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Parents Against Religious Life


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Do any of you have experience with that?

For those of you who are minors I imagine it might have to do more with encouraging you not to be hasty. I don't really know though.

My situation is a little different. My parents are not Catholic, and I wasn't taught much about Catholicism growing up, but I didn't realize that they were, in a way, anti-Catholic until my conversion and especially when any mention is made of religious life, even hypothetically.

I haven't discussed it much with them but I mentioned I was thinking about religious life as a possibility. They said then that priestly celibacy and monastic celibacy were man-made inventions and definitely not of God. I understand that they desire me to have a wife and children of my own, but I can only imagine their opposition will increase the more seriously I undertake discernment. (it doesn't help that my dad is theologically very opposed to the sacerdotal priesthood.)

I am an adult who will make my own decisions but it is going to be painful like this. I will continue to pray for their conversion though.

Any similar/different stories?


Chrysostom, I have almost exactly the same experience. Fortunately/unfortunately I have been able to take advantage of my parents' anti-Catholicism by not being Catholic! By now they know enough to know that we don't have some of the things that really send them out of orbit - like a Pope sitting on a mighty throne, counting pennies guilted out of the great unwashed - but the rest remains so far away from any common ground that I fear I've never really been able to share this best part of my life with the people I love most.

And I don't have any answers. I used to pray for my family's conversion but now I just pray for them. It might be that I can never be a witness of the faith to my family - some are given that grace, some aren't. And a prophet isn't honoured in his own country after all. All I've been able to figure out is that I'm supposed to keep loving, spending time with, and praying for them, and also keep trying to become a nun.
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I met Sr. Mary Isabel before she entered, and she was a lovely lady.   She is still at the Menlo Park monastery....   and she was one of the temporarily professed Sisters in Formation who attended

An Austrian Abbess told me: Her father was against her entering a convent and was absolutely not happy about it. However he was a religious man. Somebody told him: On your deathbed you will be gratefu

It is more and more that parents are against children's religious life.I know that parents want the best for their children but some of the do not quite understand what this relay mean. They are kind

AdvocataNostra

My parents are not practicing Catholics and I've never heard them mention God so I'm not sure if they even believe in God. I started discerning rel life in high school and wanted to enter after high school but they were very against it. Having my parents not be supportive is very very painful but so purifying. My faith and discernment really had to be my own with every ounce of my trust and strength in God alone. The Lord will provide and become your peace in the storm.
Time has helped my parents adjust. They have had many many years to see that my desire for religious life has not faded since high school when I first came up with this crazy idea to visit a convent.
My advice is to find good catholic friends who will be excited and supportive of you. You don't need to share your discernment with everyone, but do let a few good faithful friends in.

God Bless you,
You are in my prayers.

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My dad was very against me going into religious life ... he turned around and was supportive after he understood that his notion and what was reality was quite different.

 

I also know of a perpetually professed sister whose parents now support her 100%, but when she entered as a postulant they really weren't supportive.

 

Finally I will suggest the Oblates of the Virgin Mary.  I'm not sure if they have non-priest members, but they are solid and their formation seems to be solid (their formation does take a while).  The Oblate priests that I have met are great, have a wonderful sense of humor, and are quite balanced (they are not uber-conservative, but they are definitiely not 'liberal' by any stretch of the word).  My spiritual director is an OMV (that's their initials -- comes from the Latin).

 

 

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Oh, wow. Is this story very recent? Or are there any updates? Prayers for Sr. Mary Isabel for perseverance...God bless her!




"Every step of my discernment was like the biggest step of my life."

That's definitely what it feels like!

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Oh, wow. Is this story very recent? Or are there any updates? Prayers for Sr. Mary Isabel for perseverance...God bless her!




"Every step of my discernment was like the biggest step of my life."

That's definitely what it feels like!

 

It's at least a few years old.  I hoped MEFV would update it to say she made vows but it hasn't been.  :(

 

However, I did find a blog post on Menlo Park's blog about Sr. Mary Isabel's vow ceremony in 2012.

