Telling your parents


#1

Hi,

I now know that I have been called by God to be a nun/sister. Now I just have to tell my parents that.

To anyone who is now a sister, or other religious figure: how did you tell your parents/ guardians? And to those who are not: how would you tell your parents?

God bless
Olivia


#2

Why not tell them honestly?

If they are enraged just tell them - What is the point of life? Hapiness with God or Money?


#3

I can understand your fear and anxiety. I had to tell my husband 4 years ago I was going to convert to the Catholic faith. There are several things I wished I had done differently.

Pray for the softening of their hearts. Even send your guardian angel to pray with their angels.

Get a group of friends to pray for you also, and of course the best friends to have pray for you are the saints. I know there are many saints who are nuns who will pray for you.

Pray rosaries every day, fast as well as prayer. The more you sacrifice for this, the more receptive they will be.

I will be praying for you.


#4

Olivia,

Are you planning to tell them that you wish to convert, or that you hope to be a religious sister? There’s quite a big difference, after all.

Since a vocation takes a long time to fulfil, and given that religious institutes typically ask converts to wait a few years before they apply for entry, it may be best to take things in stages. Discernment is a deliberate and slow process, not to be rushed. Maybe your dealings with your family should be equally slow and cautious. How you might live your life as a Catholic can only be fully known when you become a Catholic.

I’m not trying to discourage you. I know several people who were attracted to religious life and converted to Catholicism with that in mind: but I also know many more people who wondered if they had a religious vocation when they converted, and eventually decided that they didn’t. There is a saying that if you want to hear God’s laughter, tell Him your plans for the future.:slight_smile:

My own life has continuously surprised me in that respect, and I’ve often ended up doing things that I never would have predicted. For what its worth, I converted to Catholicism 20 years ago but it was quite a few years before I discerned a religious vocation. My friends and family were and continue to be very supportive, although of course that isn’t everyone’s experience.

I hope you continue to discover God’s will for you, and that it brings you peace of mind. Prayers and best wishes.


#5

I will agree with just being honest and tell them. I always get nervous until its time to actually do something.


#6

HI PossibleNun15,

It sounds as if you have just recently made that decision. My advice is to hold onto the call and wait a bit. If it is true, it will grow, if it is not (and that's ok) then you will be steered in the direction you are called as long as you are putting God first in your life.

Let it grow in your heart and I would say keep it a secret some more until you feel ready to speak with your parents about it.   The reason why I state that is because you asked the question of how to tell your parents...  it seems because you asked, you may not be ready to do so, and that's ok.   They don't need to know yet.   Let your love for God grow some more.  Keep growing in the Lord Jesus and He will provide the proper window to speak with your parents.  (And that may be the reason you feel apprehention about telling your parents- it may not be time yet..  I'm presuming from what you have wrote.)   

Please take that time... I wish I did because I ruined everything I had when I told my mother, (my father is not catholic) who did not look upon the idea as something noble and did not keep it a secret. My family then started to act 'funny' around me and making statements about how most religious (priests, nuns, friars, etc) are really gay or mentally ill... these topics they never talked about until my mom leaked my confidence in her. ( We are supposed to be a Catholic family.... and I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they had faith. I found out we are not. Doubts ensued... and I wish I would have waited. They have no clue on how to look upon relgious life except for what media tells them, so there is no understanding in them for this.

 Pray for the gift of understanding in your parents about religious life.  Also, because your parents know you better than any one else, pray that you will hear and take note of any of their objections,( so as long as they fit with Catholic teaching, that is.)

If you suspect your family is like mine.. my advice is also to get ADVOCATES and support first. (and not on mesage boards either.) Look for people who are going to tell you the truth, even if it hurts. If you know of any people who have shown to you that they are strong in their faith and that they put God first, talk with them. But mainly, you should first try to make sure that this calling is TRULY from the Lord. That takes time.. I don't thiink the Lord would want anyone rushing into religious life as much as He would want someone to marry someone on a whim. He would want you to be sure, just as any man who really loves you would want for you also, with a full heart of devotion and readiness.

So, please if my advice helps... keep it within you until you feel safe and secure to make the next move. Let your love for God continue to grow. Let your interest grow, Explore by reading books on religious life (pious ones, that is) and possibly take some visits to monasteries of interest. I had read something about one saint's vocation to religous life and his advice for him was to keep it a secret because too many people think its stupid and meaningless and will rip you and your vocation to shreads. Be cautios.

Hope that helps some.   Best Wishes and Congrats! 

May the love and guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

#7

Actually both. But my grandmother is already urging me to switch to Catholicism, and I’m only 15, so I have a lot of time to convert.


