My priest does not want me to be a nun?

I spoke to my priest about my desire to be a nun, I told him as well that marriage isn’t even interesting to me. I’m a convert and In my early twenties. I know I’m young but i was talking to my friend who is the same age as me and a convert as well and she told me how she dreamed of marriage as a little girl and has already picked out her engagement ring… and she doesn’t even have a boyfriend yet! but I don’t have that desire, I am in love with God and want to live only for him but my priest was trying to say that i 'I am not like a nun" and would make a good wife and mother. He sad that this would make me happy, but I tried to tell him it wouldn’t.

I don’t understand why he is discouraging it? I am new to all of this, being a new Catholic but I wanted to know what people on here thought?


I discerned with a couple of orders, starting when I was even younger! Now I feel called to marriage. Anyway, rest assured. There are all kinds of sisters! Athletic, extremely nurturing, tomboy-ish, artistic, musical, etc. Pope Francis JUST said something about how it’s VERY important for sisters to be spiritual mothers. So, if the priest thinks you’d be a good mom, you can use those gifts as a sister! It kind of sounds like he’s against women religious in general. That’s very strange. I feel like there’s so much emphasis on “getting” more priests, while women considering religious life are ignored. :rolleyes:
I would definitely look into finding another priest or spiritual director. I would definitely start looking into faithful women religious communities. The Dominicans in Nashville are amazing, if I may put a shameless plug here. :slight_smile:
If you’re not called to be a sister, you’ll have plenty of time to figure it out. In most communities, it is about 5-8 years before you take perpetual vows.
Good luck and God bless, Gemma!

I see that you’re in Australia! There are some Dominican sisters there now.

You are very young…and he has the wisdom to know that you might not see marriage in your future now, but you might next year or in a few years.
I wouldn’t compare yourself to your friend…most girls don’t dream of marriage as a little girl or pick out an engagement ring before they have a boyfriend.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you ended up married, and she did not.

He must have what he thinks is good reason for saying this to you. He wouldn’t want to discourage someone becoming a nun unless he did, don’t u think?
Perhaps there was something else you said to him that made him think your reasons for becoming a nun were not quite solid?


How did you get this impression?
I don’t see anything the OP said that would lead one to think this of the priest at all.


If you’re a relatively new convert, in addition to thinking that you’re young, he may be concerned that your enthusiasm will wane a bit and that you will end up setting yourself up for something that isn’t truly your calling.

That may not be the case, of course, and religious life may be your calling as you believe. It may just be best to take his advice as a caution not to jump in too quickly, while considering all options while you discern.

She talked about how he was telling her that she’s “not like a nun.” This shows that he at least has a stereotype, probably one where nuns are quiet or strict or something.

She also said that he was trying to convince her that married life would make her happy, like he doesn’t want her to be wasted on religious life. I say that because there’s no way for him to know that marriage would make her happy, especially if she’s expressing a desire to at least explore the religious life. I feel that most priests would at least encourage a girl in her situation to be “open” to anything, rather than trying to convince her out of something, unless he had some problem with it.

I don’t want to be a nun yet, in years to come. I want to respect my priest but I just don’t understand why he does not think I’m suited to religious life.
I go to daily Mass, spend time in prayer and am always looking for ways to serve the church and the community.
I’m in Australia, we lack decent Catholic men here anyway so even if I wanted marriage it would be hard to find someone. I said to him that there is enough married people, enough women wanting to get married… And in Australia it’s rare for young women to become nuns so I would be very rare… I don’t understand because I thought priests would be happy to see people interested in religious life.

His words were “you need a man and children to be happy”.

I still think you may be reading something into this Catholic priest’s words that may not be there and it’s a little unfair to him.

He didn’t imply anything about the OP “being wasted on religious life”…
And his advice doesn’t necessarily mean he has a stereotype of nuns (and for all we know, the OP may be a quiet and strict person and fits the stereotype you give as an example).

He had a talk with the OP, he knows her, he is her priest…perhaps he has formed his opinion based on what he knows about her specifically and what she said to him.

Because he is advising her toward a specific spiritual direction or calling, doesn’t mean he’s “against women religious in general”.

Unless, of course, she knows that he tells this to many, many women.
OP…is this priest known to discourage many women from becoming nuns?

