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I am 14, not Catholic but want to become a Nun. What do I do?

Brittany asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

I`m a 14 year-old girl and recently I feel like Ive been called to be a nun. I`m not catholic but I have desperately been wanting to convert for 2 years now and as soon as I can I will. About 5 days ago this thought just popped into my head that I should be a nun I started to have this overwhelming desire and happiness when I thought about it and everyday that goes by I feel really excited about becoming one. I want to know if this is what it is like to be called on and what are the things I need to do to become catholic and a nun?

Dear Brittany,

Thank you for letting me know the wonderful news!

Lets start with the basic question, and leave the other one for after: What do you need to do to become a Catholic? Since you are 14, a very important step is to get your parents’ OK. Look up your local Catholic Church to sign up for instruction to learn about the Catholic faith, because your acceptance into the Church ordinarily happens through your local parish community. There are also many good websites; Catholic Answers and EWTN would be good ones to start with. If you have a Catholic friend who knows their faith well, preferably an adult, ask them to help you along. And stop by the closest Catholic Church in order to speak with Jesus present in the Eucharist. Place your trust in him and ask him to guide you.

Now, as regards to the vocation, Often when we first discover God's call, we experience happiness, desire and excitement, which vary in intensity from person to person because some people are more emotional and expressive than others. So, these feelings often come with the vocation but, careful, they are not the real sign of the vocation. A nun dedicates her life to Christ; she becomes his Bride, she lives only for him. The desire to do that, having the necessary qualities to do so and the firm decision to be faithful with the help of God’s grace are the real signs of a vocation. It brings immense joy into your life when you know that Christ loves you personally and calls you, and that you can show your love for him in your prayer and work at every moment of every day, not only when it is easy. It also brings untold joy when we discover that everything in our life makes sense, our crosses too. This joy is interior, very deep and much more stable than the external, emotional happiness that sometimes goes with it. That is why the saints are so joyful and secure.

To become a nun, the first stage of course would be to become a Catholic. Then, keep very close to Christ in the Eucharist, let your love for him grow and become the stable center of your life. Start finding out more about a nun’s life by visiting convents and reading lives of saints. If you have a vocation, you will find that as you read and visit, one order will probably stand out and appeal to you in a special way, more than the others. The next step is to look at that one more closely to see if it is where God wants you to be. Dont worry; you won’t be alone in trying to figure this out because every order has a vocation director who specializes in helping people through the discernment process. But especially you won’t be alone because Jesus lives in your through Baptism, he will be your nourishment in Communion, and he has sent his Spirit to be with us always, to be our strength and to teach us all things. 

God bless,

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