How to Become a Nun & at What Age

Nuns must be of the Roman Catholic denomination.
... Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

If the thought of living for God and the sisterhood that accompanies life in a convent appeal to you, becoming a nun is a possibility -- but the process is much more complex than just getting a blessing from your priest. You'll need to begin a two-year process called discernment, which allows you to get acquainted with life as a nun to help you decide if it's truly right for you. You can become a nun typically at age 21 or older. Although some decide it is their calling early on, it is never too late to become a Sister and most are in the latter stage of life. However, the rate of younger women becoming nuns is increasing.

Research convents on the Internet. Many now have websites that allow you to download podcasts and read blogs or magazine articles that explain the process of discernment in which a potential nun learns about the lifestyle. You will be required to go through several phases after discernment before becoming a nun.

Pray on a daily basis. Most nuns describe their decision to join a convent as a calling from God. Pray for guidance to help you discern if this is the right path for you.

Seek spiritual counseling. Your priest or a nun in the leadership at your convent of interest can meet with you to address your spiritual and practical concerns.

Visit convents in person. Vision Vocation Match, a website associated with "Vision" magazine, matches young people to convents in much the same way as an online dating service matches individuals. A tour of the convent and participating in its daily activities can give you a better sense of how nuns actually live.

Meet other women also going through discernment. An easy way to do this is to utilize services of websites like Catholics on Call, which holds retreats and workshops both online and in person for Bible study and personal reflection.

Decide at which convent you would like to experience the postulant phase, where you will be a sister-in-training. After about a year, you may become a novice nun, wearing a white veil, and beginning your study.

Anna Windermere started her writing and editing career in 1993, upon graduating from the University of Florida's esteemed journalism school with a bachelor's in journalism. Ms. Windermere, a senior-level copy editor, has appeared in mastheads of newspapers and magazines as copy chief, writer and proofreader, including "Sun-Sentinel," "Miami Herald," "City Link," "New Times," "NewBeauty," "Luxe," "Florida Alligator," "Orange & Blue," and more.