Our Diocese is blessed to have many different religious orders serving the Catholic population and beyond. If you are interested in learning more about them and the various charisms that they represent, please contact the Vocations Office.
Woman Religious (Sisters & Nuns)
A woman religious is a lay person who commits herself to Christ and to the Church by vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. She lives in a religious community that follows a certain way of life or "charism," patterned on the life and teaching of the founder of the community. The work she generally does will depend upon the particular community as influenced by the needs of the Church and its people, and includes such ministries as pastoral; social service; education (in many forms and ways); hospital/medical; youth/campus; missionary; retreats/ conferences/ spiritual direction; peace and justice; evangelization/faith formation; creative expression through music, the arts, etc.; work with the poor/elderly/broken/ oppressed and distressed and so on.
Women have an important role to play in the life of the Church. A significant part of the renewal that the Church is experiencing is occurring within the faith communities of woman religious. Prayer and work are part of the tradition of all communities yet some are primarily contemplative while others are more active.
Male Religious (Brothers & Friars)
As a male religious, a brother is a lay Christian who commits himself to Christ and the Christian community by vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Not only is he in service to the community, he himself lives in a religious community that centers his life. It is from this root and from his own interior life that he is able to meet the needs of the Church in ministries such as teaching, social work, technical occupations, etc. The ministries of religious brothers are varied and reflect the traditions of a given community. If a brother discerns with the community that he is called to priestly life as a religious, the community will support him in his priestly studies.
Where am I called?
If you feel called to the religious life, the next step is to start researching which charisms most speak to your heart. Certain religious orders are known for certain things, such as the Franciscans for their vow of poverty and work with the poor, Dominicans for their teaching, and Carmelites for their emphasis on prayer and stability.
Since there are so many different types of Catholic religious orders and societies of apostolic life, online resources can be a big help in narrowing down one's choices.
Check our resources page for more information.