must. Are you flexible, or is yourdaily routine pretty rigid? Can youforgive and ask forgiveness? Are youcomfortable in groups? Are you ateam player who can both lead andfollow? If so, spend time with thecommunity. Eat, pray, and play withthem. Get to know the members.
The application process helps iden-
tify indications of compatibility, but
really, only time spent within the
community can determine whether
it’s for you. The church wisely re-
quires several years as a member of
a community before making per-
petual 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 affinityfor a community’s ministry, spirituality, or charism is not enough tomake you a good match for beinga vowed member of the group. Theadjustment from living on one’sown to living in a religious community is one of the greatest challenges to an over- 40 vocation. Severalareas have proven to be stickingpoints and need to be carefullyexplored:
1. Accountability: How willing areyou to be accountable to a community for everything from spendingmoney to managing your personalschedule, including your ministrychoice? Sometimes, something
SISTER JACKIE Nedd,R.S.M. was over 40 and anexperienced nurse whenshe joined the Sisters ofMercy. She is pictured hereat the microphone takingher final vows with (fromleft) Sisters MargueritePessagno, R.S.M., hervocation minister; Mid-Atlantic president PatriciaVetrano, R.S.M.; andInstitute president PatriciaMcDermott, R.S.M.
Knowing oneself isa must. Are youflexible, or is your dailyroutine pretty rigid?Can you forgive andask forgiveness?“
Code #102 VocationNetwork.org Community Search
as simple as letting people knowwhere you are going and whenyou’ll return can seem stifling.
2. Sharing: How willing are you toshare space, time, and material resources with the community? Transitioning from “my place,” “my car,”and “my TV” to “our community,”“our community vehicle,” and “ourcommunity TV” can be difficult.