[quote="emmaberry, post:1, topic:273808"]
I am a freshman in college discerning the call to become a nun. By 'discerning,' I mean that God has called me and I am going to be a nun unless his plan for me changes before I graduate. My question is: Does anybody have advice on visiting convents? The trouble I am running into is that I feel called to the cloister, but you cannot just visit a cloister. They are very particular about who visits, and usually it must be because you are genuinely discerning joining that specific order. I would like to visit the Carmelites, but I am not yet sure about whether I feel called to their order. Is there any chance they will let me visit, knowing I am not planning on entering? I am just trying to discern where I am supposed to be, and can't know something is my vocation if I haven't even tried it!
Yes, they will let you visit! You're discerning :) I visited several communities, cloistered and not. The two cloistered communities I visited, I was not allowed in the cloister--obviously--but had plenty of time to talk with them, participate in prayer and Mass from the public side of the grille in the chapel....etc. Although I was primarily interested in the Carmelites and Dominicans, I still visited a few other communities. Both the Carmelite and Dominican cloistered communities had periods of several weeks that a candidate could spend inside the cloister, after that time she was to go home and pray and reflect for a time before taking any further steps to possibly enter.
God Bless you as you discern. The only other thing I can say is, you'll know. I know that sounds goofy, I wished people would stop saying that, but I found it to be absolutely true, God will let you know! :)