Older Vocation Excitement


#1

I have never posted so I would just like to very briefly introduce myself by saying that I am 60 years old and 10 years ago spent 6 months as a postulant in a wonderful cloistered Carmelite community. I found I had some “unfinished” relationship and emotioal business to take care of. It took 8 years before I finally did! I found a wonderful grief therapist and over one year ago God finally heard my prayer for a spiritual director and put a wonderful priest in my path. All systems were go and without going into all the details at this time, let me share that I will be going for a 2 week discernment/retreat/live-in with the First Federation (cloistered) Visitation nuns in Allanta, GA (actually monastery is 30 minutes outside of Atlanta) from feb. 26-March 11, 2012. I am so happy and excited. Wanted to share this. God bless all reading this.


#2

Wow, that is just so awesome. How encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing this. I pray that God will bless your time and continue to lead you in service to Him!


#3

God bless your discerning! And thank you for your own blessing by God for readers of your thread.

Video of the Visitation Monastery in Atlanta GA here: georgiabulletin.org/ss_09_vsisters/


#4

Congratulations :) I'm very happy for you!


#5

Please, please don’t take this wrong - because you are excited - are you sure they are going to take you at age 60:confused: Many orders have an age limit.

Good luck and God Bless.


#6

I wish you well and God Bless.


#7

[quote="fullofenergy2, post:1, topic:267353"]
I have never posted so I would just like to very briefly introduce myself by saying that I am 60 years old and 10 years ago spent 6 months as a postulant in a wonderful cloistered Carmelite community. I found I had some "unfinished" relationship and emotioal business to take care of. It took 8 years before I finally did! I found a wonderful grief therapist and over one year ago God finally heard my prayer for a spiritual director and put a wonderful priest in my path. All systems were go and without going into all the details at this time, let me share that I will be going for a 2 week discernment/retreat/live-in with the First Federation (cloistered) Visitation nuns in Allanta, GA (actually monastery is 30 minutes outside of Atlanta) from feb. 26-March 11, 2012. I am so happy and excited. Wanted to share this. God bless all reading this.

[/quote]

Welcome to Georigia. The Visitation nuns supply the hosts for most of the parishes down here.

I will pray for your vocation.

-Tim-


#8

This is fantastic! Older vocations are the coming thing!!!


#9

Have you ever read the lives of the co-founders of the Visitation Order, Sts. Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal? They founded the Order (well, it’s actually a Congregation, not an Order per se) specifically for those girls and women who were not in the best of health, as well as for those of more ‘mature’ age that could not take the austerities of the older, more established Orders of their time (Poor Clares, Carmelites).

The Georgia Visitation is on the Institute for Religious Life website. Link: www.religiouslife.org (or else just Google ‘Institute for Religious Life’)

Scroll down in the Womens’ Communities-everything is in alphabetical order, so the entry is down near the bottom of the page. Click on the ‘profile’. It will state, ‘The Founder [St. Francis de Sales] set no age limit on admission’. (I think that’s what it says :o )


#10

Congratulations! May God richly bless you.


#11

[quote="barb_finnegan, post:9, topic:267353"]

The Georgia Visitation is on the Institute for Religious Life website. Link: www.religiouslife.org (or else just Google 'Institute for Religious Life')

Scroll down in the Womens' Communities-everything is in alphabetical order, so the entry is down near the bottom of the page. Click on the 'profile'. It will state, 'The Founder [St. Francis de Sales] set no age limit on admission'. (I think that's what it says :o )

[/quote]

Thank you for the link. I have to say, I couldn't get to wherever you were talking about because u it takes a person to the Homepage and I couldn't figure out how to get to your specific place. Could you give directions or post the direct link to the page? Thanks.


#12

[quote="barb_finnegan, post:9, topic:267353"]
Have you ever read the lives of the co-founders of the Visitation Order, Sts. Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal? They founded the Order (well, it's actually a Congregation, not an Order per se) specifically for those girls and women who were not in the best of health, as well as for those of more 'mature' age that could not take the austerities of the older, more established Orders of their time (Poor Clares, Carmelites).

