When a young woman begins to sense a call to the cloistered contemplative vocation, often her first questions turn to her family and loved ones: How often will I be able to see my family? How much other contact will I have with them? What if my loved ones don't understand my vocation? How can I explain my discernment to them, so that they know I am trying to follow God's call, and that I still love them dearly?
Often, too, parents and relatives of women who follow the Lord into contemplative life have their own questions, fears, and struggles. The contemplative vocation is a rare and little-known gift in our world these days, and it can be hard to know where to find answers and support in the struggle.
This page is dedicated to discerners, their families, and their questions. The following articles are all written by real parents of nuns, for parents of nuns (or of future nuns). Many of our families have been able to meet and visit with each other here at the monastery, and their mutual support has been invaluable as they have struggled through their own questions, fears, and sacrifices in giving a daughter to the Lord as His bride. We hope that their words will bring similar support to you.
Through the faithful example of her parents her love of Christ took root. While her family has supported her each step of the way, the journey for them has not always been easy. When a man or woman commits to a cloistered or moderately cloistered order, the family also commits to sacrificing for the sake of honoring God’s call.
Nearly two and a half years have gone by since our daughter entered the cloister of the Passionist nuns. As I have described before, letting go and supporting her answering God’s call was a bitter-sweet experience, marked by a mixture of awe, joy, lonesomeness and a painful tenderness about her leaving the nest and her everyday physical presence with us.
Ever wonder what it's like for families to visit the monastery? Using their photos and a post-visit thank you letter, here is a little glimpse of life in Saint Joseph Guest House during the final days of 2014.
When other men’s daughters might have expressed an interest in the convent or the cloister, I wouldn’t have questioned it at all. I would have been respectful of their choice and genuinely happy for them. “What a noble and beautiful vocation!”or “What a meaningful life with a holy purpose!” I, no doubt, would have thought.
My tears just kept flowing uncontrollably as I witnessed this beautiful young woman become the Bride of Christ, bearing the crown of thorns and shouldering the cross of Christ. Little did I know that one day our own daughter, Sr, Mary Andrea, would be making the same profession of vows in this Passionist monastery!
Something happened to make me question my ideals and the things I had built my life around. My older sister Andrea and I have always been close. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when she told me that she had decided to join the cloistered Passionist Monastery. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I most certainly was!