Would this not be sinful, to purposefully direct someone away from a destined religious calling and vocation?
If the priest is knowingly doing this, he would be in big trouble.

Would be helpful to know, OP…what did he say about you that leads him to think you are “not like a nun”?


Foremost, respect the collar. Your priest are most likely to be right and he have seen many people with the same feeling. What you can do is to seek your inner soul by praying and don’t forget to listen to the answer. It is possible you will become a nun, if it is Gods choice for you. Let a few years go by and think about it, you are still young.

I think you have to make that discussion with a convent and go on the internet and check them out, as they will invite you there an show you the life and comment you would be making. You do not have to make your final vows like after 4 years or so. At the same time I would do a lot of praying in the mean time and see if God is calling you also.

God Bless

I have no idea what he means by that. When I said I didn’t want marriage he sad that was bad and that he wants me to be happy and said I need a man and children to be happy. I talked about it but he kept insisting I get married, he was saying how all the youth have a boyfriend or girlfriend in this parish.
It upset me a bit because I’m happy being single but it made me feel like I was not normal or doing something terrible. I don’t want to have to feel like this in my Parish.

Some pastors can be very insightful, while others can have little insight while holding to a very single-minded idea of what a nun or religious sister is supposed to be like. Your diocese should have a director of vocations; please speak to him about your possible vocation.

This is good advice and I just wanted to back it.

I would highly assume (despite hearing that is never good to do) that your priest said what he said because he knows people very well. Is he an older priest who has been in service of the church for many years? If so, then listen to his concerns, but if you still have the call, it will get stronger and you can go back and speak to him later. Don’t be heartbroken or discouraged about it. Just keep praying and keep focused on Jesus. What is hidden will be revealed, right?! So not to worry. Just worry about today and keep Christ near.

LOL! I’m not suggesting that you openly challenge him, but it would’ve been interesting if your response were “do you need a wife and children to be happy?”.

(And, of course, this raises another issue: he might personally be unhappy in his vocation at the moment, and unfortunately, that might be what gave rise to his statements. If he’s not happy at the moment, he wouldn’t have a positive reaction to your question of discernment. More to the point, if this were the case, he wouldn’t be a good source of opinions on the matter… ;))

I’m not saying that this is the case, of course… but it might be. :shrug:

Although I am not a Catholic, I suggest that you might consider investigating the calling of being a Consecrated Virgin. I am surprised that the possibility has not yet been mentioned in this thread. If you GOOGLE the term, you will find numerous links to blogs, articles, definitions, news interviews, etc.

As a Priestess in my own religion, I understand how important it is for you to feel “at one” with your beloved Creator. There is more than one way to experience this unity, as not all people are exactly the same within. We all have our own vocations/jobs to complete, in this world and the next.

Sometimes we must let go of the life we think we want in order to open ourselves up to the life we are supposed to have.

I wish you all the blessings your soul can hold.


Consecrated virginity is quite rare compared to other vocations (the estimate is that there is between 2500-3000 CV world wide), and many people, including priests and vocation directors have never heard of it, or don’t have a proper understanding of it (some are under the impression that it is only for old ladies or menopausal women who never married, but are still virgins as a fallback vocation, which it clearly is not. It is a very difficult singular vocation of a life of prayer, penance, and sacrifice. It takes several years to discern.

It would be nice to know how young is considered too young and how long the OP has been a convert for. The typical rule of thumb is 2 years to settle in for converts before a religious order will consider them. Also, how many people said St. Therese of Lesieux was too young to be a nun? At 18 one is old enough to enter a convent/monastery for discernment. Furthermore the majority of religious orders have age restrictions as young as 30. Furthermore, they have other restrictions including being free from debt. Many vocations are either lost or delayed due to putting off discernment and racking up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt to go to university, many of which because of the gross immortality that is promoted and taught can cause people to lose their faith and vocation.

Further, I think it’s absurd for a priest to write off someone’s vocational discernment without exploring it more fully. There are so many different vocations to the consecrated life that to say that on should get married because he doesn’t think she is like the other nuns, or whatever it was he said. Maybe she’s not, but that doesn’t mean marriage is her vocation and she should get a boyfriend. Maybe she is called to live her vocation in a different way than that a religious sister, but that needs to be explored and discerned.

