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How to Become a Monk

The Catholic church has several vocations. Some in the church are called to the priesthood or religious life and small portion of those called to single vocations become monks. With its emphasis on contemplative prayer, the monastic life differs from other forms of religious life. Follow these steps to devote yourself to a monastic life.

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  1. Pray and visit the sacraments to grow spiritually. Through speaking with God in prayer you will hear His guidance, whether it is toward marriage, the priesthood or a monastery.

  2. Research monastic orders. You will have to find an order and even a specific monastery to join. Men called to the monastery must also discern if they will be a priest or brother. Monasteries have varying spiritualities. Visit them to get an impression of daily life, the monks and their spirituality.

  3. Discern which monastery you are called to join. At this point contact the vocation director at the monasteries of interest if you haven't already.

  4. Take a monastic retreat. Start with a short retreat and then go on a longer discernment retreat. The monastery may have a scheduled times for discernment retreats.

  5. Become a novice. During the period you will learn how to live in monastery and make the monastic spirituality your own.

  6. Take your temporary vows. These vows commit you to the monastic life, usually for three years. At the end of your temporary vows, which is the last period of discernment, you take final vows and commit to the monastic life permanently.

  7. Tip

    A spiritual director can give spiritual advice and aid you with discernment. Eastern Catholic rites have their own monastic communities. Many monasteries give lay Catholics the opportunity to visit for prayer and retreats.

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