Which Religious Order is right for me?


#1

My head hurts. Ive read magizines and searched online, and there are hundreds of different orders, and sometimes taking up after the same rule. Help :confused:

I am looking for an order that can supply the 3 things I desire/aspire.

-Semi Cloistered, medium to large community, centered on fraternity, with brothers of all ages, from 18 and beyond. Either Mendicant or Monastic. But I cant stand small community. 5-6 people wouldnt cut it for me. I need to be somewhere with at least 10 other people who share my vocation. I dont mind cloistered, but not secluded/alone!

-Priesthood friendly, as the main goal of my work I want to be apart of evangelization of both the Catholic Faithful in reawakening their faith as well as non Catholic Christians and even atheists/pagans. As well as participating in administering the sacraments to the faithful.

-Intellectually/Scholar friendly. I spend a GREAT deal of time with my nose stuck in one of my many books studying the Church fathers, Imperial Romam history, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, scripture, theology, the Roman and Byzantine liturgies and rituals, etc. I would like to write and publish at least one book on my studies in my life time. I also have a passion for bookbinding, odd fact of myself.

So, all in all, a good, healthy sized group, that would favor my two-fold ministry of preaching, evangelism, etc, and scholarly work.

Any ideas brothers?? (Yes I am a male):highprayer:

I have heard that the most popular groups are Benedictine, Augustinian, Franciscan, Dominican, Jesuits and Carmelites.


#2

To me it sounds like you would be happy with the Dominicans. I am by no means an expert, but my uncle was a Dominican. They are very priest friendly, and even have there own rite of mass which is optional. Their goal is evangelization, andI understand them to have a high value of knowledge. Although they have a mission in the world they retain a sense of community. It reminds me of this video that was featured on the NLM. It's a little old (1964) but still may be useful to you. youtube.com/watch?v=IK8Q57o1m3I&feature=player_embedded


#3

Or Franciscans, perhaps. Within the Orders there are Communities with different logistics so to speak, same charism overall but different circumstances, different ways of life.

May I add one thing here, this being from my own experience; discerning is a two way street. Not only do we begin by thinking of things we would like, or like to do within the calling, but we also have to be primarily open to the fact that we are being called. There has to be a calling, then an answering. This comes with much prayer and listening. If you feel called, next is to find out what you are called to, finally to what circumstances you would be comfortable in or with. Often we are led in ways that we didn't imagine, but God did! You may be open to things you haven't even thought of yet and some that you have may melt away and be formed differently.

Example: I felt the calling thru intercession of Mother Teresa and I was attracted to the Lay Missionaries of Charity. Upon further research and information, I found that I just would not be able to be near a Community, nor did some other things fit all that well, mostly logistical stuff. During the searching process, Our Blessed Mother stepped in with a little miracle, letting me know that it was HER I was being called by and to serve. Long and prayerful story later... I found myself plopped down right in the middle of a local Servite Community! The Order of Servants of Mary is one of the oldest mendicant orders, dating to 1233. They are smaller and not as often talked about, too bad really! Anyhow, it was an instant fit, not only the call, the charism, the Rule of Life, the Community, the type of service that surrounds my particular community... everything fit like a glove and I KNEW I was where God wanted me AND what suited me as well. I never looked back! I'm well into my second year of formation and will be saying my final Promise in about 2 months. I can't put it into words because it came to me in ways without words but I knew I was led and I knew I was called and I knew where to go... and the path was laid out before me, all I had to do was follow. Not my first ideas at all, but the RIGHT fit because God and Our Blessed Mother did it, not me.

Hope this helps a little bit. Blessings to you in your vocation!

Sincerely,
MT


#4

Not only do we begin by thinking of things we would like, or like to do within the calling, but we also have to be primarily open to the fact that we are being called.

I have been discerning for a year now, and Im a firm believer God would not call me to do something I despised or be unhappy at. Through a logical and spiritual self assessment I have deduced what my skills are and this is how they are to be used: In evangelism and intellectual work.


