s one deo est Gloria didn’t get posted: Hermanas Guadalupanas De La Salle:

They’re in St. Paul!

I would check out the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) for communities which are more what you’re looking for.
I’m from MSP/SP area too and now serve in North Dakota.
I do not know of a set age limit which we have.
We are not extremely traditional, but wear recognizable garb and try to be faithful to the Church.
I’d encourage you to check out our blog: or our website: for more info. about our particular community.

I’m happy to say that the Redemptoristine Sisters of Liguori, MO (south of St. Louis) take older women. They wear habits, pray the office, and don’t waver from the magisterium. Their website at is still under construction, but you can get the most important information.

God bless you in your discernment!

Peace…nice to know the Redemptorstines are so active in maintaining their Order and tradition…tks! angeltime:nun2:

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