Which order to join?

I’ve been mulling over which order to join as a nun. What is the difference between Discalced Carmelites and Benedictines? I have a special interest in the Discalced Carmelites, since it was the order started by St. Teresa of Avila who I have a special devotion to. However, I can’t seem to find any that have the Latin Mass.

I’ve also come upon the Benedictines of Mary and the Abbey of Regina Laudis. I know the Abbey of Regina Laudis doesn’t have the Latin Mass but I love that they work on a farm and I’ve always had an interest in organic farming. Anyone have any information about these two?

Here on Wikipedia is a list of orders (including women) who use the Latin Mass


There are 3 Discalced Carmelites communities on that list.

Good luck and God Bless

That’s wonderful that you are joining a religious order. The Church needs more monks and nuns praying for us.


I’d highly recommend the Discalced Carmelites of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I know the Carmel was overflowing at their Valparaiso, Nebraska location, and had to start another Carmel in Idaho. They are tied to the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and exclusively have the Traditional Latin Mass. We have a friend (one of my wife’s bridesmaids) who is a Carmelite who recently moved to the Idaho location.

May God bless you in your discernment process!

I, too, highly recommend the Discalced Carmelites from Valparaiso. They have two other communities which branched off - one in Pennsylvania and a new one in Post Falls, Idaho. You can’t go wrong with any one of them. They are overflowing with young girls while so many other communities are dying out.

Go explore both. Write and visit them and they can clarify your questions.

This is the most reasonable plan. See for yourself what they are doing, and let them both see you.

This! You might love the idea of a particular community, but can’t quite stand the ladies in a particular cloister, or don’t find any peace, or any number of other things. Go meet them and let the Lord guide you. He’ll give you peace at which ever community He desires you to serve Him in.

May God bless you.

How would we know what your particular gifts are and where they are most needed?

There’s no shortcut to seeing a Vocations Director at each place and visiting.
They need to see you as well.
Be open, and God will lead you.

Make a visit to all of them. Ask to see if they offer a weekend visit to become familiar with the order. Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction in your discernment.

I, too would recommend a visit to Post Falls, ID. They have a priest that serves them, Fr.Terra, FSSP.

Also, check out the Rorate-Caeli website as there is another traditional order starting.

Labor Mariae does not yet have a website. If you would like to contact Sister M. Regina, please write to filiaelaborismariae@gmail.com, or

Mater Divinae Gratiae Convent
600 N. Liberty Street
Independence, MO 64050

May I humbly suggest you begin the process by eliminating Any and all orders that do not wear a Nuns habit.

Your goal of the Latin Mass is another GREAT qualifier.

Pray much to Our Lady for guidance, and :I’ll keep you in my prayers too.:slight_smile:

Continued Blessings and THANKS for hearing the CALL.


I don’t know if it’s exactly what you are looking for, but this news story was released just today about a new traditional order of nuns that has been founded:


You may be interested in these Benedictines on Shaw Island in Washington State which may still have some loose affiliation with the Abbey of Regina Laudis:
Here is a 2015 article on them from the Seattle Catholic archdiocesan newspaper:
The do chant the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin, but I don’t know if the Mass there is also in Latin.

some orders of nuns take in those interested to stay over night or a week end, just to give you some experience of the life they lead , you can still carry on with your day job . make enquiries to the order you prefer

Just a couple of things to keep in mind. One, when you seek to enter an order or congregation, they are just as much vetting you as you are discerning whether you fit with them.

The most important thing when joining an order is whether or not your charism is aligned with that of the order. If you go to an order just because they have the Tridentine Mass, but have nothing in common with the charism of the order, both you and them will be extremely unhappy with the choice. In fact you may not even be admitted to simple or solemn vows; this happened a couple of years ago at the monastery I’m attached to; a young man wanted to join because it was the most “traditional” religious house around with Gregorian chant (but all in the Ordinary Form); the novice master flushed him out because that was not why you join a monastery: you join a Benedictine monastery to become a Benedictine above all else. The entire community gets to vote on whether you can ender or not after postulancy, after which you take simple vows and enter the noviciate. Simple vows may be renewed but not indefinitely. The community will vote again on you when it is time for solemn vows.

Similarly, if you have a profoundly, for example, Benedictine view of life, you’d be happier in a Benedictine monastery with the new Mass rather than another order with the old Mass (and as a bonus Benedictines usually do a splendid job with the liturgy whether in the old or new form).

It’s very much like a marriage, a two-way street! You will be spending the rest of your natural life with these folks. You will be seated in the refectory in between the person who entered before you and the one who entered after you. It may be someone who drives you crazy by slurping their soup, and you’ll have to put up with it until one of you dies first. It’s a big adjustment, as you will be entirely surrendering your will to God as represented by your abbess or superior. If she says go scrub the bathroom floor with a toothbrush, you will be scrubbing the bathroom floor with a toothbrush.

Shaw Island is no longer accepting applications.

Thank you so much! This was very helpful. I suppose I should keep an open mind and start visiting the places I feel would fit me.

My 20 year old daughter is discerning a vocation as well. I see all the comments to visit each one in which she is interested, but this is simply not practical. We don’t have the means to visit several.

I also see comments that some are dying out while others are overflowing. Is there a benefit to seeking a larger order?

She has visited one nearby that is basically an outpost from an order in Poland. They have four sisters here in Florida. Should this be a concern–that they are so small here? It is my understanding that they are wanting to build/grow here.

Does size of the order matter, from a practical standpoint? For things like financial support, retirement, etc?

This is the group she visited recently.

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