Welcome to our “Ask The Nun” series of informal videos.  Sister Mary McCormick begins by kind of stating the obvious. There are 3 prerequisites that need to be established before you can even begin thinking about it seriously. Sister Mary will put these in a series of questions.

First, are you Catholic? There are nuns in other religions (Buddhism, for example) and in other Christian denominations (the Church of England). But in the western world, the vast majority of nuns are Catholic. This includes nuns who are part of other “rites” of the church, like Byzantine or Maronite and nuns who are part of the Orthodox church.

Second, are you single and free from any other life commitments? The expectation of the Church and religious communities is that, if you enter a particular community, you will live with the group and commit your life in service to God with them. So you need to be single. That being said, people always have a question about those who are divorced. I will come back to that later.

Third, do you have dependent children? Again, the church and the community will expect that you dedicate you entire life to God. If you have children who are dependent on you for parental or financial support, that is your primary task in life right now. Once children are at an age where they no longer need your parental and financial support, if you are single, you might consider religious life again.

Once those questions are answered with 2 “yeses” and a “no” you can begin to move to the next step.

Please submit your questions to vocations@theursulines.org


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  1. Dear Sister Mary McCormick, I am 54 years old, I am widowed, have 2 children, my son is married and my daughter is 21 yrs old.
    Ever since I remember I think I was about 10 yrs old, always wanted to be a nun, knowing that my mother will not approved of my decision then, never said anything to my parents, now at my age, lately I been having this strong feelings, want to dedicate my life to the Lord, serve him and be able to help others, I am catholic, and I would like to know what can I do in order to become a nun.
    Please help me.
    God Bless

  2. Dear Sr McCormick,
    I am a sixty yr old woman,divorced with 2 grown daughters. All my life I have only felt fulfilled when helping others. I became a nurse, but because of a back & hip injury had to leave the profession. I have never felt “complete” either when I was married or single,with children or without. I have always had a deep love for God & the church, although I am not religous I am spiritual and believe had it not been for my love of our Lord, I would have never survived a difficult life. I am sensing a calling by the Lord and am not quite sure of how to serve him, but believe I am willing to give up a lay life for the church. Please help me Sister. I live in Charlotte, NC. God Bless

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