#5

Benedictine Monks of St. Meinrad!!!!!, they run a Major Seminary, and are cloisterd but do alot of stuff outside the monastary. I just came back from there not too long ago for a Liturgical Conference. A very Beutiful and peaceful place. The monks are fun and funny at times, Most are ordained priests.

I know this one monk who is a priest, that has a diocesan priest friend, and he does alot of things with him on his day's off. He spent a weekend at this diocesan priest' lake house. So I assume they are semi cloisterd.

Dominican's work as well. I use to want to be one, probably still do deep down inside. But now I am going for diocesan priesthood.


#6

[quote="Terraius, post:4, topic:251808"]
I have been discerning for a year now, and Im a firm believer God would not call me to do something I despised or be unhappy at. Through a logical and spiritual self assessment I have deduced what my skills are and this is how they are to be used: In evangelism and intellectual work.

[/quote]

Hi again, guess that was an awkward sounding sentence wasn't it? Don't know where I was going there but must have thought you were at the basics... sounds like you have been giving it a great deal of thought. Didn't mean to sound like you wouldn't know your skill areas, etc. Sorry if I left you with the wrong impression. No, of course not, God wouldn't call us to something we were not suited for or would not enjoy doing. I think I was thinking along the lines of how my calling morphed from my first thoughts. Actually I thought I would be looking at my usual type of service and interests and found that the call expanded me into areas that were new and slightly different. I'm nearly 60 and have gently been called to different areas over a lifetime.
Anyway, my input may not apply at all to your situation, I was just passing by. Please accept my sincere best wishes and prayers for your vocation! :)
Blessings!


#7

So, Dominicans and Fransicians as well as the Benidictines. Funnily enough these were my top 3 choices before I started asking around, so Im sure my calling lies in one of these 3.

The only problem is that within each order there is a dozen suborders who follow the same rule but are under different leadership. :shrug:

EDIT: Augustinians are also up there in my list as well. Ill do some searches in my local area to see where I might find one of these orders.


#8

Just going by what you described and trying to match it to communities I know of, Norbertines and Dominicans seem like good fits for what you're describing.

The Norbertines are canons regular, which is sort of an intermediate between mendicant and monastic. They are a priestly order, but they sing the office in choir and otherwise live more like monks than mendicants do. Because liturgy is important to them they also have a good reputation for liturgical studies. Their abbeys that I have been to are all in Europe, but are pretty large. (Their abbey at Mondaye is absolutely beautiful--their website is in French but the pictures at the top give a feel for the community: mondaye.com/).

There are also Augustinian canons regular but I have never been to one of their communities so I can't say much about them.

The Dominicans are one of the premier intellectual orders: teaching, preaching, and evangelising are what they are all about. But they also have a strong community element, and their priories tend to be fairly large--although when you join a mendicant order, you are joining the order, not a particular house, so you may move around over the course of your career.


#9

[quote="Terraius, post:1, topic:251808"]

-Semi Cloistered, medium to large community, centered on fraternity, with brothers of all ages, from 18 and beyond. Either Mendicant or Monastic. But I cant stand small community. 5-6 people wouldnt cut it for me. I need to be somewhere with at least 10 other people who share my vocation. I dont mind cloistered, but not secluded/alone!

[/quote]

This requirement on community size is going to severely limit the communities that are available.

Do you have a spiritual director?


#10

[quote="ByzCath, post:9, topic:251808"]
This requirement on community size is going to severely limit the communities that are available.

Do you have a spiritual director?

[/quote]

Yes, limiting my selection down to a few is one of my objectives. :p

And yes. I do.


#11

I was going to suggest Dominicans, Fransicians and Benidictines.

Praying for your vocation. :gopray:


#12

Sadly all the Brothers I have gotten in contact with are booked for Madrid. But I have some Franciscans coming over to visit after they get back. :highprayer:


#13

In the meantime, a good next step is to read about the founders of those orders and see which charism most appeals to you. Franciscan simplicity and poverty? Benedictine stability and hospitality? Or the Dominican focus on contemplation and sharing the fruits of that contemplation? Each order has a definite 'flavour' that you might want to surround yourself with whilst you're waiting to visit with monasteries of different orders.

