Catholic Religious Orders and Communities

Vocations for Men and Women

This list of Catholic religious orders and religious communities includes traditional and Catholic monastic orders, but also secular institutes and societies of apostolic life. (We have titled it simply "Catholic Religious Orders and Communities" because "Religious Orders" or "Religious Communities" are the most common names used.) This list of religious orders and communities is nowhere near exhaustive. We would like to extend this list to include all communities notable for faithfulness to the magisterium of the Catholic Church and to the charism of their founders. Additions to the list are welcome.

Previously we had a short list of vibrant Catholic religious communities. In the event that it is helpful, we leave it linked from this page.

Books on Religious Orders and Religious Life

Catholic Religious Orders for Women

Catholic Religious Orders for Men

Late or Older Vocations (Some religious communities that accept older men or women--though many communities in fact sometimes make exceptions to a general policy of not accepting older applicants, the communities listed here either have a more general policy of readiness to accept older vocations, or are known to do so more frequently.)

Late Vocations for Women

Late Vocations for Men

Traditional Latin Mass Catholic Religious Orders and Communities

Priesthood (Mostly diocesan websites)

Late Vocations to the Priesthood

Links to other directories of Roman Catholic religious orders and communities

Make a comment - (Your comments, additions or corrections to this webpage are welcome! Generic requests such as "I would like to join a religious community or seminary" are not very helpful here; better to take up contact with the particular community you are interested in.)

Books on Religious Orders and Religious Life

Catholic Religious Orders and Communities for Women

Catholic Religious Orders and Communities for Men

Late Vocations for Women

Late Vocations for Men

Sites on the Priesthood

Directories of Roman Catholic religious orders and communities

  1. 52 and called to priesthood. Need help.978 423 4433

  2. I am greatly surprised that you do not have many Missionary Communities listed.
    I would appreciate our community:
    Medical Missionaries of Mary
    listed here as well as others.
    Thank you, Sister Madeleine

  3. You might want to add Consecrated Virgins to your list for Women's Vocations. The Rite of Consecration for Women Living in the World is in the Roman Pontifical and this oldest form of consecrated life was restored in May, 1970.

  4. Gravatar

    Akhogba. Magdalene. Annemary.


    I have this strong CALL in me, that God is calling me but i don,t know which congregation to join. But, i am still praying.

  5. The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles should be listed under the Traditional Latin Mass, Female, section. You will see on their web site they have the Extraordinary Form.

  6. I started discerning when I was 50 and had returned to Roman Catholicism after leaving it for Protestantism 25 yrs prior. Vocation director were pretty much diocesan based in thinking, so first thought I couldn't- looked into being a deacon, then sought religious communities. Never knew there any that allowed older men. I am 52 now, and will travel the Globe to offer my life. Bless you all in your search. Thank God for this site. May Christ bless it in every way.

    1. Gravatar

      dennis stephens


      how goes the search

  7. Iam appreciate with the community of Catholic religions. Iam proud to say thanks

  8. Gravatar

    Colette Duchnowski


    I am almost 54 and looking for a cloistered or contemplative order in the spirit of St. Francis and Sts. Clare and Colette. So many orders have a cut off age and I think that is really not fair. So many older people who have a late life calling are left out of fulfilling what God may have in store for us.

  9. We are receptive to the idea of men (with or without a history of substance abuse) coming here to serve the Lord and their Christian brothers who are hurting. If you have anyone who is interested in religious life or missionary work but isn't Catholic yet, they could come here for the Leadership development phase and complete an Associates Degree, RCIA, etc. during the twenty-four months.

    They would have an opportunity to experience life in an inter-denominational Small Christian Community that has Communal Prayer three times everyday and attends Church services at least six times a week. We pray the Liturgy of the Hours in the Morning and Evening here in this Community. They also would complete the Celebrate Recovery step study which is for all types of hurts, habits and hang-ups (not just substance abuse).

    Please place this ministry on your prayer list everywhere and spread the word about it to anyone who might need the program to fight alcohol and drug abuse.

    Website -

  10. My story is like Greg's, but I am 59. Is there ANYBODY who would accept me? I am in discernment, attend daily Mass, and pray the Divine Office daily...but cannot find anyone willing to accept a man my age. Abraham was 99 when he answered God's call to enter the covenant.

    1. Phil--Have you tried the Trappists of Our Lady of Gesthesmane? Look at their Chronicles.
      The four men currently in temporary vows are surely over 50!
      God bless you!

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    Ekweoba michael


    There should be a special provision for those who answered the call of their vocation late.

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    john jerome


    it is good to serve the lord, in a special way like these , may the lord who see in secret reward our religious. Amen

  13. I am 52 years old, writing from Poland. I completed Latin, Greek and English philologies (MA). For many years I have been working as a teacher. I am healthy both physically and mentally. I am looking for a seminary or an active congregation which would like to accept me to study in order to become a priest.

  14. I am 52 living in Toronto with a deep sense of God calling me to the priesthood. Is there hope for me?

  15. Looking for communities in the UK who accept older vocations I am 57 in Sept.Wanting to join as a religious brother

  16. hey brothers, I understandstand your frustration at the cut of ages and agree that it is unfair. It is ageist and discriminatory really and closes the door on grace reflecting an over emphasis on the young to the detriment of the church as a whole. I am 34 yrs of age living in Australia and have been wrestling with a vocation for a long time, I have had many set backs and have been turned away by many groups. I have tried starting studying on my own but have pulled out on 7 occasions, for various reasons but I do not regard myself has stupid as I am quite capable. That said, I feel like the biggest fool and most hopeless of all. Nevertheless I cannot shake the fire within. I really dont know what to do anymore. Priesthood seems like an unattainable dream now. Prayer is all I seem to have.

