Woohoo! I got my live-in interview scheduled! (long, potentially boring nun stuff)

I’ve been discerning a religious vocation as a Benedictine nun and my live-in interview finally got scheduled. For those who aren’t down with the discernment lingo, a live-in is a person who feels called to life in a certain community and wants to try the life on before making any official commitment. It isn’t a necessary step in becoming a nun.

With the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, live-ins have a room in the same area of the monastery as the postulants and the novices. They earn their keep by either having a regular job and paying rent or working for the community. They live their lives very much like a sister, but they still have the freedom to come and go as they please. They haven’t taken any vows yet.

To get into the live-in program, you have to have visited the community enough to show that you’re interested in the life. Once you’ve expressed your interest in the live-in program, you get a fairly simple, two-page application. You also need two references, a spiritual one and a personal one. After the vocation director gets your application and reference letters, she puts you in contact with whoever is going to give you your interview. With the Benedictines in VA, that’s the sub-prioress, Sr. Glenna, who runs the counseling program (one of the community’s ministries) and has a psych background.

I sent in my application on April 2. My spiritual reference arrived a few days later. It took something like a month and a half for my best friend to get my personal reference in. I was tempted to do some rather un-nunnish things to him for taking so long. After both my references got in, Sr. Vicki, the vocations director, gave Sr. Glenna my e-mail address so that we could set up my interview. On Friday, when I still hadn’t heard from her, I called Sr. Vicki to see if there were any issues. Very quickly we figured out that Sr, Vicki accidentally misspelled my e-mail address. After a couple of quick e-mails, I got scheduled to be interviewed on June 10 at 10:00 am!!

I’m in North Carolina right now and will be back in the Richmond, VA area on June 9. I told Sr. Glenna that sooner would be preferable to later for the interview. Needless to say, I was thrilled that she could schedule it so soon and only about a twenty minute drive from where my parents live, rather than at the monastery about two hours away from my parents house.

Now, I just need to get through the interview alive. The interview is mostly just to make sure that I’m earnestly seeking God, not trying to join the sisters to run away from “the real world”, and that I’m not a complete nut. I’m nervous as all get out and get a little dizzy thinking about it. I have a couple of other friends that I’ve met during my discernment who have gone through the interview already and have said that it’s not that bad. They’ve also said that talking to Sr. Glenna is waaaay too comfortable and they all found themselves wondering “why did I just say that?” For one of them the interview lasted four hours. Ahh! I don’t want to talk about myself for four hours!

In all honesty, I’m mostly excited about this. I really do feel called to Benedictine life and I believe that if God wants me to be there, then that’s where I’ll end up. That being said, there’s still that nice, fun undertone of irrational nervousness that I get before any interview.

Good luck! I hope this works out well for you.

sounds great!
I notice you’ve been a charter member here a few years----and now you’re going to be a “charter member” of something that’ll still be going strong, after the hamsters here eventually run out of funds.
but …aren’t you gonna miss this place? :slight_smile:

MissMossie, many congratulations and well wishes. Please keep us posted, and no matter what, DO remain an active member here!

Thank you for the happy thoughts!

Wait…who says I’m leaving the Dope? The sister’s have a computer room with several computers hooked up to the internet where they can go to check their e-mail, surf the web, and play solitaire during their free time. I’m not too concerned about my Dope habit. I’m a bit more concerned about my love of x-entertainment.com because it looks like a porn site.

If you do join the live-in program, will you still have Internet access and be able to continue posting here? I think it would be fascinating to have a nun’s (or pre-nun’s ) perspective. And we could check off another profession on the SDMB list.

Good luck. I hope everything works out for you.

I see on preview that you’ve answered my question. Glad to hear that you’ll be sticking around.

Yes I would. The computer room for the sisters is also available to guests, live-ins, postulants, and novices. Also, they current rule on what you’re allowed to bring with you that you can bring anything that will fit into your 8x10 bedroom, so my Eee PC will come along. There isn’t wireless in the monastery, but there is a Caribou Coffee down the road with free wifi, so I can check the Dope from there.

If I get in, I’m planning on starting an “Ask the Wannabe-Nun” thread. I figure I’ll wait until I’m a live-in so that I can ask sisters if a question comes up that I’m unsure of the answer to.

Whoops! I just realized I typed the wrong date. My interview is June 11, not June 10.

Good luck to you on your quest. I know a woman who became a Dominican nun and she is very happy in her new life.

This thread raises the question: Do we have any other Dopers who are (or are seeking to become) members of religious orders of the clergy? I can’t think of any offhand.

I know of at least one other female Doper in discernment. I won’t say who because its her life to talk about, but I do know I’m not the only one.

Please do! I think it would be fascinating.

Speaking of rude posters, I’m fascinated already! :wink: Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?

How old are you? Were you raised in faith? What do your parents think?

I am very interested in the spiritual life. We have a newly ordained (I think) Buddhist monk on one of my other boards. I read a terrific article last year on the “new generation” of women being called to the sisterhood, and an interesting thing they noted was how many younger nuns are wearing the habit (if their order wears one). I remember in the late 70’s & 80’s nuns of several orders seemed to move away from the full habit, perhaps in order to be more a part of the community they were serving. But many young nuns these days seem to be going “the full monty!” :slight_smile:

Please share, if you feel like it.

