…What if somebody made the wrong decision when it came to their vocation?

…What if someone felt the pull of living a consecrated life from a very early age and ignored those feelings (due to living in a family full of “Recovering Catholics”), got married to a wonderful heathen (:p) at a young age, and STILL feels drawn to cloistered life?

…What if this person was relatively new to the church (baptised as a baby, received into the church as an adult)?

Now, obviously I’m referring to myself here.

In all seriousness, this is something that’s on my mind ALL the time, and has really been bothering me.

Has anybody experienced this? What are my options? Can one get divorced and then, after a discernment process, enter a convent? (PLEASE don’t freak out, it’s not something that I’m seriously considering, but it is a general wonder I have sometimes)





No, you can’t get a divorce, then enter a convent!!!

The Catholic Church does not recognize divorce. Divorce is a civil action that legally ends a marriage, but it has no effect on the spiritual marriage. A divorced person is still married in the eyes of the Church. Only death of a spouse ends marriage, in the eyes of the Church.

An annullment, on the other hand, is granted when a marriage tribunal determines that the marriage was invalid from the beginning and so the marriage never existed. Since the person was never actually married, then the person is free to marry “again” (which would not really be again, but for the first time) or enter the convent.

However, a person doesn’t just “enter” a convent. The convent has to accept you. And you don’t know that they would.

The fact remains that you are married – that is your vocation. Your husband deserves a wife who loves him and is fully committed to him. If you are feeling a draw toward religious life, look into a Third Order. Here is a definition of a Third Order:

“Their members, in general lay members of religious orders, i.e. men and women who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order, are known as Tertiaries (from the Latin tertiarius, the relative adjective of tertius ‘third’).”



Just to reiterate, I am quite happily married. However, that does not mean that I don’t sometimes wonder about the different paths I may have gone down.

Thank you for reminding us all on the difference between divorce and annulments.

And yes, I am seriously considering a Third Order. :slight_smile:

Now, just a hypothetical situation…take a couple where one is devoutly Catholic and the other is decidedly un-religious. For whatever reason, the unreligious half presents the devout half with divorce papers. They get signed and go through and all that jazz - no annulment so far. Can the Catholic half approach an convent or become a priest if they are divorced with no annulment?




No, in the eyes of the Church the person is still married.

An annulment is necessary.

And then some orders and dioceses will not even accept those with an annulment.


Ave Maria!

I understand completely! Believe me on this. I am like you.

The FIRST thing is that it can be regarded as temptation to let thoughts of other vocations take too much of your time and imagination. Consider how St. John Vianny had the temptation to be a monk and tried to sneak away from Ars!
it was temptation.

We please God by living out our marriage vocation with all the love we can. That is our path to sanctification at this time.

However, I have the grace of a vocation to a Franciscan Third Order that is of the ‘old school’ so I do have a daily prayer life and my Rule is strict. I love it!

If you would like to e-mail me, if you have an interest, I can tell you more as there are 3 friaries in New England that have the Third Order religious associated with them.



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit