Transitioning to Religious Life: One Postulant’s Story

Transitioning to Religious Life: One Postulant’s Story March 12, 2014

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4 responses to “Transitioning to Religious Life: One Postulant’s Story”

  1. I think it’s too bad that it’s so hard to get into religious life for women. Most established religious orders will not even consider women older than 35, you cannot have any significant health problem, and most want women with degrees, even post grad. This video was a good illustration of just how picky and demanding some of these orders can be and I question a lot of what they deem important and how many truly holy women are potentially being excluded.

    Archdioceses are far more tolerant of candidates for priestly vocations, especially those for older men, and given how much more expensive the training is it seems unfair to women hoping for a religious vocation.

  2. There are far fewer older women who are able to adapt successfully to the life and customs of a religious house. Young women are easier to mold and form–it’s the truth, almost always. It is for the well being of everyone that religious communities are selective and careful about choosing people who are really able to live their life and have it be happy and mostly harmonious for everyone. Sometimes older vocations do work out, and really there are probably relatively more late vocations now than there used to be. The average age of entering religious life is definitely older, it used to be women entered when they were in their late teens or 20s and now it is often in the 30s. Diocesan priests do not have to live in a community that is so highly structured and has so many particular customs as in religious life. Diocesan priesthood is secular priesthood, and later vocations can be easier in diocesan priesthood. But even there, that is usually the exception to the rule of young men.

  3. I had a look at the Sisters of Mercy and the Redemptoristine websites here in Ireland. Some of their recent vocations have been “late” vocations. There are plenty of other orders of nuns and sisters here that I guess would also be prepared to discern with an older candidate.

  4. I believe your comment is based on myth. Generally more mature, seasoned women adapt more easily than young, restless women still coming to know themselves. Time is showing that more and more younger religious are requesting dispensation after 5 or 10 years. My sense is that orders don’t want to invest the time and money into forming an older person – fewer years of service. More orders are becoming aware, however, that there is a rich, more stable harvest to be found with older women.