Further, and this is a really big red flag, to say that she needs a husband and kids to be happy is contrary to what the Church teaches. Perfect happiness is not attainable in this life. Only when we have perfect union with God in Heaven will we be perfectly happy. Nevertheless, we are still to strive for happiness to the best of our abilities in this life through charity (ie: love of God).

For some that is through being natural mothers and fathers via marriage, but they do not seek happiness in their spouse/children, but rather through their love for God and doing His will by fulfilling the duties of their state in life by raising future saints. For others they are called to a spiritual marriage as either spiritual fathers or spiritual mothers through either the priesthood (for men only, NOT women. If you’re a woman and you think the Holy Spirit is calling you to be a priest, you must dismiss it because it is NOT God’s will that you disobey Him and the Magisterium God does not will people to sin, neglect the duties of their state in life, or to do evil.) or through the consecrated life, which has many different branches one of which is the religious life, but includes many different vocations.

The Church teaches that celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom is the highest form of life to live (though, perfect dedicated virginity is the highest virtue of celibacy), and that if one can take it, they should. However, that does not make marriage unholy, and one does not sin if they marry, for it is better to marry than to burn. Let’s not forget, though, that without marriage there would be no priests, religious, consecrated virgins, etc.

Further, while ideally it would be nice if we could trust everything priests says because they are priests, we can’t forget that the Church is under constant attack and the devil hates priests. Because of this, many priests have fallen into error, and/or are struggling with their vocations. I know Australia is having its own problems with the attack on the seal of confession and priests who fall into error believing it should not be absolute, and priests who think they should now be allowed to married, etc. Pray for priests, and ask God to send you a priest who can guide you.

My non-Catholic, agnostic family don’t understand me - they tell me I am not normal for not wanting marriage, they think something must be wrong with me. But they do not understand what I believe no matter how much I try to explain, they don’t understand why I pray or go to daily Mass.
Talking with my priest, I sense some unhappiness in him. I feel maybe he’s lonely - could this be a reason why he is discouraging me? He did tell me he doubts his faith at times to.

I am a recent convert and doubt any order will accept me yet but should I still contact the vocations director? Maybe he could at least give me some advice.

I’m more convinced now that I will be a nun. I just wish I had a priest that I could talk to that understands me, unfortunately I don’t at this time. My priest thinks I’m just a young pretty girl who would make a good wife and that’s that.

He did tell me he doubts his faith at times to.

I am a recent convert and doubt any order will accept me yet but should I still contact the vocations director? Maybe he could at least give me some advice.

I’m more convinced now that I will be a nun. I just wish I had a priest that I could talk to that understands me, unfortunately I don’t at this time. My priest thinks I’m just a young pretty girl who would make a good wife and that’s that.

Perhaps talking to a priest who admits to you, a recent convert has doubts about The Faith, is not one to consider as a vocations director and or asking advice from in general, infact if he did indeed tell you that, he would be better off talking to his bishop for personal advice first before giving you his personal opinion on your vocation. Yes you should still find a vocations director, that is their purpose to help those considering a religious vocation in discerning a religious life. Your diocese should have a website that can direct you to a contact email address of a vocations director, or if anything should have a contact email address that you can ask to be directed to a vocations director in your area or even a few hours away from you.

My non-Catholic, agnostic family don’t understand me

You can either try to politely explain why your faith is important to you, and if they just refuse to listen or accept your belief you can choose to not engage them when they begin to insult you if they are doing that. An do not expect any one who is agnostic to understand anyone of any faith. Though that should not mean an agnostic can not be respectful of a persons faith.

lastly, stop worrying about what one priest thinks of you, not saying to disrespect him, just do not pin everything you are hoping for on one priest, now if you run through all the priests you can find, and they are all telling you no do not become a nun, then perhaps consider that they might have a point. Focus on your prayer life and Christ, you will be just fine.

Well, how come he chose to serve God and the church, rather than get married? He obviously has ideas about women.

May I suggest you get in touch with some women religious and see how that goes? You will never know unless you actually go and spend time in a convent. I don’t think it is wrong to disregard his advice for the time being and explore further.

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