DIFFERENCES in age
and ethnicity can
lead to both culture-clashes and valuable
People say that it can be a mistake to enter a religious community
soon after a loss. Why?
Sister Adrienne: Loss equals emptiness, a void crying out to be filled. A major
decision should wait until the grieving period has significantly diminished and
emotional rawness has subsided. Discernment requires clarity. The adjustments
and strained emotions that follow loss inhibit the freedom of spirit needed to
discern clearly and peacefully. Furthermore, the call to religious life is a huge
transition: change of job, home, friends, church community, lifestyle, and
culture. One needs to be socially, emotionally, and psychologically strong to
negotiate them well.
Brother Ronnie: Any type of commitment in the church—marriage, religious
vows, ordination, sacraments of initiation—must be a free and deliberate
choice. The emotional and psychological strain of loss in one’s life can be so
Not all religious communities accept candidates over the
age of 40, but some do. Here are answers to questions that
mature candidates often have.
BY SISTER ADRIENNE KAUFMANN, O.S.B. AND BROTHER RONALD HINGLE, S.C.
I’m over 40. Can I
still join religious life?
Brother Ronald Hingle, S.C.
is vocation director for the
Brothers of the
is the vocation
director for the
Mother of God