How do I decide which Order would be best for me?
In trying to decide on an Order, here are some suggestions to help you:
1. Get in touch with your deepest desires.
- Do I feel drawn to work at home or on the foreign missions?
- Do I feel drawn to live and work/pray in a particular region of the world?
- Am I attracted to the active, apostolic life or to the monastic life, i.e. a life of enclosure, of prayer and of solitude?
- Am I drawn to a semi-monastic life which combines activity in the world with regular prayer-life in community?
- What particular kind of work do I envisage myself doing? How do I see myself ten years down the line?
2. Do I already know a Religious Institute that attracts me? Do I experience a ‘fit’ between their manner of life and my deeper desires?
3. If not, could I research the different Religious Institutes in the Church in an effort to discern which one seems to ‘fit’ my desires? Here are some of major ‘established’ Religious Institutes of Consecrated Life which you might like to learn more about:
There are also some contemporary Institutes, such as the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Most of these orders and institutes have websites which explain their particular form of life.
Most popular questions
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- 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?
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- What does discernment mean when we’re talking about vocation?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What is a deacon and how is it different than a priest?
- As a priest if I decide that I no longer want to do something, such as work in a specific parish, do I have any say or is it all out of my hands?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- I have a girlfriend but I feel called to religious life. If I go into training for the priesthood can I still keep my girlfriend in case it becomes clear that I don’t actually have a vocation?