Could God be calling me to religious life even though I'm not Catholic?

Blog Published: February 16, 2016
By Sister Cheryl

A sincere question came in from someone who feels she might be being called by God to religious life but she is not Catholic. She wonders if she is misinterpreting this call?

To this seeker I would say that first, perhaps God is calling you to living some of the characteristics of religious life. What is it about the life that is calling to you? Is it the focus of prayer and deepening the relationship with God that religious life allows for? Is it the commitment to the ministry of Jesus, to helping the poor and suffering, to teaching and healing as Jesus did? Is it the idea belonging to a community of people committed to wholeheartedly following Jesus?

To enter a Catholic religious congregation would require you to be a Catholic since vows are made within the Church and received as a gift for the life of the Church. But there are also religious orders within the Lutheran Church, Anglican Church, and possibly others. You could contact groups outside the Catholic Church.

Perhaps you are drawn to a particular Catholic community and feel that you would want to become a Catholic and continue the journey God has started you on. The great Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, began as an atheist and underwent a powerful conversion that brought him to the Catholic Church.  He went on to discern a call to the austere contemplative life of the Trappist monks.

Ask God to give you clarity on what this desire for religious life means, and talk with a good spiritual director or guide. Blessings on your journey!

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