Hello Everyone. I am a 16 year old and strongly feel called to become a Religious Priest. I have looked into various orders but the only ones I am strongly considering right now are the Capuchins and the Jesuits. I am attracted to the Capuchins because of the simple lifestyle they lead and their work with the poor. I am attracted to the Jesuits because of their work in education. Which do you think would be better for me? And I would like to enter the order right out of high school. Also, if I choose the Capuchins will I have to live in a monastery in a cell? I want community life but not the “in my own cell” type. Thanks and God Bless You All!!!
It’s very funny that you post this. I am 16 years old as well, and for the past two years I have been discerning the religious priesthood.
I initially began with the Capuchins myself; and in about August of 2012, I began to look into the Jesuits.
I went back and forth between the orders, and I even began seeing my current spiritual director, a Jesuit scholastic.
A great piece of advice that my spiritual director offered me, is to not settle with one order or another, and look down (frown) upon all the rest. The idea is to develop a sort of indifference (for the lack of a better word) in which you can look at all of the orders’ charisms and apostolates without a particular bias towards a particular order. I have struggled with this for quite a bit, however, it is something that helps clean up discernment quite a bit.
I would recommend praying to God for his help in your discernment, and also the Blessed Mother’s intercession, especially when things become foggy.
I would also recommend calling, emailing, or meeting with a few vocations directors from different orders (with your parent’s permission), just so you can get a sense of each order’s charism.
One priest once told me that when I found the right order, I would know it was the right one, because it would feel right, like a good-fitting pair of shoes!
Attending the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, is also very helpful.
The Capuchins do not live in cells in monasteries in the US provinces; they live in Friaries with five to twelve other Friars. The Friars dedicate their time to ministering to parishes, the youth, retreat houses, substance abusers, the imprisoned, and the sick.
Overall, remember to never rule out an order; we still have two years before high school graduation, and the Lord will be sure to point us in the right direction.
I hope this has helped you, and if you would like to chat sometime, I would be glad to share some of my experiences with you. Please know of my prayers, and may God bless you for taking this calling seriously, and taking the necessary steps to follow the Gospel and Jesus Christ with courage!
Woah… This is great! I am 16 years old too and I’m discerning to be a Carmelite Friar and maybe if a Carmelite priest!
I would recommend you to live with each of the orders and participate to their retreats, activities or maybe you can live with them for a while in their monastery or their institution.
Based on my observation of Capuchin which is the Friar Minors here, they have monasteries but mostly they serve the communities in the church… I don’t know their activity patterns because I have never been to a Capuchin communities before… Same as the Jesuits order… I’m familiar with the Carmelites though…
Anyways, let us pray that more youths will be called to be religious sisters, nuns, friars, priests to serve the Lord…
I am almost 15 and I am strongly discerning religious life as well. I’ve looked into a lot of orders and haven’t ruled any out really, but i am most interested in the Dominicans or the Franciscans of the Renewal.
For what it’s worth, there are basically two types of religious order: monastic and apostolic.
Monastic orders, as you might expect, live in monasteries with varying degrees of strictness applying to their lives. they also don’t normally move from their monastery - for some, this means that they may work in a school, on a farm or in a parish (for example) but will live and pray in a monastery and stay in that same monastery for pretty much the rest of their lives. For others, this means they don’t leave the monastery at all except for things like medical treatment.
Apostolic orders (like the Capuchins and Jesuits) are more “in the world”. they live together in community but may transfer to other communities depending on the needs of their order. Their work is also more varied and not centred on where they live. Capuchins are a particular type of apostolic order called mendicants - basically, wandering preachers who depend (to varying extents) on charity.
Hope this helps.
Try to get a spiritual director or speak with a good priest in the communities you are considering. A public forum can only go so far in helping you out.
Remember you need to discover where God calls you, not where you want to go. (Although the desires God gives you are one of the signs regarding where he calls you.)