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Do nuns visit their families?


CGRomana

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I've read that sisters and nuns can write letters and such to their families, but how often do they see them if at all? I'm considering becoming a nun, but the idea of not being able to check in on my parents (especially once they're older) makes me wonder if it's even the right thing to do. Do they need permission from the prioress? 

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It depends. There are so many different religious orders with different ways of handling this, that it is impossible to give an answer other than "you have to ask the community you're interested in". And when you get to know a community (your post sounds like you're not yet in contact with one) this may actually be a question from which you could see if the community is a good "fit" for you.

I know members of religious orders who can visit their old parents weekly, but this is not the norm. Afaik, it is allowed (yes, they do need permission), because the parents live nearby and have health issues (eg. dementia) which make visits from family members more important.

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This can vary greatly, and you'll only know if  you ask the community.

Even back in the 1970s, there were active communities in which Sisters could stay with family or friends for any weekend (unless they had a work commitment), and had holiday time each year. It did not involve having parents who were ill or old. Yet I have seen links from this site about some active communities that don't allow home visits at all. I was surprised, when I saw a blurb from a community I once knew, who allowed home visits 40 years ago, who now do everything together. I have an impression that some communities now are back to the 'we have to do everything together' business that I thought long had died out.

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My understanding of it is that some active Sisters are granted home visits but not cloistered nuns. Perhaps that’s changed but it would be something you could bring up when you start communication with different communities. Blessings in your discernment! 

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I think most active sisters do have home visits; most cloistered nuns do not. I do not know of any community that does not allow the families to visit. In fact, they are encouraged to do so. As for worrying about your parents when they get older, if that's not immanent, I wouldn't worry about it.  God has ways of working things out. I have a daughter that's a cloistered nun, and another that seems that she will soon follow. I'm trusting that if I need help, the active sisters will take care of me. I don't know which ones, but I am sure they will be there.

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The best advice, as noted above, is to ask particular communities what their policies are. Most active communities do permit visits (in both directions), some fairly liberally. Most do restrict or limit the number of visits during the canonical novitiate year. 

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Every community, however, have a year of novitiate where contact with your family are more limited. For exemple, in a community I'm close with, visits with the family are not regulated (two visit are "required" and paid for by the community : one in summer, one after Christmas, then it's a "do what you want"), excepted for the first year in novitiate.
Also, one thing I've been told time and time again, is that no community, no matter how cloistered, should ever ask you to cut contact with your family. Even, the Martin sisters in their Carmel in the XIXth century were able to stay very close to all of the families news, including commercial and mundane stuff.

Edited by NadaTeTurbe
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I'd only respond to @NadaTeTurbeby suggesting that in some communities the canonical year is the second of a 2-year novitiate. Again, it's always best to check what the rules or customs are of a particular community--though almost all active groups do provide for plenty of home visits (except during the canonical year and, sometimes, though the formation period).

 

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yes, Sisters can stay with family.For how long depends on the order. I have  some photos of my great aunt  Sister Mary Generose SSND. when she went to visit Hot Springs,Ark. to see her mother and sisters,the photos were taken in the 1930s,. So even way back when you could see family.

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In our Community, we are encouraged to visit our families, especially our parents, because they are our biggest benefactors.  They gave us their daughter.  We, as many Communities, have so many days they can visit each year.  

Also, it's always important to remember, as said above, God has ways of working things out.  The most important question for you is, "What is God calling me to?"  Then trust that the grace will be there when you need it. God is SO good!

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