What Are the Community Types all About


Hello, I’m taking a Vocations Match Q&A and one of the questions ask what type of community am I drawn to living. But I’m kind of hesitant in answering because I don’t know so much about what they are, and I would appreciate it if you guys could help me to understand more about them. Here are the options as follows:



I have recently become an Aspirant in a Monastic Society.

It’s a contemplative community. My Community has lay and Religious branches. Monks, Priests, Nuns, Religious, married, singles. We Consecrate ourselves to God. And can choose to take vows of chastity, poverty, obedience as we are guided by God’s Will. The Vows are not taken lightly.

The Monastic Spirituality Pray, silence, work, study, either living in the world , and includes Diocesean Priests or eaving everything to live a common community life.


To complicate matters: not all monastic communities are contemplative. For example, ALL Benedictines are monastic, but only some are strictly contemplative.

I think you might want to do some research on this before proceeding to discern further. There are many books as well as online resources about religious life. But if you are not ready to answer this question, you probably are not ready to decide on how specifically to proceed. You might also want to talk with a religious, a priest, or another spiritual director. Your diocesan vocations office should also be able to help.

Good luck!


Apostolic/Evangelical/Missionary are basically the same thing, but missionary usually connotes being sent overseas. There are both foreign and home missions, though, since I know that the Third World exists in some pockets of the U.S, e.g. Appalachia. Glenmary would be an example of home missions; Maryknoll, foreign missions.

Evangelical, in one sense, means out pounding the streets, witnessing to the “lost”. The Society of Our Mother of Peace in Missouri is almost eremitical, but they send some of their personnel out to knock on doors and witness to Our Lord.

Apostolic usually pertains to the active ministry – teaching, nursing, etc. Apostolic can include evangelical and missionary. Societies of Apostolic Life are an example of this – the Daughters of Charity, for instance. I know of one men’s SAL in the L.A. area that doesn’t have community prayer or the Liturgy of the Hours because it interferes with the apostolate.

Semi-cloistered is no longer used, though I really wish it were. “Contemplative” is the term being used today. The Nashville Dominicans consider themselves “contemplative-active”. They have a very strong prayer life, and go out to teach. “Contemplate, then give to others the fruits of your contemplation.”

Monastic – that can cover a whole gamut of lifestyles. The root word is “monos” which is Greek for “alone”. Cloistered religious usually use the word monastery for their home, but the Pink Sisters use “convent.” I would suggest clicking the first link under my signature and exploring the site. We also give an explanation of the other vocations within the church.

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