    Anyways, All the best to you all.

    1. Glen don't give up. If you have a vocation to the priesthood, God will open the door at the right time. Remember things happen in His time. Keep praying and never give up. Join a lay order or become an oblate. Live your live as if you are under priestly vows, such as chastity and mild poverty. Get a spiritual adviser and show obedience to him. It will give you a good shot at practicing humility. Above all keep praying. I am 54 and trying to find a convent. I know your pain. Thanks to God I am going to visit one this next week who is open to my age. I will keep you in my prayers.

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    Okwenna chrysogonus


    I just finished from a minor seminary and I want to further but the congregation I aspire belonging to does not operate in my country(coventual franciscan friairs,OFM. conv)I just dont know what to do,meanwhile I am a nigerian.I need help....

    1. Hope you found a link to OFM Conv. Surely you can connect with their main house. I think they have their English language Provincial Superior in Chicago. Also of course a house in Rome. God Bless your search. Quite a number of young men have joined recently here in Australia. One priest leaving our local parish to continue his Bio Ethics studies elsewhere was a doctor of medicine before becoming a Franciscan. There is always a way....

  18. I am looking for older men,irrespective of age to lead a life of prayer. At present i am following Psalm 118 viz : ' I will praise you seven times a day and I shall get up at night to praise you'.if anyone feel called to follow such a life please let me know.
    May God bless you

  19. Thanks Colette , I am currently doing all those things you've mentioned and most of all striving for complete purity and innocence of life and that elusive humility. Thanks for your encouragement and its my hope and prayer that things go well for you.

  20. Hi Glenn! I am visiting the order I aspire to join. I have come for a week- long visit. By the end of the week I plan on asking to become an affiliate. After six months I would become a postulant. There is hope so do not give up. I pray that you find an accepting order and that God leads you there. Remember, all things are possible with God.

    1. Thats great Colette! really glad things are working out for you and hopefully you go on with it. Things are looking better for me too, I am looking at becoming a monk and will be having an interview in december. So yeah things a good. All the best, let me know how ya go , Cheerio.

    2. hi colette, I hope your visit went really well and you are able to go on. Thanks again for your kind encouragement :)

      1. Hi Glen,

        I did enjoy my visit. Unfortunately, because of my weight issues and current student loan debt, I am unable to continue on with that order. I felt right at home there too. Oh well, God has plans for me and I need to keep seeking them out.

    3. Gravatar

      Leonard anthony


      Did you join the order you visited? Keep me updated. You success we surely be a good motivation to me. Leonard, Nigeria

  21. Why don't you have listed the Sisters of the Order of Saint Anne ?

  22. wot no marist brothers or fathers....hey hey

  23. I would just like to ask anyone out there to pray for me. I am 18 years old, and feel a strong call in my life. I cannot tell where, or when. I am a freshman in college and cannot decide whether or not I should continue my education, when I feel such a strong call to religious life. Granted, I do not know where He is calling me, and if it is 100 percent supposed to be religious life, but I just do not know. If anyone out there has some kind of advice for me, or just to simply pray for me, I would greatly appreciate it.
    God Bless
    Thank you

    1. Hi Karli,

      I would go and talk to orders you are interested in. Go for a visit as your time and finances allow. I would stay in school, because some orders want you to be educated. Just be careful of student loans. Most orders want you debt free. Do a lot of praying and talk with your parish priest. They are a wealth of information. God bless you as you continue your discernment.

  24. accepts late vocations.

  25. Our pastor... born in 1936 (?) in Germany. Took one year to travel when he was 21. Came to Texas to visit, and fell in love with it so he stayed. Fell in love with a lady and was married for 39 years, had 8 children. Became a deacon. Wife passed away in 1996. Entered the seminary at the age of 60, ordained in 2001 at age 64. Celebrated his 10th anniversary in 2011 and still going strong at age 75.

  26. i encouraged young men to join the monastrey,the life is too rewarding and full of God`s graces.

  27. Gravatar

    ogbu onyekachi longinus.


    I pray that the good Lord we serve and worship will help your endevours to come true,if priesthood is your call or desire God will surely favour in the faith with you in ChristJesus,all the best friends.

  28. For older men interested in the priesthood, I think I know of least it is worth checking out.

    theatine Fathers, Denver, Co.

  29. Anyone know of religious orders for women who accept older women? Please e-mail me. thanks

  30. Hi. A very wonderful and very wise nun once said to me that you would rather 'try' a religious/ Priestly vocation however unsure the call, than ignore it and get into situations that would make a religious vocation impossible to follow. Why? Because if God is NOT calling you to a religious life, you can always leave it.
    Having said that, i think we need more people to respond to God's call in this day. The world has forgotten God and totally gone astray. I am a huge advocate of religious communities that wear the habit constantly because it is one powerful way of reminding people that God does exist......and might i add, i am also pro-Traditional Latin Mass. truly is centered on Christ and not the congregation.
    Many blessings to all discerning. Our Heavenly Mother will gladly intercede for you if you ask Her.

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