Saturday, April 27, 2013

Talk to religious

Now that's a frighting idea. Talk to a nun?!? Me?!?! Can I do that?!?!

Of course, then you really feel committed, and, in a sense, you have taken a step forward. By meeting a Sister face-to-face you acknowledge to yourself and to at least one other person that this idea has got you by the heart. It's a commitment of sorts, and for people in our culture the idea of making that kind of statement seems to cut off all the options.

But I promise, they don't bite.

Religious sisters or nuns talk freely about their communities, their work, their life of prayer. They enjoy inviting young women to learn about the life - and they don't tie you up, throw you on a truck and force you into a habit (promise!). The Church requires absolute freedom as the essential element of a valid vocation. There is no hiding or brainwashing or anything of that nature. So just talk to a Sister.

How do you find one to talk to?

That can be a bit of a challenge as they don't tend to hang around parishes so much anymore. But you can e-mail the vocation director of a community to set up a phone appointment (or the real face-to-face kind). You can call the vocation director of your diocese (on the contact page of your diocesan website). Diocesan vocation directors are almost always diocesan priests, but they usually have some information about religious communities and can give you a recommendation. In larger dioceses, you can contact the Vicar for Religious or the Office of Consecrated Life and either talk to that person or get recommendations.

It does take some doing and more than a bit of courage, but it's worth it.

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