WELCOME! Here is my not-terribly-eloquent attempt to grow closer to God via... blogging. Unfortunately for you, I'm not sure what that means either. I guess we'll find out!

I'm 30 years old, married to an IT Guy and a stay-at-home-mom to two spectacularly gorgeous children. While we attend Mass on Sunday mornings, I spend the entirety of the Eucharistic Prayer focused on making sure the baby uses her crayons on the bulletin, not the pew

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Well. Hmmm. It seems the first step for her is to look into becoming Catholic, so talking about RCIA stuff would be the way to go. I'm sure that there is a Catholic group on her campus that she could also check out?


Oh! Yes! the Newman Center. GOOD ONE. (see people? I NEED HELP.)


First, every formidable Catholic organization has a formal intake process which involves plenty of time for personal reflection (read: years and years in which to bail out) and talks with spiritual directors (read: people to ensure you're making the right choice and that you're a good fit for the future demands of the vocation). I'd worry more about accidentally turning her off to this; if she feels so charged to do it, find ways to help her connect and figure it out for herself. Second, I'm pretty sure my father worked for this same organization as a layperson when he was younger and I know he found it very worthwhile. Perhaps she could work with them in that capacity until she's absolutely sure she wants to start the formal process.


I definitely agree with having her start by inquiring about the RCIA process. Becoming Catholic is going to be an important step toward becoming a religious sister. I would also recommend that she read Story of a Soul by St. Therese. It's really beautiful, and I think a helpful tool in discerning whether religious life is something she's interested in (versus specifically the Missionaries of Charity).


I definitely second Shelby's suggestion of Story of a Soul! It's incredibly good. But yes, you should point her toward a Newman Center, since becoming Catholic is the first step. And also possibly toward some sort of discernment novena? But becoming a sister (like with the Missionaries of Charity) is not like getting married - as Mark points out, even if you jump right in, you have years during which you are free to jump back out again.

FWIW, the general wisdom I've heard is that people who are called to religious life are called to a particular order, not just to religious life in the abstract. Sort of like marriage - you might figure out you're called to marriage as a vocation, but you're not going to take any big steps in that direction until you find the actual person you're going to marry. You're not just called to marriage general, you're called to marry that person specifically. The same with religious life - it's a specific order that is your vocation, and when you find it, that's your call. So it doesn't seem so weird to me that this girl would know so quickly that she wanted to join the MoC. It's kind of like how some couples meet and get married within a few months, and live 50 or 60 happy years together. (It seems like I know many older couples like this.) Sometimes the call comes quickly.


My brother was convinced he was called to be a Jesuit priest -- like since he was 8 years old. He was VERY much attracted to the life of poverty and obedience - as in he gave away nearly all of his personal possessions and was always the dutiful son. After catholic elementary school, he was all set for jesuit high school and then he thought the seminary. my folks and others convinced him to get his bachelor's first. he studied theology for 4 years at a jesuit university and then worked as a youth minister at an inner city parish for two years before signing up with the jesuits. talk about YEARS and YEARS of preparation. if he had stuck with it, I think my kids would be in middle school by the time he was finally ordained. a few months in, he was diagnosed bi-polar and ended up taking a break from the program after just one semester. he came back home completely crushed, with NO CLUE what to do. That was last Christmas. He stayed with us for a few months, got his meds sorted out, worked a couple jobs and saved up money. Now, for the first time in his life he has taken complete charge of his life. he has his own apartment, he bought a used car, and last month he starting training as a chaplain. We all knew ministry was in his blood, it was just a matter of finding the right fit.


I had a calling at 11 years old. I wasn't Catholic yet. I wish it had been handled a bit better, but that being said, everyone handled it as best they could. I would get her to a priest that can help and who would take her seriously. It needs to be taken seriously, as it's a serious calling. A good priest will know how to handle the situation. RCIA is not going to be enough.


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