Looking for a female religious order

I have heard the call to religious life and now I need to figure out where that call is leading me to. I’m looking for suggestions for communities to visit. It is non negotiable for me that all the sisters must wear the habit (veil and all). I want to look at active communities that are in full standing with the church in Rome. In terms of charism, I would like to find a community that works heavily with the poor or imprisoned. Bonus points if sisters have the opportunity to live/work abroad after final vows. I know its a lot, I’m sorry!

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Praying for you and your vocation that you can fulfill God’s will where ever He is sending you to do what ever He wants you to do.,


When I first started looking into orders once I felt called to religious life, my diocese vocation’s director handed me a book of the orders that are part of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR). They have a directory on their website (cmswr.org) and blurbs for the different charisms of the orders.

Other than that, get in contact with your vocation’s director and see if there’s a vocation’s mailing list for when discernment retreats and visits are happening.




Someone’s already beat me to the CMSWR. Don’t discount LCWR communities outright. Some still allow the habit and veil. One has to work off of attractions, then make inquiries. You’ve not stated your age, and that can be a biggie, nor your location.

Always look locally first. This includes dioceses contiguous to your own.

Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican

The Missionary Sisters of Charity founded by St.Teresa of Calcutta wear a habit but is not the normal black and white but based off the sari which is worn by women in India. They are an active community in full standing with the Roman Catholic Church. They work specifically with the poor. In addition to the traditional vows of poverty,chastity,and obedience they make a vow to give free whole-hearted service to the poorest of the poor and you can and will be transferred to other countries . I think you have to live in India for the novitiate or a part of it.

Yes - the CMSWR is a wonderful resource! They even have a directory of member communities, which was instrumental for me in my own searching for a community.
God bless you in your search!!!
Sr. Christina M. Neumann, OSF

PS: Our Sr. Mary Ruth visits the local prison three Saturday afternoons a month. I serve at a home for elderly and vulnerable adults, most of whom are low-income.

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