The Georgia Visitation is on the Institute for Religious Life website. Link: www.religiouslife.org (or else just Google 'Institute for Religious Life')

Scroll down in the Womens' Communities-everything is in alphabetical order, so the entry is down near the bottom of the page. Click on the 'profile'. It will state, 'The Founder [St. Francis de Sales] set no age limit on admission'. (I think that's what it says :o )

[/quote]

That's great - thanks for the info. There's no reason why, when people live longer and are more healthy, and have retired from work etc etc, they shouldn't devote the rest of their lives to God in community.:thumbsup:

I do know (having been in the Franciscans for 6 years) that some orders require good health and fitness before you join.


#13

It is sad to me that those who are in their mature years and have the freedom, desire and qualities to enter religious life, freedom from debt etc., can be denied the opportunity to live in community. Some thus need to live a life alone and sometimes quite lonely, when feeling no call to do so. God will not be remiss however and they will be rewarded both here and hereafter.
I understand that superiors have obligations towards their membership in the community - but it does seem to me a little selfish and self centred to put them first. I dont think members of a community would be totally crushed if a mature person entered and then left either of their own volition or asked to leave. And if they were crushed, I would be suspect of the spirituality prevailing.
I do know of one religious order of elderly membership that admitted a mature woman in good health and her good health has been a continuing support to this community. It is a risk, I know! Trust in God.
Where does pure trust in God end and the Gift of common sense take over? That is a question we all need to ask at points in our journey.


#14

Maybe some mature folks should petition their local bishop to start that kind of a community!


#15

[quote="triumphguy, post:14, topic:267353"]
Maybe some mature folks should petition their local bishop to start that kind of a community!

[/quote]

Good suggestion. Going by Catholic Discussion Sites, there seem to be quite a few mature people who would like to give their later years to God in religious life and have much to offer, I think, due to years of experience. Health is pretty good with many and here in Australia our medical situation offers free medical care and hospitalization for low incomes. For women, there is the Visitation Order although no foundation in Australia - as yet I am told.
In my diocese I know our Archbishop is under much too much pressure to consider such a new venture as there will always be teething problems with the new and it would take conviction and perseverance to get things up and running - and our Archbishop being who he is would want to keep himself well informed and involved - and problem free.
I just might approach him anyway in 2012 and hear what he has to say. I just might put trust in God and what common sense is telling me into my pocket for a while in this instance.


#16

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:11, topic:267353"]
Thank you for the link. I have to say, I couldn't get to wherever you were talking about because u it takes a person to the Homepage and I couldn't figure out how to get to your specific place. Could you give directions or post the direct link to the page? Thanks.

[/quote]

Okay, I'll try to give you directions...bear with me....

Go on the home page, www.religiouslife.com (not 'org' in my original post). Click on the 'Are You Called?' tab on top of the home page. Then you can either click on 'Women's Communities' tab, or on another tab below that one which says, 'Women's Communities by Location'. If you choose the latter, you'll see a US map with the different parts of the country listed by numbers. Click on the number for Georgia. Or else scroll down the list of communities-everything is in alphabetical order. The three Visitation convents which are IRL members are at the bottom of the page. The one for Georgia's convent doesn't have a website, however. The entry only has a short history, the number of professed members, and the qualifications for entrance.


#17

[quote="TiggerS, post:3, topic:267353"]
God bless your discerning! And thank you for your own blessing by God for readers of your thread.

