pretty rigid? Can you forgive and ask
forgiveness? Are you comfortable
in groups? Are you a team player
who can both lead and follow? If
so, spend time with the community.
Eat, pray, and play with them. Get to
know the members. The application
process helps identify indications of
compatibility, but really, only time
spent within the community can
determine whether it’s for you. The
church wisely requires several years
as a member of a community before
making perpetual profession, also
called final vows. This gives a new
member and the community time to
try on life together and see if it fits.
Brother Ronnie: Having an affinity
for a community’s ministry, spirituality, or charism is not enough to
make you a good match for being
a vowed member of the group. The
adjustment from living on one’s own
to living in a religious community is
one of the greatest challenges to an
over- 40 vocation. Several areas have
proven to be sticking points and
need to be carefully explored:
1. ACCOUNTABILITY: How willing
are you to be accountable to a community for everything from spending
money to managing your personal
schedule, including your job choice?
Sometimes, something as simple as
letting people know where you are
going and when you’ll return can
2. SHARING: How willing are you
to share space, time, and material resources with the community? Transitioning from “my place,” “my car,”
and “my TV” to “our community,”
“our community vehicle,” and “our
community TV” can be difficult.
3. OBEDIENCE: How willing are you
to seek permissions from the neces-
sary authority? While most religious
institutes do not treat their members
as children, the requirement to check
ahead of time with a person in au-
thority about major purchases, week-
end and vacation plans, and even
ministerial responsibilities can seem
somewhat adolescent, and receiving
a “no” is even more jarring. But this
is an integral part of religious life.
4. MINISTRY: How willing are you
to be available for the community’s
mission? This can involve not only
moving from one location to another
to live or perform ministry, but also
being personally stretched, possibly
by being asked to pursue additional
education or learn new skills.
5. COMMUNAL GOOD: How generous are you? How willing are you
to put aside your personal agenda
and expectations to sacrifice for the
greater communal good or for the
sake of the mission?
If I have physical concerns
common to people my age, will
that prevent me from entering a
Sister Adrienne: Each community
has criteria regarding health issues.
In our community we are firm: An
Knowing oneself is
a must. Are you flexible,
or is your daily routine
pretty rigid? Are you a
team player who can
both lead and follow? If
so, spend time with the
community. Eat, pray,
and play with them.
YOU’RE JOKING, RIGHT?
WE’RE QUITE SERIOUS!
Why are men from around
the nation choosing this path?
Maybe it’s because God wants
men who are ready to live a
RADICAL life of sacrifice and
prayerful service as a witness
of Christ for the world! We are
men who NEVER thought we
would become monks.
So while others settled for
the ordinary, we chose to be
RADICAL! Maybe God is
calling you, too, to become a
Benedictine monk at Subiaco
Abbey. Check us out and
experience for yourself how
God is still calling men to
monastic life in the 21st century
. . . even to Arkansas!
Brothers & Priests
living as one monastic family