Requirements for Becoming a Nun

By Sister Regina Dierson OSC

Medieval Painting of Saint Clare

Requirements for Becoming a Nun

Making the decision to join the order is a major commitment for any woman. However, there are a few things that are especially important when considering dedicating your life to Christ in any Catholic order. There are several important requirements that one needs to take into account before even considering becoming a nun. So before you donate your entire wardrobe and shoe collection please read the following requirements.

According to

  1. You must be Roman Catholic and a woman to meet the requirements for becoming a nun.
  2. You must be single or widowed. (If you are divorced, you will generally need to petition for annulment before you can become a nun.)
  3. You must not have any dependent children. (If you do, your first duty is to them. If they are grown up and able to lead independent lives, there is no problem.)
  4. You must not have any debts. (If you have a Student Loan or something like that, we’ll need to discuss it. You will, of course, be doing your best to pay off anything you owe, won’t you?)
  5. You must be physically and psychologically healthy. (Monastic life is demanding; so although you do not need to be an Olympic athlete, you do need to be able to cope with an austere mode of living.)

It helps if you have some work experience/professional training after you complete your formal education. Oh, and of course, you must have a vocation, but that is something that both you and the community will be trying to discern together.


These requirements are all practical and easy to understand. If you feel that there are other conditions that are especially important to consider in your decision to become a nun please share them with us by email: or by phone: 845-297-1685

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