So many questions! AHH!


#1

Hi everyone!

To make a very long story nice and short:
I am Lutheran (born and raised). I first felt God calling me to become a nun when I was 12...this persisted until I was about 14. I was always very devote and serious about my faith as a young girl. My teenage years were a really big struggle because I was bullied very badly in school and struggled with depression. During that time I fell away from church, and was just barely holding onto my faith. Around the time that I was 18, I started going to church again, but wasn't very serious about it. I have struggled with my faith in college, and didn't really come back to it until I was 22. I'm now 25, and I have been on a powerful journey the past year where I have felt myself growing ever closer to God.

Out of no where, I began feeling called to become a nun. It was weird when I was 12, and it's just as weird now! I'm not even Catholic! I would describe myself as having been anti-Catholic the past couple years, so it made even less sense to me that I should feel called to convert and join a religious order...:blush: :shrug:

The pull for me to convert has been really powerful...I've been resisting, but I just can't anymore. I can't explain the call for me to become a nun, I can't explain the call to convert...but I can really feel God drawing me into His church. I read online where one sister was talking to another young women who was worried that she missed God's call - to which the sister responded, "Don't worry, God always calls back!"

I feel like God is calling me back!

Here are my questions: 1) If I convert, how long would I have to wait before being able to enter a religious order? 2) I have over $30,000 of student loan debt that I have to pay off before entering novitiate, so does anyone have any advice about that?? 3) do convents still require an aspirant's family to pay a dowry upon entering?

I think I'll limit it to those questions for now...Thanks in advance!


#2

Hi :) I think that it's possible that you are called to religious life, but it's a good idea to first become Catholic, learn the faith well, receive the Sacraments, grow spiritually, get a spiritual director.. and then take the next step and really discern. I know that sounds like a lot but it's important to be well formed spiritually and as a Catholic in order to be a good religious. :) and a good spiritual director (usually they are priests) can be very helpful as well. You might be interested in reading books about Catholic Saints who were nuns.. like "Story of a Soul" by St Therese :) there's also "Divine Mercy in My Soul" by St Faustina.

to answer your questions..

  1. I have heard, around 2 years. (I'm a convert also :) and also possibly discerning..)
  2. I have the same situation :( I heard there are programs that people have set up to help those who want to join a religious order but have loans.. basically people donate to help them out. Ultimately, trust God that if this is His will, He will help you to take care of it :)
  3. Most do not.

God bless :)


#3
  1. The general discernment period for a convent is two years, but depending on what your spiritual directors think this could easily go up or down. Most of the time you would still be involved in the religious life to some extent during this period in order to experience it just not as a full nun.
    2)The issue of the loans will again be a case by case basis. A nun who worked in a medical field would have much more room to pay of the loans for instance.
    3)Depends on the convent, but this is an issue that can be dealt with relatively easily once you have found where you want to go. Even if the dowry is required the spiritual advisor will likely be able to advise you on how to procure the money.

#4

Hi, Julie…here is my take…

I would advise you call the diocese or the parish close to you, and ask to speak to a priest or ask for the vocations director, usually also a priest. He should be able to direct you what you need to do.

My opinion only, I do not know all the rules…to start your discernment, I do think you can start it, even why contemplating your joining the CC, or while in the process of joining.
But then, again, this is up to the advise of a priest, should you choose to consult one.

As somebody has suggested, I would recommend you read the lives of some women saints. You will discover, that they too had spiritual directors and confessors in their earthly life. I would recommend for additional reading…St Catherine of Sienna, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Bernadette of Lourdes and the memoirs of Sister Lucia of Fatima.

And lastly, pray in total surrender to God’s will, to where He will lead you, to where He wants you to be…and depending on how comfortable you are…there is the Blessed Virgin…to go to for comfort.

Godbless…


#5

The first step to take would be RCIA, which is usually Sept through to the Easter Mass.

Seminaries and convents usually want a convert to be a Catholic for 3-6 years before entering.

It doesn't hurt to start learning about charisms, apostolates, semi-contemplative/full-contemplative, semi-cloistered/full-cloistered, etc. You can discern with orders, just not enter for some years.

The most important thing again is to become Catholic and begin spiritual direction. Be open to whatever vocation God may be calling you to. Mother Angelica said that the call to Holiness can often be confused with a call to religious life. So, you may find it's just to become Catholic and faithful at this point.


#6

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