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Q & A with Father Anthony



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Should I join an order that is not growing?

Mary asks:

Hi Father, I am immensely grateful for your answers to the other two questions I asked. I have another one and I'd appreciate your help. I've recently contacted a religious community that I'm very interested in but learned that several of the Sisters left (because of illness or family) or passed away. At present, there are only 2 Sisters in the USA and I'm worried about entering an order that doesn't have very many members. I would be the youngest person there by about 30 years. However, the spirituality they are a part of is difficult to come by and I am really attracted to their apostolate. Should I just swallow my fear and visit them or should I wait until they are much more stable? The good thing is that they have a Motherhouse overseas.

Thank you!

Dear Mary,

I am pleased my previous answers were of help. As regards the present one, I think it would be worth your while to visit in order to make sure that your perceptions of the community and its spirit are true. Once you meet them personally and have a chance to see if it really feels like "home" to you, then you will be able to face the question if it is prudent to join them or not.

I would not dare to try to persuade you one way or the other because first of all I do not know the order. Then, on the one hand you have to remember that even the most flourishing group today had to start out small, and on the other there is the practical consideration of what happens if there is no growth. That is where you have to be very open with the nuns when you talk with them, ask yourself if you would be willing to go overseas to their motherhouse if things do not work out for them in the States, and especially, ask yourself (after prayer, visiting them and consulting with your spiritual director) if you really are convinced that it is where God wants you to be. If you reach the conclusion that it is, and the order is approved by the Church, then place your trust in God.You can be sure of my prayers,

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