mitment we’ve made—which is tolive as a sister, brother, or priest. Wetry to develop the relationship withinthe limits and responsibilities of ourcommitment to celibacy.
All Christians eventually facepain and difficulty in their lives.It isn’t always easy to be a faithful spouse, a faithful religious, or asingle person of integrity. Dealingwith such a challenge can make usstronger than ever in our vocation,whatever it might be.
14. Do I have to be a virgin
to be a brother, sister, or priest?
Past sexual activity does not in itself
15. Can I join a religious
prevent someone from becoming a
brother, sister, or priest. A person’s
past life is not the main concern. If
it were, men and women who were
once married could not become
priests, brothers, or sisters (and
they do). The question is whether a
person is willing and able to now live
and love as a celibate in the service
of others. Some of the great saints—
Saint Augustine and Saint Francis
of Assisi for example—made other
choices before turning to religious
community if I identify as other
Of primary concern is your ability tolive a celibate life in a healthy, joyful,productive way. Religious communities want incoming members to bemature and what psychologists call“sexually integrated.” Most communities desire that their membersaccept and embrace their sexualidentity and orientation as a foundation for living the vow of chastity.
16. Can I still be a priest, sister,
or brother if I have personal
Usually dioceses and religious
17. Why do some sisters,
communities require applicants to
resolve any personal debts or li-
abilities before entering a formation
program. Many, however, will make
exceptions for student loans and will
have specific policies regarding a
plan for fair and just payment. (See
the ad on page 15 for the National
Fund for Catholic Religious Voca-
tions, established by the National
Religious Vocation Conference,
which helps with student debt.) If
someone has a history of excessive
spending and accumulated personal
debts, especially credit card-related,
the person is usually asked to con-
sider seriously his or her ability to
live a life of simplicity inherent to a
brothers, and priests wear
religious clothes while others
Those of us who wear habits or clerical collars do so for various reasons.
One is that religious dress is a signthat may be instantly recognized asa symbol of faith in God and commitment to Christianity. Anotherfrequent rationale is that religiousclothing is simple dress and thereforea way to live out the vow of poverty. A sister, brother, or priest whowears religious garb may own a fewchanges of clothing and be free ofthe expense of a more contemporarywardrobe.
Some of us wear street clothesand strive to make our lifestyle ourmain outward sign of faith. Some ofus feel religious clothing creates abarrier between ourselves and others. Furthermore, those who havediscontinued wearing habits oftensay the original reason for them wasto wear the dress of the commonpeople, and street clothes are nowthe common people’s dress.
We welcome all of your questions asyou continue your vocation journey.
Just ask! =
RELATED ARTICLE: VocationNetwork.org,“ 11 myths about religious life.”
We work atremaining faithfulto our vow of celibacythrough prayer,closeness to Jesus, goodfriendships, andhealthy physicalexercise.