I’d like to join a religious community but I like living in Ireland. Can I be sent anywhere or do I have a say in the matter?
It is important to look more closely at your desires. Do you want to live in Ireland because you wish to serve the Church in Ireland or is it more that you are reluctant to move beyond your comfort zone? It is important to be honest about this. God could be calling you to serve the Church in Ireland. In that case, you should look for an institute that concentrates on the home mission. Diocesan priests, for instance, know that – for the most part – their ministry will be conducted within the parameters of their particular dioceses within Ireland.
Missionary institutes, on the other hand, expect that candidates will be available for mission at home and abroad. Usually, your preferences will be taken into account in seeking God’s will, but there are no guarantees. An aspect of the vow of obedience within religious institutes is availability for mission and readiness to go wherever you are sent. This is part of the self-giving to Christ within religious life. Normally you would expect to be abroad for some studies or mission work for a number of years.
Most popular questions
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What if as a priest I need to take time out to care for a relative or family member?
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- What’s the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest in a religious order?
- School was never something I really liked. Is the study part of formation very hard?
- I feel I have a specific charism to youth outreach. Can I live this charism out as a priest, or must I follow the charism of the order I join?
- What is a deacon and how is it different than a priest?
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- What does discernment mean when we’re talking about vocation?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?