Good luck. Although I’m not religious at all, I’ve always understood the attraction of the ascetic life.

If you end up taking the vows, I think you should do an “ask the nun” thread.

Also, let us know when we can call you, “Sister.”

Will your community be an enclosed one, or active in the community?

Wow. way cool. I fully support you. A decision like this, in our modern world, takes courage, determination, and a wonderful, spiritual sense of self that so few of us have (me, for one). I am sure the interview will go well.

The path you’re looking at is not perfect, alas. Neither are humans! Nevertheless, it’s a good path, a solid path. To mix religions, seeking a closer relationship to G-d definitely has the Buddha nature in it.

I don’t know anything about nuns or convents or whatever; I’m thoroughly Jewish! For a variety of reasons, Judaism has always emphasized the need for Jews to raise families, large families. Even so, I respect the idea of spiritual community.

So who was getting the “YOU’VE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO THE CONVENT!” emails from Sr. Glenna?

As somebody who’s had two multi-hour interviews in my quest to obtain a security clearance, I feel for ya. It’s not that bad, though, really. The trip down memory lane is actually quite pleasant.

Sounds like you’re doing something you really love; glad to hear it!


Clearly there are a lot of misconceptions about monastic life; it certainly does not appear that you need to completely shut yourself off from the rest of the world.

I admit I was a little surprised to learn that you will continue to have internet access, but consider my ignorance well fought. At least for now. :smiley:

(BTW, if your circumstances allow you might consider getting your own cellular based wi-fi access.)

Not meaning to cause a Great Thread Drift, but I’m an Episcopal deacon. :cool:

To testify to the veracity of MissMossie’s posts, it’s not easy getting into Holy Orders. Discernment, for me, meant interviews at the parish level, at the diocesan level, with the bishop, a weekend with the diocesan Commission on Ministry, a physical, a battery of psychological tests and a visit to a shrink. Did I mention the credit check and the background check? There’s also a lot of writing to do. Our actual training took place in the diocesan School for Ministry for two years, then there’s a unit of CPE (clinical pastoral education…chaplain stuff) and an internship…all before ordination. Our schoolwork consisted of training in spirtuality, liturgics, church history, old and new testament, ethics, and homiletics (preaching).

Deacons are servant ministers. I let parishioners know that what they see me doing on Sunday is 10% of what I do as a deacon. I do home and hospital visits and have a busy ministry to (my fellow) addicts in recovery, as well as doing a lot of adult ed in the parish. I’m presently non-parochial (between assignments) and eager to hear from my bishop on where I’ll be placed.

I don’t mind questions, so long as Dopers accept that I’m Catholic and a lot of my faith is just that…faith. I don’t have scientific proof that it’s true, just something inside of me that says this is the path for me. If someone is interested in debating the merits of Catholicism, there’s a Doper a few threads over who is willing to start a GD thread to debate Catholicism.

For your questions: I’m twenty-two. I was raised Catholic. My parents know and are excited for me. My mom, dad, and step-mom have all also let me know that they won’t be disappointed in me if I realize that being a nun isn’t what God wants me to do.

My mom is Methodist and when I told her that I felt called to this life, there was this long, pregnant pause, during which I immediately broke into tears. I have a fairly close relationship with my mother and the idea of her disapproving of such a huge part of my life is heartbreaking. She quickly snapped into mom-mode, though and said something along the lines of,“If this is where you really think God is leading you, then who am I to disapprove?” I took her to the monastery over Mother’s Day weekend and she’s really excited about it now. The way she asks about how certain sisters are doing, you’d think they were old friends.

Telling my dad and step-mom was bit easier. My dad is in the process of becoming a deacon for his diocese, so, as you might imagine, he’s pretty pro-Catholic. My step-mom, while in a discussion about post-college life before I told them I felt called to religious life said, “Who knows, maybe you’ll end up a lefty Benedictine nun. There are worse things you could do.” She did a lot of retreats with a Benedictine community in Kentucky when she was younger and loves the order.

If the article you read about the younger generation of nuns had a picture of a habited sister rollerblading, then I read that same article. It was pretty good! The community I’m joining are a group of plain-clothed nuns. They were clothing very similar to what anyone else would wear, but make sure to keep it fairly simple and practical. There’s a lot of consignment store shopping for clothing

DtC, I figure that if I ever make it to being a sister, I’ll request a name change with the mods and become SisterMossie.

Baker, they are not a cloistered community and they are very active in the surrounding community.

This is a wonderful quote to describe religious life. While worrying out loud about the upcoming steps to Sr. Vicki, the vocations director, she has reminded that they are a community of sinners seeking God together. None of them (Nun of them…hehehe) are perfect, but if I’m seeking God and feel called to seek God at that monastery, then there isn’t anything that can stop me.

Thank you all for your kind words of support. I wish I could respond farther right now, but I have to get ready for work. There are second graders who need their TA for their last week of second grade!

Wonderful. I have sometimes felt a (slight, transitorty) calling to the orders. I hope this works out for you.

Please keep us posted.