Obligations prior to entering a community


#1

Hello Everyone,

New to the forums, thank you in advance for you advice and opinions. :slight_smile:

I have been praying about applying to a specific religious order for almost a year. I made a trip to visit them and really really like them, and they seemed to be very welcoming of me as well. I have one thing holding me back at the moment, and sadly it’s money:( I am a recend college graduate, and although I was awarded a very large scholarship to go, I had to take out aprox 30,000 in college loans. I have been involved in outreach and such with groups such as the Serra Club and Knights of Columbus for many years now, and they are backing me up with tons of prayer and they have mentioned that if I apply to a community they would help me raise money to pay down my dept.

Here lies my delema. Perhaps it is a false pride, but I feel guilty raising money from other people to pay down my school dept. Does anyone have any opinions, experiences or documents that I could read regarding this subject?

Thank you so much!


#2

Well; most religious orders would like for an individual to be debt free by the time they join; although they can start the application process before then.

I do not know how student debt works in the US; but in the UK we don't have to pay it back untill we are earning a certain salary (aprox 30k USD per anum) and it is without interest.

Don't turn down help from other people; contact the Vocations Director of that order and start up the process.

A few things to think about;

1) is your family able to help you out financially?
2) why not get into regular contact with them; so the moment you are debt free you can begin your process; many orders have discernment whilst the individual still lives outside?


#3

I try to answer questions like this by putting myself in your shoes and asking myself what I would do in your situation. This is what I would do:

  1. Get 3 jobs, live on a budget and get this debt paid down. Three part time jobs or 1-2 full time jobs will help take a bite out of this debt, and it will show that you have the sense of mind to take the initiative, create a plan and act on it. What a great way to demonstrate how serious you are about your future. This will help with convincing the people in step 2 because they won’t feel like they will be giving you money to support a whim.

  2. Seek out any financial help from vocational support ministries and family (help, not more loans). Be sure to mention that you are working “x” number of jobs, that you have paid down “x” on the balance of the loan and that you will continue attacking it. I wouldn’t give money to anyone that isn’t willing to do some of the work themselves.

  3. Pray daily to know God’s will. This financial problem is a part of His will for your life. It’s there to help focus your discernment and test your character.

  4. Report your progress here on the forums so we know how things are going :slight_smile: We’re rooting (and praying) for you :slight_smile:

In Christ,


#4

There are two organizations I know of that help raise money to pay down student debt so people can enter religious life: the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations and the Laboure Society. The folks there have a lot of experience and maybe someone connected with them can talk to you about this. It must be a very common concern. I’ll pray for you right now and wish you all the best!


#5

I have the same concern.

I am about 52k in debt with student loans. I have paid off about 10k this year.

I currently make around 45k a year and have moved back in with my father to help pay down the debt faster. I had about 10k in other debt that I paid off during this last year.

I plan on getting as much help as I can on this debt. I was thinking of setting up a "donation" bank account through the Order, which would allow people to donate and get a tax right off.

My parents could pay this amount off today if they wanted to but they don't think entering a religious order is the right path for me to take. That is an entirely different thread though.

Pray! Pray! Pray! Trust in the Will of God and you will be able to get through this part of the discernment process.

I have to remind myself each day that "I trust in you God" and that I will get this debt paid off in time through my own hard work and with the help of those that are being guided by the Holy Spirit to provide me with financial assistance.

PAX


#6

#7

I am in the exact same situation. I have about 50K in student debt and have been trying hard to pay it down. Problem is, I have obligations (Car note - working on selling my car and a Mortgage - purchased the house with my sister before I started discerning)

Though I am a bit worried about the possibility of not being able to enter next year. I am still hopeful and trusting in the Lord's providence. I am working on some fundraising ideas and hope to take out a big chunk of this debt.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.


#8

I’m almost in the same situation, but I have better conditions. I’m paying debts for my apartment, and I have to save around 9,000 Euros until fall next year. I’ve made a saving plan, sold my car, back to basics, living on a budget, and making money through translations or other stuff to raise money for my pilgrimages. But, what is more important, leaving all in the hands of our Father and our Lady, who provide for me in the best way possible :). Meanwhile, my only task is to discern well :thumbsup:.

So, my advise to you is: make your plan, present it to God, and stick to it, until you’re debt free! :slight_smile:

I’ll keep you in my prayers.

God bless,
Maria Katerina


#9

There is only one thing I want to say.

Just be careful with overwork. Work too hard and sometimes you can lose sight of God in your life.

Br. Paul


#10

Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. It is SO hard to get loans paid off w/o killing yourself from working 24/7. Let us know which order you are leaning toward!!


#11

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