Video of the Visitation Monastery in Atlanta GA here: georgiabulletin.org/ss_09_vsisters/

[/quote]

Thanks for the Videoa Tigger :thumbsup:


#18

Hello , God Bless you I pray that you have found the place God means for you to serve . I am truly happy for you.
I do beleive you are quite right that there are an increasing amount of older woman in good health that have a calling to serve God . I myself am a woman of 50 yrs experencing a calling to religious life. There is some opposition in many orders to admission of older women . I live in Hawaii and we have no orders here that accept older woman. I have considered visiting orders in other parts of the country but distance is a factor and pray I find one that feels right as visiting many would be expensive from here. I also considered asking our Bishop here if it would be possible t start an order here for older woman, I know there are many here who would consider it. Dose anyone have any sugestion as to how to go about doing that? Your Sister in Christ


#19

[quote="AMMontoya, post:18, topic:267353"]
Hello , God Bless you I pray that you have found the place God means for you to serve . I am truly happy for you.
I do beleive you are quite right that there are an increasing amount of older woman in good health that have a calling to serve God . I myself am a woman of 50 yrs experencing a calling to religious life. There is some opposition in many orders to admission of older women . I live in Hawaii and we have no orders here that accept older woman. I have considered visiting orders in other parts of the country but distance is a factor and pray I find one that feels right as visiting many would be expensive from here. I also considered asking our Bishop here if it would be possible t start an order here for older woman, I know there are many here who would consider it. Dose anyone have any sugestion as to how to go about doing that? Your Sister in Christ

[/quote]

I think that probably before any approach is made to one's diocesan bishop, one would need to have at least three or four women actually living the life one has in mind and over a period of time. I think you would need a concept or charism of what the life is about and at least a simple rule of life and to have been living it. You could probably 'advertise' for interested parties on the internet or by some other means as long as you include the word "proposed" for transparency and truthfulness. I think one would need much conviction and perseverance to deal with the problems that will come along in all likelihood with a new venture - something to drive one and keep one going despite any and all hurdles and problems and this would need to be a real conviction that what one is about is a call from God as the drive and motivation "God is with us, who can be against us?" I think it is very important that one is convinced that God is the instigator and not a concept of one's own that one thinks worthwhile, although I would not entirely dismiss the latter as time could arrive at the conviction that one's concept is from God and not purely oneself. Spiritual Direction is the wisest and most prudent way to go.Also consulting a canon lawyer initially as to what one can and cannot do and how to go about things in accord with canon law.

In presenting anything to one's bishop one would need I should think a very clear and firm concept and some evidence that it is alive and well with a couple of people living the life and having done so over a period of time. Alternatively, if one consults one's bishop for permission before doing anything at all, one still needs to have a very clear and firm concept to present to him and an ability to answer any and all questions.

These are just my thoughts and I am far from any sort of expertise or real knowledge of the subject. Others on CAF may be more informed and helpful.

You may find some helpful information on the thread link below and by googling "catholic - how to set up a religious order" or similar terminology forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=258864


#20

[quote="AMMontoya, post:18, topic:267353"]
I also considered asking our Bishop here if it would be possible t start an order here for older woman, I know there are many here who would consider it. Dose anyone have any sugestion as to how to go about doing that? Your Sister in Christ

[/quote]

The first thing to say is that you cannot start a religious 'order'. The Church no longer permits religious orders to be founded, and although people use the term 'order' indiscriminately to describe religious communities, it isn't actually correct to do so - the generic term for orders, congregations, societies of consecrated life etc. is 'religious institute'. That may seem very pedantic, but a serious question like this benefits from using the correct canonical (legal) language.

Secondly, no religious institute is simply founded as a recognised entity in its own right. It must go through a number of stages before it achieves full status. You may find this post by Brother JReducation helpful in explaining how that works:

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=8746770&postcount=265

Please don't be discouraged by the complexity of this; the starting point, as has already been said, is to recruit like-minded individuals and work together towards a clear aim, and one which matches the resources that you can bring to bear (e.g. it's no good planning to live together if you have nowhere to live, and no means of financially supporting yourselves). Also be aware that no-one is likely to step in and do this work for you. It's down to you and any companions you recruit to find a path forwards.

Prayers and best wishes to you in your discernment.


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