Looking for a Religious Order

Hello, I’m discerning the priesthood.
I like the idea of being in a parish, however, I think community life would be better for me.

I’m looking for an order that does Parish work, lives in community, is very, very traditional, and perhaps has a draw and focus on teacher.

Any ideas of orders that are similar like this?

Knowing which continent you’re on would help tremendously in terms of giving advice.

A better indication of what you mean by “very, very traditional” would also be helpful.

The Oratorians would be a distinct possibility for you since community life is very important, they do parish work, and some have education as an aspect of their work.

If you are in the United States, the Norbertines of Saint Michael’s Abbey in California have strong community and liturgical life as well as parochial ministry and education.

From what you are describing, a Jesuit may not be a bad fit. God Bless you and your discernment! I will be praying for you.

msptm.com/eng/?page_id=37

Traditional formation, you opt for priesthood or contemplative monk, they run a school for boys - think Father Flanagan’s Boystown.

Would love to stay within the United States.

You might consider the Dominicans.

Keep in mind though, that if you enter an order, it is no guarantee that you will be ordained a priest. Many orders have brothers and priests, and the discernment to become the latter comes after the discernment to become the former. The community and superior will decide how many priests it needs, and ultimately the superior will decide who receives priestly formation. There is also no guarantee that you’d be assigned a parish even if you do become ordained.

The second point is that you need to identify with the charism of the order. That charism can usually be best understood by studying the life and works of the founder (St. Benedict for Benedictines and Cistercians, St. Francis for Franciscans, St. Dominic for Dominicans, etc.). You must want to become a Benedictine (or Franciscan or Dominican etc.) first, above all else.

The main point of, say, wanting to become a Benedictine is not because a specific monastery is very traditional, or uses the vetus ordo Mass, or even makes great beer. It is because you want to first and foremost follow in the founder’s footsteps and seek communion with God according to his particular charism.

Many Benedictine congregations have their monks staff parishes, as would priests from several other religious communities. The charism of a Benedictine-staffed parish may differ from that of a Franciscan-staffed parish and that’s the way it should be; the religious priest will try to live according to his charism as best he can even outside the cloister or community and that will be reflected in the parish. Sometimes that does cause friction in parishes that are used to diocesan priests in the past and where parishioners may thus not be aware of the theological foundations for a religious priest’s approach to parish management and liturgical choices.

So the first place to start would be learning what each order is all about and whether that particular lifestyle and manner of seeking God suits you.

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The second point is that you need to identify with the charism of the order. That charism can usually be best understood by studying the life and works of the founder (St. Benedict for Benedictines and Cistercians, St. Francis for Franciscans, St. Dominic for Dominicans, etc.). You must want to become a Benedictine (or Franciscan or Dominican etc.) first, above all else.

The main point of, say, wanting to become a Benedictine is not because a specific monastery is very traditional, or uses the vetus ordo Mass, or even makes great beer. It is because you want to first and foremost follow in the founder’s footsteps and seek communion with God according to his particular charism.

Many Benedictine congregations have their monks staff parishes, as would priests from several other religious communities. The charism of a Benedictine-staffed parish may differ from that of a Franciscan-staffed parish and that’s the way it should be; the religious priest will try to live according to his charism as best he can even outside the cloister or community and that will be reflected in the parish. Sometimes that does cause friction in parishes that are used to diocesan priests in the past and where parishioners may thus not be aware of the theological foundations for a religious priest’s approach to parish management and liturgical choices.

So the first place to start would be learning what each order is all about and whether that particular lifestyle and manner of seeking God suits you.**

Really? They decide who can be priest and who cannot? I thought they accepted that people find it to be the will of God calling them

For the traditional side of things, the Institute of Christ the King may interest you (they’re high on my list of possible vocations). They don’t live in large communities like Franciscan friaries or Benedictine monks, but my understanding is that they staff parishes in groups and pray the LOTH together. They’re never alone to my knowledge. I don’t think they staff schools in the USA but in other countries they do. Their charism is one of upholding the traditional Latin Mass and other pre Vatican 2 sacraments and devotions. Their seminary is in Italy but they have many parishes in the USA.

Try Opus Dei, if you are second-planning, perhaps eh?

Excellent points. I would also add that if one’s purpose for joining a community is specifically because they celebrate the traditional liturgy (or the ordinary liturgy in a more traditional fashion), one is likely to be disappointed. For example Benedictines vote as a community on whether to admit someone, after a period of discernment as postulant.

The abbey I’m associated with celebrates the liturgy in a traditional manner even though it is in the Ordinary Form: Gregorian chant for the Mass, Lauds and Vespers, Latin hymns at other hours, etc, and they live by very orthodox Catholic values. One young man wanted to become a monk there specifically because of that, but he was turned away because his primary desire was not to live the Benedictine charism according to the Rule of St. Benedict, but just the way the liturgy was carried out and their orthodoxy. This became obvious to the Novice Master after a short trial period, and the candidate was asked to leave but consider returning after maturing and discerning to try again.

So the OP’s discernment should be on which charism fits his personality best, or which charism he would like to shape his life to, keeping in mind that ultimately this is a lifetime commitment, and the discernment process is bi-directional, in other words the community will also discern if the candidate is fit, regardless of the candidate’s wishes.

Join the Dominicans! The western province is great and is doing decent in vocations. The eastern province is having a great abundance of vocations.

I don’t know if they are a fit, but I thought I might mention them.

You could also try the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Their Seminary is in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. They use the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and pray the Roman Breviary. They are generally stationed in small groups in a Parish &, yes, some do teach in their Parish Schools.

Chris123678:

One religious order I would recommend is the Society of Mary of Meribah, particularly if you would like to stay on the east coast. I saw a story about them years ago on Sunday NIght Prime with Fr. Benedict Groschel, who is now deceased.

They are a teaching order and teach at two high schools on Long Island. From what I understand, they formed in a similar way as the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR). The CFR’s formed when a group that included Fr. Groschel and Fr. Apostole felt that their old order was losing their way.

Their website is:[

Like others have posted, there is no guarantee that you will be a priest. The Society of Mary starts men out to become Brothers.

Good luck on your discernment.provinceofmeribah.com](http://www.provinceofmeribah.com/#!about1/c20em[/URL)

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