Learning how to become a Catholic nun is no longer an activity that is widely practiced in smaller communities. Once it meant the only means of survival in an impoverished society. Today it is considered an odd lifestyle that has gone out of fashion decades ago. That being said, devout Catholics consider this calling to be a high one and greatly respect the women who decide to take up vows of poverty, obedience and celibacy in order to serve God first and the church second.
Examine Your Call
Make sure that you are not considering becoming a nun out of a whim. It is a lifetime commitment and requires careful consideration. Discuss your thoughts with your priest or bishop. Practice living as a nun by attending mass daily, eschewing any dating relationships and committing yourself to serving the poor.
Moreover, it is advisable that you earn a college degree. Faith communities are increasingly more likely to require their members to have a college education to ensure that candidates are fully aware of the gravity this decision has on their lives. In addition, an education also benefits the faith community.
Test-Drive a Faith Community
There are a number of different faith communities that accept nuns. Some are active in serving the sick, while others work as teachers and family counselors. Still others are prayer warriors and seek to ceaselessly intercede with the Lord on behalf of his creation. Find a faith community that is a good match for your temperament, education, work experience and desired work.
Visit the community and ask for permission to stay for a couple of weeks as a guest or unpaid intern. The odds are good that an additional pair of hands is always welcomed. If you determine that you have found the right nunnery, discuss your call with the vocation director of the faith community.
Sever Your Worldly Ties
If you are accepted, you are required to undergo a novitiate. This is a training period during which you are not yet a nun, but walking the walk in preparation of taking your vows. It requires you to get rid of your worldly possessions and also move into the cloister. This is an important step and enables you to truly determine if this lifestyle not only appeals to you but is one that you can embrace for the rest of your life.
As you are trained in living like a nun and serving the community, you are also encouraged to wrestle in prayer with your decision of entering the convent and begging God for absolute clarity. Depending on the faith community you chose, you may be able to take temporary vows. This prepares you for entry level life as a nun.
Final vows are offered to you once you successfully adhere to your temporary vows for the prescribed period of time. At this time you become a Catholic nun and are expected to remain in this state until your death. This is a serious commitment that requires the utmost clarity of vision and virtually a complete lack of selfish ambition. Only few women are able to make – and then live up to – this kind of spiritual commitment.