Too old for a vocation?

Right now I am 23 and going through RCIA. All throughout high school I felt called to Catholicism and religious life, but did not act upon it because my family did not and does not support religion. As an adult, I felt much more free in pursuing what I know to be true. That being said, RCIA at my parish is lead by the Priest and takes two years to complete. I'll be baptized at age 25 and then I can begin looking into religious life. Is this too old to begin the process or am I way over thinking this? I also plan to get a spiritual director after I'm baptized to gain further understanding of my vocation and will probably spend quite a bit of time checking out communities.

Just thought I'd get everyone's thoughts on the matter.

[quote="annoellyn, post:1, topic:270433"]
Right now I am 23 and going through RCIA. All throughout high school I felt called to Catholicism and religious life, but did not act upon it because my family did not and does not support religion. As an adult, I felt much more free in pursuing what I know to be true. That being said, RCIA at my parish is lead by the Priest and takes two years to complete. I'll be baptized at age 25 and then I can begin looking into religious life. Is this too old to begin the process or am I way over thinking this? I also plan to get a spiritual director after I'm baptized to gain further understanding of my vocation and will probably spend quite a bit of time checking out communities.

Just thought I'd get everyone's thoughts on the matter.

[/quote]

Most Religious Communities will let you in until you're thirty-five to forty on average, and some of them are nice enough to do fifty. The Franciscan Brothers Minor and Franciscan Sisters Minor don't have any age cutoff at all. You can join when you're eighty! So no, I would not say this is too late. I don't know any Community, men's or women's, that has a cutoff age of twenty-five to thirty.

However, know that most Communities will not let you in unless you've been Catholic for two to three years, and have evidence of a pious lifestyle. You'd probably need a Priest or Religious that is a friend of yours to vouch for you, otherwise it might be hard to give some evidence. I don't think video-taping yourself praying everyday would cut it. :p

Never too late for a Catholic vocation. :D :thumbsup:

A vocation is a call from God. God never calls us too soon or too late.

Vocations can be nurtured or suppressed, but they cannot be forced or denied.

[quote="LumenGent, post:3, topic:270433"]
Never too late for a Catholic vocation. :D :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Although this is true, it does not imply that all dioceses or religious houses let people of all ages enter formation with them. Of course, 25-30 is an age that would typically not be considered too old!

Welcome to the Church. I wish I had investigated the Catholic Church at your age instead of 35 years later.

You might be able to start collecting information on communities to see where God is calling you. Vocation directors will be glad to send you information and a lot of places have websites these days. I have seen retreats and invitational weekends. It will help you grow in your faith even if you decide that particular community is not for you. Your diocesan vocation director will have information, too, and could be a good place to start.

My friend didn't become a nun because she wanted to be a nurse and all she knew about were contemplative orders so gather that information.

Best wishes to you. :)

Knight - I was aware that I had to wait a few years after RCIA since the process of conversion can often be mistaken as a call to religious life, etc. However, I was not aware that I had to have a religious or Priest vouch for me. I'm a very quiet person and haven't really talked to a Priest or religious at all. But perhaps this can be solved with a spiritual director.

Elizabeth - Thanks for the information!

Thanks for the advice everyone!

[quote="annoellyn, post:7, topic:270433"]
Knight - I was aware that I had to wait a few years after RCIA since the process of conversion can often be mistaken as a call to religious life, etc. However, I was not aware that I had to have a religious or Priest vouch for me. I'm a very quiet person and haven't really talked to a Priest or religious at all. But perhaps this can be solved with a spiritual director.

Elizabeth - Thanks for the information!

Thanks for the advice everyone!

[/quote]

You don't have to have one necessarily, but it's better to have one so they may recommend you. It gives the Community or Bishop assurance that you very well may have a calling.

I would most definitely get a Spiritual Director. You can get one tomorrow, if you find the Diocese Vocations Director. He (I say "he" because it's usually a Priest) can either help you or direct you to one in a Religious Community. And, very frequently, a nice retired Priest with the time to speak with you more often.

[quote="annoellyn, post:1, topic:270433"]
Right now I am 23 and going through RCIA. All throughout high school I felt called to Catholicism and religious life, but did not act upon it because my family did not and does not support religion. As an adult, I felt much more free in pursuing what I know to be true. That being said, RCIA at my parish is lead by the Priest and takes two years to complete. I'll be baptized at age 25 and then I can begin looking into religious life. Is this too old to begin the process or am I way over thinking this? I also plan to get a spiritual director after I'm baptized to gain further understanding of my vocation and will probably spend quite a bit of time checking out communities.

Just thought I'd get everyone's thoughts on the matter.

[/quote]

What in the world are they teaching in RCIA that takes TWO YEARS to teach?! If it's done correctly, it only requires about six months. If I were you, I'd find another parish that doesn't take so long.

You need to spend time (I'd say at least 3 years or so- and religious communities would agree with me, as they typically require that converts be Catholic for a certain length of time) practicing the Faith as a lay person before seriously discerning a vocation to the religious life. What you are experiencing is certainly a call to holiness, but you must allow time, as well as prayer and frequent and reverent participation in the Sacramental life of the Church to help you distinguish between a true call to the religious life, and the call to holiness which God has given to everyone.

Like others have said, you won’t be too old. :slight_smile:

This is an excellent website - religiouslife.com/ You can do an advanced search. Most of the listings on there will tell you if the community has an age range.

When I was growing up, most convents accepted postulants between the ages of 18 and 30. A few accepted postulants as young as 14. Most communities now look for individuals who have some knowledge of the world. Recently I have found one Carmelite community that accepts new members who are 18. Most have a minimum age of 21 and a maximum age of 45, while a few will accept a person who is 60. In other words, by today's standards you are still young and should have little difficulty finding a community that will accept you if you are indeed being called to the religious life.
I have known several people who entered the Catholic Church after feeling they were called to the religious life.
vocations.com/

:)I have found out that I at 58yrs old CAN serve God with a habit at my age and am calling others to do the same or fallow us. Canon Law 603 , we can serve God as a Charism, and how the Holy Spirit leads you. You can become a diocesan hermit to the bishop which is a charism, you can have a community and have a habit. There is more to all this but wanted to let you know that WE (old people) can serve God. For men and women. I am trying to start one in the Austin area called "The Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Guadalupe" For only 40ys and older. my blog and the other web sits to show you how,,;:crossrc::highprayer:

www.dmbsfo.blogspot.com

Cloisterite Hermits;
cloisters.tripod.com/cloisterites/

Lay Cloisterites:
cloisters.tripod.com/lay_cloisterites/

Dr Gianna's Assistants for Life (DGAL):
cloisters.tripod.com/drgiannasassistantsforlife/

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