I’m currently discerning a vocation and am feeling very drawn to a specific Dominican cloistered community. (Pray for me. I’ve had one “no” from them already because I have arthritis but I reached back out to them after a year had passed and my pastor told me to talk to them again because I just couldn’t stop feeling drawn to them. They still have some major reservations about saying “yes” at this point, but want to give me the benefit of a face-to-face talk this time. Baby steps!)
However, since I have arthritis I’ve had a variety of interesting conversations with different communities, all just wishing I’d take the “we don’t take health issues” line and go away. At first I felt drawn to active communities, and also thought that it would at least be a way for me to do something to have income into the community even with my arthritis, but it was one active community that actually pointed me toward the contemplative one I’m talking to.
So my conversations have ranged from:
- no conversation or reply at all
- invitation to come to a vocation retreat with other girls, but once I put my name on the list to talk about any vocation advice was told they would get to me last as they wanted to talk to the other girls who didn’t have health issues first, I never did get to talk to them but I did get a nice weekend of prayer at least
- being told to find a group of lay women to live with and teach CCD (as if that was the same thing)
- they didn’t feel like I would flourish in the commmunity, and when asking for examples thinking maybe it was a misperception of my limitations with my arthritis which I could try to clear up, was told that it was because I wouldn’t be able to play basketball with the other postulants (which I said I could play basketball, just not well, and I couldn’t play it well before my arthritis set in either)
So yeah, I have no clue why I’m still drawn to religious life after dealing with answers like that for three years, but the thought just won’t leave me alone. The responses haven’t all been as frustrating. The Dominican community I’m talking to actually did communicate with me for a bit before saying no, they just never actually met me except for me to say hi once when the vocations office for my diocese visited for an afternoon.