What Book or Website Can I use to find out the Different Orders of Monks

Hi, I’m new to this forum and this is my first post.

I came here after doing internet searches and not finding anything helpful on the different orders of Monks. I’m planning to be a Monk in Ten years as it will take me that long to work on my prayer life. Outside of my prayer life needing work, I’m doing great as a Catholic. I’ve been celibate now for seven years with the occasional, very occasional lapse of masturbation which I feel is easily solved. I definitely do not watch porn. I’m sorry to get too detailed but I’m an open book. So, if you have any questions about my decision please ask and I’ll be honest and forthright. (I have had six years of miraculous intervention just in case you want to know that).

Now, is there a book or website which explains the different Order of Monks? I would prefer a book to be honest. I’m not certain how the Orders are divided, so I would need that explanation. I guess there probably some, “Monks for Dummies,” book out there =) I have worked with the Franciscan’s when I was in College. I’m now 37 and I used to work as an Accountant.

Here is what I am looking for in an order. I want a prayer life but I want a community of like minded people to fully devote ourselves to God. I would prefer not to take a vow of silence. If service is involved it has to be casual (The Franciscans I worked with were service oriented) and not the emphasis. Finally, my superior has to continually guide and challenges in terms of our religiosity and devotion to God. I play Guitar (Jazz Guitar) and I would hope I could continue to do that with headphones. I do smoke and occasionally drink but I can give that up.

Thank you. Remember, this is a ten year process. Thanks again.

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You can goggle “Catholic orders of monks”. Also, if you are in the US, then try “Vocations” for a listing. In addition, look for Catholic jobs and vocations. You might try asking @Cloisters on this website. She knows much about foreign and domestic religious communities.


Your Diocese Vocations office can help you.

I did a Google search and other than Wikipedia articles nothing really comes up. Wikipedia isn’t the best source of information. There are sites that list the orders, but they really don’t explain how the monastic orders work. Neither do they explain the different categories of monastic except tangentially, which is why I’m looking for a book. Something known.

You should know the Monastic life is very new to me, but after meeting different monks across my life I know it is where I want to be. Unfortunately, other than the Franciscans I worked with I failed to ask what order they were in. So, I need the basics. If there is anyone who explain the basics or guide me to a book that can that would be great.


Waiting 10 years is going to limit your choices drastically. At 37, you are already old.

Try this


At 47, you are ancient,unless you are independently wealthy.

Whatever you do, be sure to choose an order which has papal approval, not just approval of the local Bishop where the monastery is.

I’ve seen two monastic orders, ordered to disband after a new Bishop took over the dioceses.


Many orders won’t take men over 35-40. So, you might want to rethink your 10 year plan.

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Makes me think of Fr Stan Fortuna (Jass Bassist)

and of the Hillbilly Thomists

Thank you Maam, this is tempting. This is very beautiful. I’m currently learning quite a few Jazz Hymnals and to know this can be done in the Catholic Faith fills my heart with joy.


I almost forgot the original, John Michael Talbot. I’m sure you would find his biography of interest!!


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Can you clarify this just a little bit more. Now, I don’t have much debt so I have to pay that off and it will take three-five years to pay it off. I feel I have called to service but I want to make the right decision, choose the best order for me to spend the rest of my life with, and polish myself up completely. Really, I can do this in 5 years. Learning about the Orders, communicating with them, visiting them.

So, can you please elaborate why they might not take me at potentially 42? I still feel young. I was called to service late. And I’m more mature to make this decision taking a good reasonable time. But please elaborate. Thank you, sir.

That is simply considered a late vocation. Some orders do not accept late vocations. Others do.

The reality is that orders vary greatly, and what one order might do, another will not. Take nothing for granted; don’t expect that a given order will take you, as there may be many reasons for not accepting an aspirant. Meet with the orders that interest you, and see what their needs and thoughts are.

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Have you visited any monasteries? Making a retreat with Benedictines, Trappists, or other monks would give you a sense of the life they lead. It would also give you a chance to talk with monks and ask your questions. You can find Benedictine monasteries listed here: http://www.osbatlas.com/default.asp?id=352

Depends on the order you want to join. But why does it take ten years to prepare one’s self? It doesn’t read as a true vocation, more like a postponed goal, after living the secular life a while longer. Don’t mean to be harsh, but–is total devotion to Christ the number one priority, or not?

You should talk to your priest or vocational office as soon as you can. Orders have different requirements to join them. You may want to start visiting different orders as well.

Here is my main website: http://cloisters.tripod.com/

There are histories of the religious life on archive.org. I would start you there.

Talk to your diocesan Vocations director and get a Spiritual director. You don’t want to be on this ten year journey on your own.

Cloister/monastcism is God and the soul. The building is irrelevant.

Another book I would recommend is Warriors of God. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the author’s name.

Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican

Fewer productive years are out weighed by the expense and manpower necessary to care for you at the end of life.

Older vocations have problems with obediance and are difficult to mold.

You can choose a brotherhood until the cows come home, and it is irrelevant. They have to choose you to join.

After 40 is rough. After 45 is rare. If you are 46, you are going to deal with a lot of dissapointment. Your first answer will always be no.

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