I just returned home from Assumption Abbey to restock my incense. I have a question, Why do they have a cut off age? The oldest they would take is 45. I am not called to live that kind of life, Just wondering.

Old donkeys learn hard, I guess, cheers,:thumbsup:

I have ideas but for the right answer I would suggest that you ask them.

I would like to hear your ideas if you don’t mind. You are in a religous order what is your opinion. I would like to know. I could ask them but they were not there today in the visitor center. They probably were making those awesome cakes!! I was so tempted to buy one, Thanks so much Scoob.

Ahhh yes their awesome cakes. I love them. My mouth was practically getting the tingles when I read your post. I love Christmas time, that’s when I usually get them.

Several reasons why they might have the cut off age, I agree with the person who posted. Ask them. I think it might be addressed in some of their constitutions, might want to start there.

God bless.

My community has a cut of age of 40 but it is not a hard stop. That is we will still talk with someone over 40 but the likelihood that they will be allowed to apply is low.

The reasons are many, One has been stated, it can be hard for an older candidate to make the necessary changes to live in community, especially given the form of community that the trappists live.

Education is another concern. We are a priestly order, though we are friars, most who enter study for the priesthood (this would not be so for the trappists).

Formation for us is at least 9 years, 2 year pre-novitiate, 1 year novitiate, 1st year of M.Div., 2 year internship, last 3 years of M.Div., if you are lucky and have the required philosophy and theology then pre-novitiate can be 1 year but there will be no getting out of 8 years of formation. Granted, most likely, the last two years are done while in solemn vows. The trappists will be different but I am sure their formation is long, with observership (or some form of postulancy) and then the novitiate (I think it is a 2 year novitiate).

Health care could be another concern.

Just some ideas.

For the record, most of the Trappist monasteries in the US appear to be very hungry for vocations. If you check out of photos of those entering, there appears to be no fixed upper age limit. There seems to be more vocations to the women’s Trappist monasteries.

Makes sense. At least they allow one over 40 to be heard and not just say no. I have run into the age thing myself with Springfield Mo. Our new Bishop told me I am too old. I was 39. Then I find out that he was a second career priest that was rushed to being a bishop!! He was ordained at 40 or 41. He is now 54. I feel bad for folks that get a call and because of their age (not thier fault as age happens) they get rejected. It is disheartening. I understand although I don’t want to but I undertand practicality. Thanks so much for your answers and replies. I just ask all to pray for men and women who get a call in midlife that they will be heard and given a chance. Thanks so much Scoob.

Wow I did not know that about the Bishop over there. Have you looked into being an associate of the Order? I think they may have something like that.

God bless.

There is a diocese that I am working with now. I hope I get accepted. So far so good:thumbsup: I will keep it in mind though. Thanks so much Scoob


Keep us informed. You are in my prayers. Is it with the Cistercians?

God bless.

Yes please keep me in your prayers. No, diosesan. I just hope that the last few events will go good. I would appreciate your prayers. So far so good!!! thanks so much Scoob.

You can count on my prayers.

I’m sure there is a concern, among other things, about older men who had not prepared properly for retirement attempting to enter the monastery for financial reasons, to have a place to live and food as they get old. Obviously that’s not what the monks are about.

I know the Cistercians at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia cut off at 50yrs old. They will speak to you after that but the vocations director said that it was not likely that one would be accepted.


As has been pointed out, too old and you have health issues (ie they drain the community). But even say a 50 year old who is athletic and in excellent health brings his own set of problems. Imagine the guy is a former corporate executive and now is sitting as a novice in an order learning humility and taking orders from much younger and less experienced (in life and the world) members of the order. It is difficult. Might he not be tempted to beigin to tell the Abbot (or whoever) how to more effectively run the order and so on rather than listening to the wisdom of the order. Hard to adjust. That is why privates in the army are normally 18 yo and not 50 year olds. Eighteen year olds adjust much better to taking orders and being molded.

I was reading Merton and IIRC there was a story of a priest Merton had gone to for guidance before entering the Trappists. Then years later while Merton was preparing to become a postulant there was the priest also preparing for the same thing (had decided to enter the order). I recall thinking how humbling for an educated, trained priest to begin that process. Not all can do that.

PS We might even learn something from the issues with Fr. Corapi (without getting into any other issues or pros and cons on him) that are relevant. He entered an order in his 40’s after a high and independent lifestyle. It may be that SOLT worked for him at the time because you did not have to live in community but live on your own and fund your own mission. Now they are trying to pull people into community since they feel it works better and according the head of SOLT, Fr. Corapi was resistant. One would expect so. He has lived pretty a much a non communal life for his whole life (now 62 or whatever he is). He heads a company with employees, etc. That is not an easy adjustment. Much easier for a man entering the Priesthood at 50 or 60 to be a diocesan priest.

That makes sense. That is probably why companies don’t wan to hire seniors as they are set in their ways. I just turned 41 even though that makes me sick I have longevity in my family. I am starting to feel some of my ways starting to set. BUT I feel called to the diocesan priesthood. Which I am sure has a little more independence than a monastic life style. I don’t feel called to that way of living. I am glad though that the cut off age is above my current age. I was visiting the seminary that I would be going to and I am more of the younger ones than the oldest and so I don’t feel so old.

40’s is young these days. I do not even consider 60 year olds to be old. I know one who rides 20-70 miles on weekends.

People generally look at age differently now. That is why you see more 20 something year olds who have not finished college or are not so concerned about careers. They start looking into those issues in their late 20’s. Drives older people nuts since the thing used to be college, out by 22 and go to work for a company for the rest of you life. Twenty somethings for better or worse are more flexible and seem less in a rush.

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