News about my discernment



I just recently received an email back from the vocation director of the Sister Servants. Sister said that my health issues constitute an impediment to their Order (so I won’t be able to ever enter their Order). I know that they make exceptions if it’s well-controlled, but Sister said nothing of this to me. I had been discerning their Order since late 2010. I’m now feeling down, hurt and disappointed about it, but it helps me to try to remember that God speaks through Superiors in Orders, and that God just doesn’t want me at that Order. Maybe their more-cloistered type life wouldn’t have been good for me; God sure has His reasons.

There are some Orders open to health issues and I’ll be looking into them more in the future, but right now I’m just feeling pretty down, and I’m in no rush anyway, so I think I’ll be taking discernment slowly. I also just started a college 3 credit composition course, mostly online, with a local community college, and that will have me pretty busy writing papers from now into mid-December. It’s my first college course, and I’m really hoping I do well; all the essays sure look daunting though!

I had written the RSM Institute and told them my mental health issue some months ago, and they said that they are open to considering me and whether I have a vocation to their Institute, so that gives me hope, so I may be looking into them when I’m feeling better. Some of them work in the medical field so they are more open to entrants with health problems. It gives me some peace to think about that because I don’t feel they would ask me to leave if I had a relapse; I believe they would help me if something ever happened and they would get me stable again. I believe they would better understand me and my needs, and help me have a great life with them. They are not so equipped with the Sister Servants, and that left me feeling uneasy. I don’t believe I will have a relapse though because I have been totally controlled on medicine for years now without symptoms or relapse.

Thank y’all for the SsEW thread and I hope it helps others discerning this beautiful Order.


Below is the reply I made within a thread to this on phatmass

I’m sorry I couldn’t respond to this thread last night. This thread developed after wind down time and getting ready for sleep. I’m about to head to sleep soon tonight, too.

I find so much of what y’all have shared very comforting. Your kind words, wisdom and concern means so much to me.

It’s hard for me to realize that this is a cross because it is non-existent to me while medicated; literally for years now on medication I’ve been free of symptoms or relapse. But to Orders, the way they look at it, and because of what could happen in the future, I see it is a cross. I am definately one that needs to talk to someone when things happen and to manage stress, so I’m seeing more now my needs and why many Orders cannot manage this.

Nunsense, you said something very wise. My SD said that, too, that God may be saving me from further heartache. How hard it would be to leave a Community I would come to be close to and to have to possibly leave the Order permanently because they can’t manage the problem.

Mater, thank you so much for offering to PM. I just may take you up on that soon; I haven’t much time left tonight and I think I’ll just take it easy now.

Jenny, it’s sad to hear that. In earlier discernments with various Orders, I was still unsure what my accurate diagnosis was and so I wasn’t sure of my needs or what Order to look for. I’m very blessed in a way to have had one relapse and to learn just what I have and what medicine works. Now I know what to tell Orders and I know what my needs are.

I’m going to break from discerning for a while until I recover from this. But, I would mention that the RSM sure sounds wonderful with how they allow medicine and counselling, and they have specialists within the Institute. Something to discern is whether I’m called to the education they usually ask of their entrants. I’m just starting a composition course and it will be good to know how I do with college. I do have a lot of ability, but I so often forget it and get discouraged because I have to work harder with my learning disabilities, and they so easily make me feel inadequate and like I could fail. I think it will be difficult to discern this Institute.

Sister Marie made a good point about it not being about what Order will accept me, but where God is calling me. I find that difficult. I almost feel like I haven’t been discerning well because apparently God wasn’t even calling me to the SsEW. I find it helps to have it narrowed down to Orders that would accept me. Saint Faustina kept getting rejected by Orders but entered the one that opened a door, and if I recall correctly, she believed that showed where God was calling her. If I haven’t even been discerning according to God’s will, how do I get there? Thank God I’m not ready to enter anywhere for some years; hopefully I’ll grow and learn to discern properly. Any advice?

As far as Orders… I noticed on the other thread someone mentioned the SMMC’s allowed a person with some kind of struggles (no mention of what). They do retreat type talks and teaching in schools. I haven’t felt drawn there but thought I’d mention for others. I haven’t felt drawn to the Georgia or Carmelite Order that Mater has mentioned. I don’t feel drawn to non-habited Orders. Then there’s They accepted a woman well-controlled with bipolar disorder; they have some people with medical specialities if I recall correctly so I believe they are equipped like the RSM. And then there is the RSM (Alma). I guess those are what I can look into when I get back into discerning. I do see a lot of beauty and an open door with the RSM, so that is something to discern well.

Thank you all again for your support.

Well I know it is a good way to feel that “God works through superiors” I agree I really do. But it doesn’t make it any easier and you would think that out of all the places in this world the Church would be an inviting place when sometimes is not. I know I have had this argument before, but it can seem shallow at times and uncharitable. I don’t care what some folks say, but it can be totally unfair and to quick a judgement. But as you say God may direct you to somewhere better than where you want to go and you know what, with the short number of vocations it is their loss surely not yours!! dust your feet off wish them well and forget about them and find an order that has charity and love. I know it is about serving others and it is about this or that, but in the beginning it is also about you too. You have feelings and desires like everyone else. I will pray for you, Scoob.

Let’s not be so quick to make snap judgments. It can be difficult to see why some orders are not able to accept those with health problems. I used to think it was harsh and I didn’t understand the reasoning behind it, but I learned that it is not because they don’t WANT to accept the candidate – it’s because they cannot afford to care for them. Religious orders take the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They rely on benefactors to continue. Many of the religious orders do not have health insurance so the burden of the extra cost is a factor when deciding whether or not to allow a candidate to enter. Take for instance the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. They are a very poor, mendicant order and do not have health insurance.

There are other factors as well. The religious orders believe they are looking out for the health of the candidate. If a candidate were to have a relapse in religious life, it would be very difficult to find appropriate medical help without some sort of insurance. It would be a great burden to the candidate and the community. When this happens, the religious order must dismiss the candidate so they can receive the care they need that they wouldn’t be able to receive inside the convent.

God does not inspire unrealizable desires (St. Therese said this). It was not His will that JoyfulLife enter there. When He closes a door, He opens a window. Let us not focus on the negative aspect and call it a rejection because that is too easy. We need to find the positive aspects and focus on them. The Sister Servants of the Eternal Word care about each and every young lady who comes to them. Mother Mary Gabriel is a very charitable caring woman and it is not kind to refer to her as “uncharitable” or “unloving.”

Scooby, I don’t mean to offend you, but I really wanted to put this message out there. You are not the only one who feels this way about religious orders turning away unsuitable applicants. I know of no religious order that does not pray before making a decision. I’m sure they would accept everyone if they could. :slight_smile:

I can feel your pain but maybe this place isn’t meant to be. Sometimes callings take different directions and maybe you are meant for another order or even somewhere else. There is one thing I learned is that when God closes a door, He always leaves a window open. Everyone suffers from something. It is just the way life works sometimes as unfair as it may seem. I suggest that you continue discerning take that college class, take a few if you can afford it and see where God leads.

An idea would be for you to take a Jesus and me weekend where you go somewhere where you can reenergize the batteries and do things that are important to you such as going for walks along the beach, reading a book, something that you don’t get to do often because of whatever reason. Tell Jesus that it is your weekend together. Try to get some prayer time in as well and enjoy life. Maybe at the end of the weekend, you’ll have a clearer idea of your next direction and hopefully some peace as well.

Just know that God loves you and He will get you through this. Below is a link that I hope will help you for the next little while

Take care and God bless,


Wow, I’m sorry about that. But I admire you for taking this level-headedly. Keep the faith!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit