I am a 22yr old Catholic Male,
15 months ago I felt a strong calling to the Priesthood and/or Religious Life; I spoke to the local diocesan vocations director who was less than enthusiastic (possibly becasue the diocese is not a hotbed of Traditional Catholocism) so I decided to look into Religious congregations.
Last September-November I spent 6 weeks in a Benedictine style Monastary in Wisconsin and I fell in love with the liturgical life of the Church.
Whilst I was in the States I went on a vocations weekend with the Fathers of Mercy but despite the fact that they are wonderful chaps I didn’t think that I would fit in as I was drawn to the monastic rather than the active life.
Hering lies the problem I have a mild form of Aspergers Syndrome (AS), on revealing this this to the vocations director of a traditional monastary last January. I was told by the vocations director that he was terminating the proceedings (we had been in contact for nearly 6 months) and that any other monastary would likley say the same thing. This was confirmed by an acquiataince ( who was a Norbertine but never went through to solenm profession ) who said that when he entered in 1988 that unless there was a serious reason not to that most monastaries would take pretty much anyone, but that now anyone with minor conditions was shown the door at the earliest opportunity.
My spiritual director said that I could live the monastic life as a Secular Priest in the La Crosse Diocese and that he would talk to the vocations director on my behalf. I still havent heard anything from him two weeks after they met.
Add to that the fact that I have absolutely no money, I’m unemployed, living off welfare (living at my mothers house) with £20,000 worth of student loans and the cost of going to Seminary (if I managed to persuade a Bishop to give me a try) is prohibative not to mention the cost of decent vestments, cassocks etc etc
I just feel like I am in a hopeless situation; the prospect of a life other than that of a Priest/Religious just seems dull, grey and not worth living; I’ve prayed for 10 months to get a job so I can start paying of my student loans but so far nothing.