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Five Common Concerns or Myths About a Sister’s Life 

Blog by Sr. Maidung Nguyen, OP

In my encounters with young people, I often find that they share common concerns about what exactly is a Sister’s life like and hold misunderstandings about this life.  Many young people are reluctant to enter religious life of the fears and concerns they have about this life.  Let me list the five common concerns expressed about this call: 

  1. Self-sacrifices: I don’t want to give up my pets or house. I like to hang around with my friends and shop, but being a sister may not allow me to do so. 

With any life choice there are sacrifices. When you marry, you consider your family’s needs along with your own.  In religious life, there are sacrifices too, but there are also great benefits as well in serving God’s people and living in community. We still have friends, go on vacations, and enjoy a variety of activities. God will give you the strength to make whatever sacrifices with love. 

  1. Prayer:  I cannot wake up early to pray. I cannot pray three or four times per day in a chapel. 

I hear you. I’m not a morning person either, and I find it difficult to get up early to pray together as a community or go to Mass. After a few years, I found it is the perfect way for me to begin my day – to be inspired, to be aware of the needs of our world, and to feel God’s peace before going out for work. Not every person needs to sit in a chapel all the time in order to pray.  People can choose various places and forms of prayer for their personal prayer time, such as praying outside in the midst of the beauty of nature or listening to spiritual music. 

  1. Family: I like children so I cannot be a sister. I cannot live far away from my family because I’ll miss them. I am an only child and I need to take care of my parents when they get older.  Also, they want grandchildren. 

It is perfectly natural to want children. We love and like children dearly too.  You can stay in touch with your family and are encouraged to remain connected with your family.  Sisters do go home to take care of their parents if there is a need to do so. When you get married, you make decisions with your family.  As a sister, concerns are decided with the community. 

  1. Career: I don’t want to relocate because of my stable job. I like my career, but if I became a sister, I may have to change careers.  I can be involved in many worldwide activities so I don't need to enter religious life. 

Congratulations on having a job you love.  Know that becoming a sister is not just a work choice, it is a call from God.  Some congregations do require you to change careers and serve in a common ministry.  However, others allow you to use your gifts and experience in choosing a ministry. I have been an engineer doing research that I enjoyed and was approved by my community. 

  1. Education: I don’t like to study theology because I consider it boring. I earned a college degree, but it does not fit into the life of a sister. 

You’d be surprised at the variety of ministries sisters do today.  We have doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, spiritual directors, engineers, artists, translators, hospice workers, and farmers. Yes, farmers!  Each sister is encouraged to discover, develop, and use the gifts God has given her to further God’s kingdom here on earth.  

If you want to know more about a Sister’s life, I invite you to attend our Come and See Discernment Retreat, March 15-17, 2024. We are offering two options for joining us—either in-person at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse in Akron, OH, or via Zoom.  Come and give yourself time to understand how God is calling you as we reflect together on what it means to live a life of faith and trust in God.     

You can also have a one-on-one conversation with one of our Vocation Ministers who can help you explore more about a sister’s life and your vocation call and answer any concerns you may have about this life.  

2 thoughts on “Five Common Concerns or Myths About a Sister’s Life 

  1. So right every lifestyle requires sacrifice and letting go. If we are to grow, we will change daily. Just look at Nature and the Universe. Mai-dung your advice is right on. I am Praying for the March 15-17th Come and See Discerners.

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