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Wrong Contacting Overaged Orders?


tarc

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Hi,
after having contacted the first order (quite young guys), r I tend to continue to inform myself about certain orders. Some of them are desperately overaged (and seem very, very liberal, even though they have great pasts). My question is: Is it even morally responsible to contact such communities who are quite obviously very desperate about their future - and generate hope unlikely to become reality (I can't join more than 1 order).
What do you think?

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Personally, I wouldn't contact them. If I know that the chances of my joining them are nil (if they are very liberal, or if they have an apostolate or spirituality I am not attracted to, or for any other reason) then I would not contact them, old or young.
But, I know what you mean. I was contacted by a Benedictine sister who got my email from the IRL, who came from such a dying, liberal order. She was very nice... and very, very eager to give me information and answer all my questions. She was so eager, that I felt very guilty telling her that I wasn't interested in her community. If she hadn't been given my address, I would not have contacted her. If I had known quite how eager she was, or how guilty I'd feel, I probably wouldn't have answered her email at all.

PS: Welcome to Phatmass! I don't believe I have "met" you before!

Edited by Tally Marx
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Personally ... I would pray, pray, and then pray some more. God is the one who should be doing the prompting, the leading.

Having said that -- if you aren't drawn to an order then nothing says that you need to visit.

Early on in my (looooooooong) discernment I visited a lot of orders. I stopped counting at around 16. I suspect its up in the 20s or 30s. However ... I entered twice, and the 2nd order was one that I didn't really look for but I kind of stumbled upon it, and it was similar in charism to the 1st I entered.

Now ... I'm looking, but not looking. My focus is really on my relationship with the Lord, on what needs to change within me, and on what He wants from me today. If He wants me in another order -- then He'll show me where, when, and the how.

Finally -- if the Lord draws you to an "overaged" order ... Praise God. If He draws you to an order that has tons of young guys ... Praise God. If He draws you to the diocesan priesthood ... Praise God. If He draws you to Marriage ... Praise God. Something else? Praise God. All that really matters in the long run *is* your relationship with God and others, and the "final measure of success" is how much you truly loved (Him, yourself, others).

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My first discernment visit was to an order where everyone was MUCH older than me and no one had entered and stayed in over 10 years. I was VERY uncomfortable because the sisters seemed almost desperate to make me feel welcome and have me enter. I felt like if I did, one day it would be me and 50 elderly sisters. I am a very practical person and I just could not convince myself that I should do what God wanted no matter how I felt. You can rationalize anything and convince yourself it's "God's will" but, after discussing this issue with my SD, whose sister was a member of the community I visited (awkward), I decided to focus on communities that had younger members and recent entrants. I am looking at several and truly feel that I will find a home among them.

Kat

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