FWIW, I thought Dominican when I read your original post.

Good luck :D


#14

[quote="BlytheSky, post:13, topic:251808"]
In the meantime, a good next step is to read about the founders of those orders and see which charism most appeals to you.

[/quote]

I think that's extremely good advice; it's not a good idea to discern religious life through it's practicalities, and ultimately we can't place conditions on a call to consecration. With that said, I understand that you're looking for a particular form of community life. Fair enough. The problem is that with the exception of strictly monastic settings, very few if any religious institutes always live in larger numbers.

The Franciscans and Dominicans have been name-checked here, but like the Jesuits and the Carmelites and the Augustinians, they occasionally live in larger groups - perhaps a dozen or so work at a university and live together - but more typically they will be found in groups of 3-4 in various apostolates wherever the work has taken them. And you probably will get moved. Often.:)

Guaranteed larger groups are not only a rarity, I'm inclined to say they just aren't there. 'Semi-cloistered' settings aren't that common either, and would be defined differently by different people - and a group that spent a lot of time in the cloister probably wouldn't prioritise offering the sacraments to the people. It may be that your requirements are mutually exclusive.

I think it would be useful to discuss these particular desires with your spiritual director - assuming you already haven't, which you probably have! - and see how else it might be possible to address your call to religious life by making less complex demands. For what it's worth, I always assumed that if I was called to religious life it would be to a monastic setting, because that was what appealed to me; however, in the event I was called to a mendicant order. I had to learn to trust.

God was, and is, trying to tell me something, which is that he knew my needs better than I did. Which brings us back to discerning a charism rather than living arrangements.

Prayers and best wishes.


#15

[quote="MaryTeresa2, post:6, topic:251808"]
Hi again, guess that was an awkward sounding sentence wasn't it? Don't know where I was going there but must have thought you were at the basics... sounds like you have been giving it a great deal of thought. Didn't mean to sound like you wouldn't know your skill areas, etc. Sorry if I left you with the wrong impression. No, of course not, God wouldn't call us to something we were not suited for or would not enjoy doing. I think I was thinking along the lines of how my calling morphed from my first thoughts. Actually I thought I would be looking at my usual type of service and interests and found that the call expanded me into areas that were new and slightly different. I'm nearly 60 and have gently been called to different areas over a lifetime.
Anyway, my input may not apply at all to your situation, I was just passing by. Please accept my sincere best wishes and prayers for your vocation! :)
Blessings!

[/quote]

I really enjoy reading your posts on the Secular Servites. I have a strong devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows and have always wanted to know more about the Servites. I also wear the Seven Sorrows Scapular which was sent to me be the Servite Order in Chicago. Since wearing it, I always include the Servite Order in my daily Rosary intentions.


#16

[quote="Terraius, post:1, topic:251808"]
My head hurts. Ive read magizines and searched online, and there are hundreds of different orders, and *sometimes taking up after the same rule.
*

Help :confused:

I am looking for an order that can supply the 3 things I desire/aspire.

-Semi Cloistered, medium to large community, centered on fraternity, with brothers of all ages, from 18 and beyond. Either Mendicant or Monastic. But I cant stand small community. 5-6 people wouldnt cut it for me. I need to be somewhere with at least 10 other people who share my vocation. I dont mind cloistered, but not secluded/alone!

-Priesthood friendly, as the main goal of my work I want to be apart of evangelization of both the Catholic Faithful in reawakening their faith as well as non Catholic Christians and even atheists/pagans. As well as participating in administering the sacraments to the faithful.

-Intellectually/Scholar friendly. I spend a GREAT deal of time with my nose stuck in one of my many books studying the Church fathers, Imperial Romam history, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, scripture, theology, the Roman and Byzantine liturgies and rituals, etc. I would like to write and publish at least one book on my studies in my life time. I also have a passion for bookbinding, odd fact of myself.

