Questions to ask while discerning / before entering

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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 and DominicanHeart 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, providence, AveMariaPurissima 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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