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Count Claydus

Dominican or Benedictine

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Count Claydus

Hi guys, I’m a guy and I’m very seriously considering a vocation to a religious order. I’m stuck between the Dominicans and the Benedictines though. I love community prayer, a solemn liturgy, study, community, seclusion, work, philosophy, history, theology, and music. My confirmation Saint is Gregory the Great. Does anybody have any thoughts on which order I should pursue? 

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Lilllabettt
1 hour ago, Count Claydus said:

Hi guys, I’m a guy and I’m very seriously considering a vocation to a religious order. I’m stuck between the Dominicans and the Benedictines though. I love community prayer, a solemn liturgy, study, community, seclusion, work, philosophy, history, theology, and music. My confirmation Saint is Gregory the Great. Does anybody have any thoughts on which order I should pursue? 

Benedictines are heavier on the liturgy, and Domincans are heavier on study.

Probably the biggest distinction is the different vows they take. Benedictines take a vow of stability - generally speaking they join a monastery and stay there, for life. Although many Benedictine communities in the USA have schools, contemplation is the emphasis. Dominicans are a mendicant order. They move around serving the needs of an apostolate. Contemplation is of course important (the cloistered Domincan nuns were founded first) but the apostolate is the emphasis. Poverty is more of a "thing" for Dominicans - Benedictines do not take a vow of poverty as such; whereas St. Dominic founded his order with the explicit idea that their radical practice of poverty would make their preaching more effective.  

The big question - or one of the big questions - is if you feel called to monastic life or life in a mendicant order? The lifestyles are quite different.  

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Count Claydus

I’m lean towards a more monastic life these days, even though I use to lean pretty Dominican.

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gloriana35

Where are you located? (I'm sure there are those on this forum who know communities.) Are there Dominican or Benedictine congregations with which you are familiar, or which are nearby? That may sound trite - but I was thinking that, if you knew of particular locations, there may be some on this forum who'd be familiar with them.

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Fr. Antony Maria OSB

Both Dominicans and Benedictines have what you're looking for, but, as Lilllabettt explained very well, with different emphases. And even within each order, the different Dominican Provinces and each Benedictine house (since each Benedictine house is independent) have their own emphasis and way of living out their charisms. In order to get a clearer view of what God is calling you to, you might be at a point where you should look into going on a vocational visit with both orders. I'd encourage you to look into setting up a visit to find out more.

As a Benedictine, myself, please let me know if there are any more particular questions I can help you with.

Pax,

Fr. Antony

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Count Claydus

Ok , thanks. I’ll have to look around at the different Benedictine monasteries. I live in southern Indiana. I know the closest monastery is St. Meinrads, but I may look for a community a bit more cloistered, because St. Meinrad puts much emphasis on teaching at their seminary. 

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Fr. Antony Maria OSB

I actually went to seminary at St. Meinrad, and they have quite a few monks who are not involved in the seminary at all, including some of the newer vocations. Br. Zachary Wilberding is their vocation director, and he'd be a good person to talk to about their balance between work and prayer. His information can be found here: St. Meinrad Vocations

Additionally, some of their younger monks put out a podcast called "Echoes from the Bell Tower." Some of the episodes might be able to answer some of your questions. It can be found here: Echoes from the Bell Tower.

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