So, all in all, a good, healthy sized group, that would favor my two-fold ministry of preaching, evangelism, etc, and scholarly work.

Any ideas brothers?? (Yes I am a male):highprayer:

I have heard that the most popular groups are Benedictine, Augustinian, Franciscan, Dominican, Jesuits and Carmelites.

[/quote]

As you mentioned most orders follow the "same rule" (see above)... that is because there are only 5 rules (I believe) that have been approved by the Church. This means an order must follow one of those rules, and what makes each different is their Constitution which tailor their way of life to their community.

Yes the main "groups" mentioned most here are [Benedictine, Augustinian, Franciscan, Dominican, Jesuits and Carmelites.] however their are many others

I don't have much new to add ( I just wanted to help clarify why you might not find many different rules so to speak)... I would also encourage you to find a spiritual director and also read on the different orders to find which might suit you more??? Your spiritual director or parish priest or director of vocations for your Diocese might help you to begin your discernment journey and help you narrow your selections to specific communities.

As someone else so actually said you may not find large communities which include your desired ministry, so it may be a situation of deciding on which is more important... but I do urge you to begin the journey, and feel free to contact a few groups as you go.... Contacts with Religious Men and Priests of various orders is always a help

Blessings Sr. Debbie


#17

[quote="Terraius, post:1, topic:251808"]
My head hurts. Ive read magizines and searched online, and there are hundreds of different orders, and sometimes taking up after the same rule. Help :confused:

I am looking for an order that can supply the 3 things I desire/aspire.

-Semi Cloistered, medium to large community, centered on fraternity, with brothers of all ages, from 18 and beyond. Either Mendicant or Monastic. But I cant stand small community. 5-6 people wouldnt cut it for me. I need to be somewhere with at least 10 other people who share my vocation. I dont mind cloistered, but not secluded/alone!

-Priesthood friendly, as the main goal of my work I want to be apart of evangelization of both the Catholic Faithful in reawakening their faith as well as non Catholic Christians and even atheists/pagans. As well as participating in administering the sacraments to the faithful.

-Intellectually/Scholar friendly. I spend a GREAT deal of time with my nose stuck in one of my many books studying the Church fathers, Imperial Romam history, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, scripture, theology, the Roman and Byzantine liturgies and rituals, etc. I would like to write and publish at least one book on my studies in my life time. I also have a passion for bookbinding, odd fact of myself.

So, all in all, a good, healthy sized group, that would favor my two-fold ministry of preaching, evangelism, etc, and scholarly work.

Any ideas brothers?? (Yes I am a male):highprayer:

I have heard that the most popular groups are Benedictine, Augustinian, Franciscan, Dominican, Jesuits and Carmelites.

[/quote]

The Norbertine's sound like a wonderful fit for what you are looking for. My son is to enter there this year. They have a wonderful Abbey and Prep School in Orange County, California. Here is their website: stmichaelsabbey.com/abbey/
Check them out!


#18

[quote="bmccpy78, post:2, topic:251808"]
To me it sounds like you would be happy with the Dominicans. I am by no means an expert, but my uncle was a Dominican. They are very priest friendly, and even have there own rite of mass which is optional. Their goal is evangelization, andI understand them to have a high value of knowledge. Although they have a mission in the world they retain a sense of community. It reminds me of this video that was featured on the NLM. It's a little old (1964) but still may be useful to you. youtube.com/watch?v=IK8Q57o1m3I&feature=player_embedded

[/quote]

I agree, Dominican sounds best for you. But let God take control! Pray about it and read your Bible. :)


#19

milarch.org/site/c.dwJXKgOUJiIaG/b.6287817/k.3DFD/Home__Archdiocese_for_the_Military.htm

How bout this?


#20

[quote="PrayRosary, post:19, topic:251808"]
milarch.org/site/c.dwJXKgOUJiIaG/b.6287817/k.3DFD/Home__Archdiocese_for_the_Military.htm

How bout this?

[/quote]

That is the diocesen priesthood and not religious life. Though some religious do serve in the Military Archdiocese the majority of them are secular priests.


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