I was wondering if anyone knows of any religious orders that accept minors. I am discerning the Catholic Priesthood/Religious Life and while I know most young people are not fit for religious life or priestly formation at such a young age, I am part of a small minority that would benefit from being able to progress in this discernment (entering a religious community or minor seminary). In my discernment it has been difficult because the Church has shied away from providing minors with the tools to discern a priestly vocation, only instructing us to pray and live our lives as a good young Catholics. This is a great step but after a while I have felt a longing and desire to move forward. There is only so much discernment one can do from the outside, I feel ready to move into a formal discernment process either in a religious community or through some sort of priestly formation program. I know times are different now but I find myself in the place of many of the saints who were called at a young age, many of which entered into a religious community or began priestly formation at a young age. Anyway I just wondering what my options are, God Bless Everyone!
I am 16 years old (17 in September)
I am very involved with the church through altar serving, music ministry, being a lector, retreat leader at my school and catholic youth club at my school.
I have been engaged in formal discernment with my Archdiocease since 8th grade and in personal discernment since 6th grade
I am a honor roll student
I have participated in many retreats and conferences
I pray a shorter version of the Divine Office everyday and participate in many other forms of prayer
I maintain a healthy balance in life and engage in normal teenage activities like sports and theater
I have met multiple times with the vocation director in my diocese
Iknow I’m still maturing and am no where near perfect, but I can’t deny this call I have received and all I want to do is live out the will of God, I have been told by many people including clergy members that the only problem is that I am too young, throught middle school and in my first two years of high school I’ve done my best to continue to discern well and have balance in my life, but I looking for a next step and I don’t know how to take it!