Religious Order Information/Vocation Advice


#1

Hello all,

I'm currently discerning among three religious communities:

  1. Carmelite Monks of Wyoming

  2. Franciscans of the Immaculate

  3. The Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary

The most important charisms to me are prayer and penance. The more austere, the better. I've done a fairly substantial amount of research on all three and have contacted the vocations director of all three, but If anyone has any information they can share or any special insights, it would be appreciated. Or if there are any other orders/communities similar to these, please let me know.

Also, I graduate from college this May with a teaching degree, so I'm debating whether or not I should go visit these communities right after I graduate or teach for a year or two and make some money so I can go and visit the communities I'm interested in without having to rely on my parents for travel money. Plus I can further discern during that time. I'm leaning towards religious life over teaching at this point however.

Also, my mom has her heart set on me becoming a Diocesan Priest, which I don't feel called to at this point, though I haven't closed the door on the possibility. When I informed her that I was seriously considering the FI's, she was utterly distraught. The life of poverty in particular troubles her. She has the mindset of "you can still get to Heaven without being so radical", which is true, but I'm of the mentality of giving my life to Christ in a radical way...it's what I desire to do. If she knew that I was now discerning becoming a Monk, she would likely flip out again. I know the important thing is to help her focus on what I'm gaining as to opposed to what I'm giving up. Any advice on how to deal with this situation is appreciated.

Thanks in advance for the responses.

"Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one Glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing." - Saint Teresa of Avila


#2

My understanding is that St. Francis’ Dad wasn’t thrilled with his son’s life decisions. The kid went ahead and became St. Francis anyway.

5 years ago I went against my mother’s advice and warnings regarding my choice of career. I am very grateful I did. Also: it doesn’t have to be done in a hurtful way. My mom is now completely resigned, and in fact has encouraged me to make this my life’s path (something even I am not completely sure about!)

One big mistake I did make, that I would never make again: borrowing money from the parents. Just don’t. You’ll be glad you didn’t.


#3

It is difficult if not impossible for parents to give disinterested vocation guidance to their kids. It is also not necessary to get lots of opinions and deliberate over it.

S.T. IIb, Q189

Article 10. Whether it is praiseworthy to enter religion without taking counsel of many, and previously deliberating for a long time?

Objection 1. It would not seem praiseworthy to enter religion without taking counsel of many, and previously deliberating for a long time. ...]

On the contrary, It is stated (Matthew 4:20) that upon our Lord's calling them, Peter and Andrew "immediately leaving their nets, followed Him." ...]


#4

Talk to each of the three communities, they may well advise you wait awhile. Especially if this is something new. Such a commitment isn't something to decide in haste. Personally, I have a soft spot for the Carmelites. St. Therese being my favorite saint. Plus, my birthday is the day after the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and on the day for "The Blessed Martyers of Compiegne." These martyers were Carmelit nuns who were put to death during the French Revolution. If I had had my choice, I would be a Carmelite. But, alas, my age and health won't allow for it. :(


#5

Your mom certainly has your best interests at heart. She has guided you this far and has done pretty well, so don't disregard her concerns. Do your best to show her your way, because in the end, it is your way and not her's. You could let her talk to the vocational directors of these communities and maybe bring her along for a visit. She may come to understand your calling if she knows more about it . She may not know to much about being a religious priest, so it would help to try and make her happy.

But really, it is your life and eventually you will have to do what you feel is best and answer your calling in the best way possible, and that mean's your mother may not be to happy. That's part of parenthood. Although somehow, I believe your mother will come around and be proud that her son answered his call.

Not to confuse your calling further, but the Passionist Congregation might offer you what you are looking for. They are both contemplative and active, deeply prayerful, penitential and involved in retreat and missionary work and do work in and with parishes.

God Bless!:)


#6

[quote="SurprizdbyLewis, post:2, topic:317858"]
My understanding is that St. Francis' Dad wasn't thrilled with his son's life decisions. The kid went ahead and became St. Francis anyway.

5 years ago I went against my mother's advice and warnings regarding my choice of career. I am very grateful I did. Also: it doesn't have to be done in a hurtful way. My mom is now completely resigned, and in fact has encouraged me to make this my life's path (something even I am not completely sure about!)

One big mistake I did make, that I would never make again: borrowing money from the parents. Just don't. You'll be glad you didn't.

[/quote]

I like that first sentence very much.:thumbsup:


#7

[quote="Immculata88, post:1, topic:317858"]
Hello all,

I'm currently discerning among three religious communities:

  1. Carmelite Monks of Wyoming

  2. Franciscans of the Immaculate

  3. The Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary

The most important charisms to me are prayer and penance. The more austere, the better. I've done a fairly substantial amount of research on all three and have contacted the vocations director of all three, but If anyone has any information they can share or any special insights, it would be appreciated. Or if there are any other orders/communities similar to these, please let me know.

Also, I graduate from college this May with a teaching degree, so I'm debating whether or not I should go visit these communities right after I graduate or teach for a year or two and make some money so I can go and visit the communities I'm interested in without having to rely on my parents for travel money. Plus I can further discern during that time. I'm leaning towards religious life over teaching at this point however.

*What do the various communities say in regards to visiting? Do you have someone to help you during your discernment process? ( A parish priest? Confessor? or Spiritual Director?) Many times the vocation directors of the various communities can also give you some guidelines? Some may actually prefer you to work for a short time prior to entering, some may prefer you enter sooner... that may have some impact on your visits. It is a good idea to get to know the community, so as to be able to ask questions, get to know about their community life etc. This can take time so again you might work while "studying" the communities and charisms. Again I would not hesitate to ask the vocation directors for input and advice. Based on that input then you might have a better idea on whether to work or enter. *

Also, my mom has her heart set on me becoming a Diocesan Priest, which I don't feel called to at this point, though I haven't closed the door on the possibility. When I informed her that I was seriously considering the FI's, she was utterly distraught. The life of poverty in particular troubles her. She has the mindset of "you can still get to Heaven without being so radical", which is true, but I'm of the mentality of giving my life to Christ in a radical way...it's what I desire to do. If she knew that I was now discerning becoming a Monk, she would likely flip out again. I know the important thing is to help her focus on what I'm gaining as to opposed to what I'm giving up. Any advice on how to deal with this situation is appreciated.

Family responses can be quite varied.... give her time, pray and continue with your discernment... You will have to decide what kind of religious calling you might have. (My own family is Protestant so it took a number of years for them to come around and accept at least in a nominal way my own vocation.... there are still moments ) Just be patient and perhaps explain to your mom that discernment takes time... not only the start of the "joining" process so to speak but even once you "begin" that that is what formation is all about.. finding out if the community (or even diocesan priesthood) is the right fit.... maybe let her know that either way it requires prayer and trust... (By the way are their any specific reasons for her concern??? If so perhaps you might address those.... )

*Bottom line if I offer advice to any young person on religious life it is to build your spiritual bond with Jesus, and find a trained person (priest, nun, confessor, spiritual director) who can help you in your discernment.

blessings on your journey

Sr Debbie, OSC*

Thanks in advance for the responses.

"Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one Glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing." - Saint Teresa of Avila

[/quote]


#8

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