#8

Hi again Olivia,

So the process is at a pretty early stage, then. OK. Well, I think its always difficult to give advice on an anonymous forum like this, but I would suggest caution here. If you’re concerned that there may be a negative response to your news, then it’s especially important to go slowly.

I think there’s a fine line between discovering an interest in or even a genuine call to religious life and being able to say that it is definitely what you’re going to do. There are a lot of people involved in that process - in your case the local church that would instruct you in admission to the Catholic family, the people who would give you ongoing spiritual direction as you discern where your specific vocation lies, and the members of the religious institute to which you might eventually decide to apply. And then there’s your family and friends too. Trying to take all that on board right now is a lot to ask.

I’m sure it sounds like I’m trying to discourage you, but I’m actually trying to point out how much is involved in this particular spiritual journey, which would take 4-5 years minimum to achieve. (At least a year of instruction, at least a couple of years of maturing as a Catholic, and at least a year taken up by application and acceptance). I’m not saying it can’t be done, because other people have done what you’re envisaging, but you have to walk before you can run.

If you want to tell your parents, see how the news that you’re thinking about conversion goes down first; and also see how your instruction in the Catholic faith goes when that begins; because on that will depend your future decisions. The faith has to be fully understood before you can commit to it.

Vocations - whether they are to religious life, or marriage, or other states - are a process, not a single event. If this is what you feel called to do, then go for it. But don’t feel you have to make all your decisions today. Take it one step at a time, and the first step would be to discuss conversion with the right people. Telling your parents at some stage will be necessary, and I’m not suggesting you lie to them about the possibility of becoming a religious if they ask, but it may be unnecessary to emphasise something which at this stage is not a process that you can actually begin.

Like I said, the order is enquiry; instruction and conversion; spiritual direction to discern your vocation; and application. Deal with first things first, and pray very hard.:wink: You’re assured of my prayers and best wishes. I hope you find the right path to walk with God.


#9

I'm with OCarm on this.

I think you should pray for your parents and then simply tell them of your desire to become Catholic. You may want to do this one on one with them, each separately.

Even if you started RCIA today you probably would not be confirmed until Easter 2012. Then you would have to wait a few years before entering and it might also take a few years before God shows you where to apply. I think it is enough for now to tell your parents of your desire to be Catholic. You'll have time in the future to tell them about your draw to religious life. Like OCarm said, your perceptions about what God is calling you to may change. You are very early in your discernment and we are not perfect.

You'll be in my prayers.
God bless.


#10

I was/am in a very similar situation. I had my conversion experience during my first month at college (out of state). Then shortly after I decided to become Catholic I felt the pull to religious life. I told my parents that I wanted to become Catholic first and then later told them about the religious life call.
Tell your parents that you want to become Catholic first. That can be a lot for them deal with, my parents are still working on accepting the fact I am becoming Catholic (I will enter the Church this Easter! :extrahappy: ). Give your parents some time to process that then tell them that you are thinking about religious life. Don't go too far into your discernment process without including your parents, trust me it will cause you a ton of trouble later.
I have talked with a few vocation directors and most of them have told me that they prefer converts to wait for at least 2 years, though it varies between orders and people. Also many orders prefer that you are 17 or 18 to enter. So you definitely have time to really figure things out. Take your time, God will wait for you!
Let me know if you need someone to talk to. I have found it so helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of. I will be praying for you!


#11

Even though I'm still on a bit of a 50/50 scale, my mom doesn't want me to be a Sister, neither does my grandmother. If I do believe it really is my calling later on, I don't know how they'll ever let me go for it. I have enough of anxiety when I think of how my father will react. He's not Catholic so he doesn't believe in any of it.


#12

I suggest to take this slow... I am a convert to Catholicism who is also interested in the religious life... potentially....

I suggest becoming Catholic first, letting your parents get used to that, and then getting a good spiritual director and discerning religious life :) even if you feel certain right now, it would still be good to discern this with a spiritual director, Sacraments, etc. Then when the time is right, tell your parents - but if they disagree, don't argue with them, just pray and give it time. Put everything in God's hands and trust Him :) He is in control of the situation..

God bless


#13

[quote="PossibleNun15, post:7, topic:224624"]
Actually both. But my grandmother is already urging me to switch to Catholicism, and I'm only 15, so I have a lot of time to convert.

[/quote]

Give them time to get used to your conversion to Catholicism, and then, you'll be able to tell them about your vocation. Don't do it too soon or they'll discourage you.

That's what I did. I was a bit older than you, and now I told my family about the whole thing.


#14

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