 

http://opheartprints.blogspot.com/2012/05/first-profession.html

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If my adult children wanted to enter religious life...I (as their Mother) would support their decision 100%!
I don't understand why parents want to control what their of age children do with their live's!!!!
It's their life and their CHOICE, no matter what ones own personal progitive and opinions are! Our adult children don't owe us their life, so that they have to conduct their life as to please us!(Sorry!I feel passionate on this area of religious discernment and youth wanting to please their parental units)

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I can only imagine the hardships that some have to endure without the support of their family or friends.  But to go so far as to make vows even when your family threatens to disown you shows real courage and commitment to doing God's will - no matter what.  My friend who just professed vows earlier this month had to face some opposition from her mom when she entered the first time and even more when she re-entered because her father has a chronic, progressive disease that will only worsen with time.  My friend was upset and concerned and asked her Superior what she should do.  The Superior answered, "God provided for your parents before you were born and He will provide for them after you leave."  She also reminded her that one of their apostolates is an assisted living facility so, if the need arose, my friend's parents would be able to live there and be cared for.  It settled my friend's nerves quite a bit and was one of the best responses from a Superior that I've ever heard.

 

My friend's patron saint, Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, also faced fierce opposition from her mother when she told her of her decision to enter Carmel.  I'll post the video here again that my friend made before she entered as it tells the story better than I could:

 

[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSH2eJfGbh8[/media]

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I met Sr. Mary Isabel before she entered, and she was a lovely lady.

 

She is still at the Menlo Park monastery....

 

and she was one of the temporarily professed Sisters in Formation who attended the Dominican Monastic Theology School at the Summit Dominican nuns' monastery last June (2014)... and her picture is in the 'class photo'.   You can see it through the link below... (and read more about the combined formation program that they have set up for all the Nuns in formation in their Association.

 

http://nunsopsummit.org/2014/06/mts-continued/

 

  (and I WANT that s'more!)

 

I do not know if her family has changed their views -- sometimes they do, sometimes they don't - it isn't our place to second guess or judge any of them, in my opinion.

 

 I do know of at least one Carmelite novice whose family threatened that if she took her vows, they would never see her or write to her again.  She took them, and last I heard, that was the last she heard of them.  Not an easy thing to have happen... but it does sometimes. 

 

On the other hand... I knew of another woman whose mother delayed her entrance to the Carmelites for over a decade by threatening to kill herself if she entered the monastery.  And made good on at least one attempt.  Because of that, the prioress suggested she wait and trust that God would let the way open IF God wanted her inside.  

 

Shortly after she learned her mother would need total hip replacement surgery for both hips.  She asked the nuns to pray, and the prioress said, "THAT is what we have been waiting for.  This is God's answer!" The woman looked at the prioress with a dubious gaze.  

 

The prioress then said, "This is what we are going to do.  We are going to explain the situation to the doctors, and you will see your mom through her surgery and after she is stabilized and recuperating, you will tell her you are entering, and you will enter while she is still in the hospital.  The doctors and nurses can make sure she doesn't get into trouble.  When it is time for her to come home from the hospital, we will let her come to stay in our guest room, and I will permit you to take care of her.  [The lady was a trained nurse.]  When she sees that you are happy and that she is not losing you, she'll calm down.  You'll see... it will all work out."  

 

And that is what they did... and that is what happened... exactly what the Prioress had foretold.  By the time her mom died, she was at peace and very happy with her daughter's vocation. And that lady has been a cloistered nun for over 40 years now..... 

 

God will help you if you have a vocation --  to be strong and deal with the separation and/or by touching hearts.

 

Prayers for all of you.

 

I'm out of props but that's amazing. What a blessing.

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AveMariaPurissima

I don't think my parents are "against" my vocation per se, but I know they have a difficult time with it.  When I entered, it was really hard for them, especially my mom.  I know they approached it with a perspective that since I was 18 (at the time), I was legally an adult, so there wasn't anything they could do to stop me.  Of course I missed my parents too, but what was even harder for me was knowing how much they were suffering.  Just hearing the sadness in her voice during my phone calls home... :( Even now, and it's been over a year since I came back home, my mom still seems to tense up when the topic of religious life comes up.  So I mostly avoid the topic. :/  It's hard though, because even though I'm not really actively discerning right now, I still think I might have a religious vocation...

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they are not religious orders!

 

They are apostolic societies of life, which is a generous term by the Church for any community made after the declaration that no more Orders could be made. They are priests who live in community and have specific apostolates, just like any other community. If they had been made in 1222, they would have been declared religious Orders.

 

Sorry, I just hate it when people are nit-picky about these terms when it makes no sense to be except in cases of official status. In the Church's eyes, they are not religious Orders. But for all practical purposes, they are pretty much the same as communities.

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