Question for family/friends of priests and/or religious

What did you need from them before and after they left to become a priest or religious?

Unless something unforeseen happens, I’ll be entering a convent this fall. It’s earlier than I expected and while I’m over the moon with happiness, my loved ones seem to be grieving. My parents and brother have had me everyday for most of my life. When I enter, that will be reduced to a weekly message and a few visits a year. I don’t expect most of my friendships to survive.

Obviously, my dear ones will always be in my prayers. But I was wondering if there’s something, anything I can do, to make any part of this easier for them. I’m interested in any and all advice, but I’m especially hoping for replies from those of you with sons/daughters/nieces/nephews in religious life. Thank you all in advance!

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Well we have a niece in a Passionist Monastery 2 states away that I write to a couple of times a year. I know she can only see and read her mail at certain times. If there is a family emergency we can call her for prayers. We have visited her once and other family & friends visit her on occasion by appointment. Can’t just show up. We KNOW that she will never be able to leave even when her parents pass away. Their 3 other children died and she is the only living child left. When she dies she will be buried with the other sisters at her Monastery. But she is happy and her family accepts this as her vocation.

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Thank you for your reply :slight_smile:

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I have a friend who entered a cloistered monastery. That’s different, obviously, from someone in a more active community. We went to dinner to celebrate shortly before she entered, and I was one of the handful of people there on the day she entered. Now we stay in touch as much as we can. I send her a monthly letter and we visit a couple of times a year.

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Thank you for your reply. Do you happen to know if there was something she did prior to entering the community that made the transition easier for her family? Or maybe what I’m asking is an impossibility.

In her case the family wasn’t really an issue. Her mother had died a few years earlier and she’s not close to her father. Her relationships were more with friends than with family. And I think the biggest thing she did with friends was to see them and spend some time with them one last time before she entered.

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Ahh I see. Thank you so very much! :slight_smile:

Make memories. Try not to be TOO excited to leave them.

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Oh, and when my friend entered a cloistered convent, she gave me a silly stuffed bear (she gave things away to her friends). I treasure that bear. When I see it I pray for her and I know she is praying for me.

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Haha I won’t! As I often tell them, I’m not running from anything - I’m running to Someone!

That is really sweet, I love it!

I have a friend whose daughter entered a cloistered community. Before she left, the daughter made her a beautiful spiritual book as a keepsake. My daughter is entering this fall, as well, and she is playing “copycat”. This an example of one of her pages. It has quotes from saints and her own thoughts as well.

Uploading…

I know families that took one last trip with their son/daughter, and we’re doing that in June.

From mothers that I know with cloistered daughters, the thing they treasure most are very personal letters when you enter. I know one that receives generic letters, and it is heart-wrenching. Mothers want to know their little girls are eating well, sleeping well, and feeling well. They want to know about the small touching details of convent life – your life!

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Thank you! This was exactly what I was looking for!

Here are those pictures… I don’t know why they wouldn’t post.

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She also produced this PowerPoint presentation for her Grandparents, most of whom do not understand…

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Oh they’re beautiful! :heart_eyes:

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Thank you so much for sharing!

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We’ll be praying for your perseverence.

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Thank you, you are in my prayers too!

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