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Q & A with Father Anthony

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Is my student loan going to be an obstacle to entering the convent?

Jessica asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

I am a second year student in University, and I believe I have the call. I want to be in the convent since I was 16, but I thought that I was too young and my decision was not concrete so I waited. Now I really want to enter, but I have a student loan. I really want to live life in prayer and in helping others, especially in health care. Would that affect my application and would I be able to continue my studying?

Thank you.


Dear Jessica,

Your situation is not all that uncommon. What you should do depends on where you are as regards your vocation (if you are sure of it now and want to enter), the particular group that you are thinking of joining (for example, some groups will accept you with debts and help to pay them off later on if you continue with them, others give a stipend to their members on the apostolate which allows them to pay off debts, etc...), the possible help you might get from family and friends, and perhaps the nature of the studies you have done. So you can see there are many variables and I am not going to be able to give you a magic answer.

If you know what religious order you want to join, the best thing you can do is speak directly to them and do what they say.

If you do not yet know the order, my advice is to work and save so as to keep your debts to the minimum, scrimp and keep your expenses down, and make sure the studies you are doing are likely to be helpful to someone going into religious life.

If you do not feel called to a particular order and still want to act on your vocation as soon as possible, I would advise you to look into religious orders first so as to find out where God seems to be leading you. Don’t drop your studies while you do this, since there are orders that only accept candidates after they are finished college. However, do all you can to try to reduce your expenses, since that will always be to your advantage later.

I am sorry I can't give you more to go on than this, but I hope it helps.

God bless.

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