Older Vocations


#1

A lot of people who enter the seminary or Religious order end up leaving. I know 4 people who this has happened to. When I speak to them they say that they feel a tremendous fear, but they do not know what they are fearing.

I spoke to a Franciscan priest and he told me the reason why they have a 35 year old age limit is because people who enter who are older than this usually end up leaving.

Does anyone have any explanation for this. I have spoken to several people, mostly clergy and even a Bishop and they are all clue-less.

Just looking for some insight.


#2

is there any age limit to enter the seminary? I’ve often wondered about this.:confused:


#3

[quote="october_baby, post:2, topic:300037"]
is there any age limit to enter the seminary? I've often wondered about this.:confused:

[/quote]

In order to enter the seminary for the diocesan priesthood you first have to be sponsored by a diocese. Different dioceses have different age limits and some will make exceptions. You need to talk to the vocation director of the diocese your interested in serving. Older vocations are very common in our day. The Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin is geared towards older vocations. They have seminarians in their 30's, 40's, 50's and possibly in their 60's. I know of a priest in his 60's who was just ordained recently in a diocese close to the one I live in. Religious orders are the same way. I know of a religious order that has an age limit of 35 but they have taken some men in their late 40's. God can call someone at any age. The best thing is to talk to the vocation director of the diocese or religious order.


#4

People who are older have personalities that are already formed, plus they have “a past”, if you know what I mean.


#5

[quote="Rainaldo, post:4, topic:300037"]
People who are older have personalities that are already formed, plus they have "a past", if you know what I mean.

[/quote]

Excuse me but two dear priests friends of mine went to seminary when they were older one when he was in his sixties and the other when he was about sixty something and thet are two of the best priest I have ever known.


#6

[quote="thequeen, post:5, topic:300037"]
Excuse me but two dear priests friends of mine went to seminary when they were older one when he was in his sixties and the other when he was about sixty something and thet are two of the best priest I have ever known.

[/quote]

You can't really argue with the prudence of most religious orders by saying you know of two people whom you feel are exceptions.


#7

The question wasn't meant to be about being accepted to the seminary at an older age. I am in my 40's and I have been accepted twice. That isn't the issue.

Yes I was accepted twice and I left twice shortly after entering.

Of course there are exceptions, some people who enter at an older age will succeed and go on to be priests.

I know 4 older people who did not. As well as being told that most leave and therefore an age limit is applied to prevent that happening.

I would really like to hear from people who entered at an older age and have left and their reasons for leaving. So that I get try and get a real picture as to why this is happening.

A lost vocation is a terrible loss both for the person involved and for the Church.


#8

[quote="Rainaldo, post:6, topic:300037"]
You can't really argue with the prudence of most religious orders by saying you know of two people whom you feel are exceptions.

[/quote]

There are communities that have age limits upwards toward 45-50.

See this link for men's communities.
db.religiouslife.com/reg_life/irl.nsf/as/?SearchView&Query=%5Bmen%5D=%221%22%20AND%20%5Bbelated%5D=%221%22

See this link for women's communities.
db.religiouslife.com/reg_life/irl.nsf/as/?SearchView&Query=%5Bwomen%5D=%221%22%20AND%20%5Bbelated%5D=%221%22


#9

[quote="Rainaldo, post:6, topic:300037"]
You can't really argue with the prudence of most religious orders by saying you know of two people whom you feel are exceptions.

[/quote]

And you really can not argue against it when there are religious institutes that accept older candidates.

There is no hard and fast rule. Each religious institute/diocese will have its own age guidelines and there will be many reasons that they have them.

It is neither morally good or evil, it is morally neutral.

No one has a right to enter religious life or to be ordained.


#10

Br. David,

Going back to my original question. In your experience peopl who enter the friary 35 years and up generally leave. If this is the case,. do you know what it is that makes then leave?


#11

Of course I don't know, but it seems to me that older candidates (maybe especially women) would be more likely to stay. It would seem that younger people may start longing for marriage, children, etc. whereas someone who is in her 40s or 50s has already left all that behind. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but I would also think older people are a bit more grounded and tend to desire things of substance (such as a vocation) whereas younger people are more likely to be lured by flash and trends and "keeping up" with their friends (dating, the latest electronics, etc.)

I'd be interested in seeing the replies. :)

Jala


#12

Jala,

Actually the reverse is true.


#13

[quote="giasone, post:12, topic:300037"]
Jala,

Actually the reverse is true.

[/quote]

Dear Giasone--

Yes, I'm sorry I didn't make it more clear. I do understand that older people are more likely to leave, I was just musing that it seems it should be the other way around! That's why I'm keen to see if anyone replies; I'm very curious!

Jala


#14

[quote="giasone, post:10, topic:300037"]
Br. David,

Going back to my original question. In your experience peopl who enter the friary 35 years and up generally leave. If this is the case,. do you know what it is that makes then leave?

[/quote]

No, this is not my experience.

I entered the prenovitiate (what other groups call postulancy) at the age of 38. I entered the novitiate at the age of 40. I just entered into solemn vows this past August.

The only thing I have experienced is that those over 60 or those under 24 seem to have more problems with entering religious life.

It seems that most who persevere start out in the early to mid thirties.

side note: Carmelites live in priories, not friaries.


#15

A warm belated congratulations indeed for solemn vows last August, Friar David!:thumbsup:


#16

So the premise is disproven and the conversation ends?


#17

[quote="giasone, post:7, topic:300037"]

I would really like to hear from people who entered at an older age and have left and their reasons for leaving. So that I get try and get a real picture as to why this is happening.

A lost vocation is a terrible loss both for the person involved and for the Church.

[/quote]

Generally speaking though, I will say that as far as religious orders, some men (some, not all) who have been on their own for a long time (say, someone who has been an accountant for 10 years, had his own apartment, activities, hobbies, etc.) do have a harder time adjusting to change. There are guidelines, structure, rules, etc., and while some men are able to adjust, other men have a much harder time.

I too know some good priests who are "late vocations". Also, I have met priests in the military, and find that those with prior military service before entering seminary bring an asset to the vocation within a vocation.


#18

Hi, I have a question for here that is a little different. I was raised as a Baptist and have even pastored a mission and a church. Yes, I was a Baptist minister. All this time though I have been interested in the Catholic Church. Now I seemed to be ready for this change. Instead of the priesthood though I feel led more toward a religious life. I have always admired the Franciscans but now I am going to be 57 years old in a few weeks. Too old to be accepted? Thanks for any help.


#19

[quote="wstein, post:18, topic:300037"]
Hi, I have a question for here that is a little different. I was raised as a Baptist and have even pastored a mission and a church. Yes, I was a Baptist minister. All this time though I have been interested in the Catholic Church. Now I seemed to be ready for this change. Instead of the priesthood though I feel led more toward a religious life. I have always admired the Franciscans but now I am going to be 57 years old in a few weeks. Too old to be accepted? Thanks for any help.

[/quote]

I think you would have to convert first, before an order would even consider you. That takes over a year. Please go and see a parish priest as soon as possible.

Welcome to CAF and welcome "home!"

:thumbsup:


#20

I understand that....I am just thinking ahead. Thanks and God Bless.


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