Nuns with Tattoos! :D


#1

Hi all!
As you can see by my ticker in my sig, I will join the Church next Easter. :thumbsup:
Even now, I feel quite strongly that God is calling me to the religious life. There's one problem. In the past, I led a pretty wild life and have tattoos on my forearms and hands.
Would I have to have my tattoos removed before entering into the life of a religious? I wouldn't mind it except for the cost. I'm a poor student and don't have the money to have them removed.
Should I talk to the particular convents I am interested in (I am particularly interested in the Carmelites and the Poor Clares), or is there a hard-and-fast "no tattoos" rule I'm not aware of?
Thanks in advance for any help y'all can offer!!
:blessyou:
Amanda


#2

I am probably not the one to reply to this post.. (I am neither a nun nor a monk) But it seems most orders examine your heart, not your skin, when you request entry into a convent..

Now adding new tattoos after your conversation may be another thing, and I really don't know how the various orders may view that situation.. Example: A novice nun were to go out and obtain a tattoo.. ??


#3

I think there are doctors out there that will remove them for free but I’m not sure if it’s only for former gang members. I agree with the above poster. Ask the convent you are interested in.

For what it’s worth Father Don Calloway ( fathercalloway.com/ ) still has a Grateful Dead tattoo from his wild past. It’s just no visible like yours. God Bless you on your discernment.

Pax†


#4

Amanda, a friend of mine entered the Poor Clares last year. She had a small tattoo on the top of her foot. A few weeks before entering the convent she covered it with a new and larger tattoo. She told Mother Mary Clare, who said it was fine as long as it was respectful. It was of a butterfly with a cross as the body of the butterfly.


#5

Having tats removed is extremely painful and expensive. Unless they are gang-related and likely to get you into all kinds of trouble, don't do it. Be upfront with the communities you are interested in during your discernment process.

Look at it this way - if the response to your tats is negative and judgmental, would you want to be a member of that community otherwise?


#6

I think the visibility of the tats would be a really nice conversion story to tell. Like: "I used to be this wild and crazy kid, then this Guy, Jesus called my name.......";)

God bless! Wlcome Home to Rome!


#7

I doubt if most orders have a rule about this because it probably has never been an issue in the past. I suppose they will have to address piercings as well especially if they attract more mature vocations. Hopefully the order will have a habit which covers anything problematic.


#8

[quote="puzzleannie, post:7, topic:195224"]
I doubt if most orders have a rule about this because it probably has never been an issue in the past. I suppose they will have to address piercings as well especially if they attract more mature vocations. Hopefully the order will have a habit which covers anything problematic.

[/quote]

Well, unusual piercings can be easily removed(just do not weear them!); it is not so simply with tattoos.


#9

Unless she goes barefoot (most Poor Clares do not) her tat won’t show, unlike our friend with the tats on her hands. It will be interesting to see what sort of response she gets. I hope she will continue to post on this thread! I’ll be praying…


#10

I would think as has been mentioned they will judge your heart. As has also been noted, it is a story to tell about where you came from and a lesson in not judging. I met a Christian man (born again) who had tattoos due to the life he led before conversion. Part of his witness was on not judging by appearance. This is hard to do. As someone I know put it, people do not see someone with tattoos and think “Ah business executive”.

I would NOT get any more.:smiley:

God knows your heart and the sisters should be looking at that as well. If they offer to pay for removal, cool. If not, okay…okay you live with them. Would want to join an order that excluded you because of a surface issue that is a past issue?

Please keep us updated on your journey.


#11

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