providence

Questions to ask while discerning / before entering

12 posts in this topic

What are some good questions to ask before entering? I've seen a few posts recommending that you ask how the community sustains itself financially, whether you need health insurance, who the community's spiritual directors are and how much experience they have, etc.—practical details that I wouldn't think of, but would like to have in mind as I meet with vocation directors and get to know communities better. Does anyone have any recommendations of other questions to ask?

Yinepu Sanctimonialis props this

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I really saw it as important to ask about ministry (opportunities and process of discernment), the application and formation process, and how to help my family as I discerned, applied and entered. I was even permitted to read my congregation's constitutions before I entered  (I asked, but don't think it's necessary). 

There was a thread a while back with many great questions to ask orders. Maybe someone can link it?

Ultimately, though I asked my sisters many, many questions, I learned most about them by spending time with them. Being with them as much as I could, and choosing to live with them as an aspirant, really enriched and helped my journey.

Charbel, Yinepu Sanctimonialis, nikita92 and 1 other prop this

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Thanks for posting, Swami Mommy...I searched for this topic with no luck.

I know this has been said before, but this topic should be pinned as a resource up top so it's easily accessible.

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6 hours ago, truthfinder said:

I'm glad someone was able to bring up Tradmom's list again. I think I actually printed it off once - it certainly is very good and thorough

Lol, I actually did this too. It helped me tremendously!

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Great list.  Here are some additional questions I would add (which may have been brought up elsewhere in other posts - sorry for any repeats!):

 

-What is the most challenging part of this religious community's life?

-Are you expected to fundraise while in the convent? (for active orders)

-How do family visits work?

-What does your recreation time look like?

-What degree of freedom is there in reading materials for novitiate sisters?

-(If there is a horarium on the website or in vocations info:)  How closely does your daily life match the horarium?  What differences are there on Sundays/solemnities?

-What is the level of separation between novitiate and perpetually professed sisters?  Are there specific rules limiting communication?

-What is initial formation like?  How frequently are classes held?

-What is ongoing formation like?  Is it formal (e.g., classes for the community) or informal?

-Are there employees of the monastery who are permitted in the enclosure? (for cloistered communities)

-If there is a chapter of faults, how is it conducted?

-What community "devotions" are there?

-What rules are there on media consumption for the novitiate and for the perpetually professed?  (Radio, TV, internet, magazines, newspapers)

-If a sister is asked to leave, how is that typically handled?

 

Maybe I'll think of others... probably a few will come to mind as soon as I click "Submit!" :rolleyes:

Quasar, AveMariaPurissima, Swami Mommy and 1 other prop this

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In case my first question wasn't crystal clear, what I meant was not "What's the most challenging part of life in this community?" on an individual level (although that wouldn't be a bad question to ask), but rather on a community level.  In other words, "What is this community's biggest challenge?"

providence props this

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On 1/12/2017 at 5:52 PM, I<3BVM said:

In case my first question wasn't crystal clear, what I meant was not "What's the most challenging part of life in this community?" on an individual level (although that wouldn't be a bad question to ask), but rather on a community level.  In other words, "What is this community's biggest challenge?"

I find this interesting because towards the end of my most recent visit in a talk with the vocation director she told me about some of the more common difficult parts of living in their community. (This was on the individual level) She did add with a laugh that if I do end up entering my challeneges would probably be none of the ones she mentioned. But in the Rule of St Benedict it does say to lay out the challenges for those who are looking to enter (I will have to go back and find the exact part and wording). It was helpful and gave me some points to pray about.

LittleDiana props this

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In these days it's definitely important to ask the vocation director if the community follows ALL of the teachings of the Catholic Church, it's a shame this has to be a question that is asked, but I have several friends who entered orders and then had to leave due to the community taking part in actions that went against the Catholic faith.

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How do friendships develop in the community? 

Do they watch television, listen to the radio, read newspapers? 

How much time does a sister ideally spend in her cell each day? What does she do there? 

Are they ever required to change cells? 

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