Would entering a religious community mean that I would have to sever my relationships with family and friends?
Not at all. Family and friends remain important all through life. These relationships, however, must be integrated within your commitment to your religious community, which takes priority. It’s like a married couple whose primary commitment is to one another and to their children, but they also continue to love the rest of their family and their friends.
A person in religious life will continue to have contact with family and friends as long as it doesn’t compromise their central commitment. Take, for instance, a missionary priest. His first commitment is to the mission, which may take him to foreign lands. His relationship with family and friends may of course continue, but his primary focus will be the people he is called to serve.
Most popular questions
- 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 orders?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What if I change my mind about being a priest during training or things just don’t work out? How do I pick my life back up again?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- As a priest, will I get to see and talk with family and friends regularly?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- Why would anybody become a priest nowadays?
- Can I leave the priesthood if I want, and is there any support if I do?