desires. As celibate people we chooseto channel these feelings—oursexual energies—into other healthydirections. We work at remaining faithful to our vow of celibacythrough prayer, closeness to Jesus,good friendships, and healthy physical exercise.
13. What if I fall in love?
It does happen. The basic responsibility in such a situation is topreserve the original, existing commitment we’ve made—which is tolive as a sister, brother, or priest. Wetry to develop the relationship withinthe limits and responsibilities of ourcommitment to celibacy.
All Christians eventually facepain and difficulty in their lives.
It isn’t always easy to be a faith-
ful spouse, a faithful religious, or a
single person of integrity. Dealing
with such a challenge can make us
stronger than ever in our vocation,
whatever it might be.
14. Do I have to be a virgin
to be a brother, sister, or priest?
Past sexual activity does not in itselfprevent someone from becoming abrother, sister, or priest. A person’spast life is not the main concern. Ifit were, men and women who wereonce married could not becomepriests, brothers, or sisters (and theydo). The question is whether a personis willing and able to now live andlove as a celibate in the service of others. Some of the great saints—SaintAugustine and Saint Francis of Assisifor example—made other choicesbefore turning to religious life.
15. Can I join a religious
community if I identify as other
Of primary concern is your ability tolive a celibate life in a healthy, joyful,productive way. Religious communities want incoming members to bemature and what psychologists call“sexually integrated.” Most communities desire that their membersaccept and embrace their sexualidentity and orientation as a foundation for living the vow of chastity.
16. Can I still be a priest, sister,
or brother if I have personal
Usually dioceses and religious congregations require applicants to resolve any personal debts or liabilitiesbefore entering a formation program.
Many, however, will make excep-
tions for student loans and will have
part in community life, goals,
hopes, and work.
Diocesan priests make promisesof celibacy and obedience to theirbishop. They do not make a vow ofpoverty, but they do try to live simply so they can be of service to God’speople.
11. Can priests, brothers,
and sisters date?
No, they can’t because for Christians dating is connected to marriage, and as celibates we plan not tomarry. However, we very much wantand need friendships, and we havefriends of both sexes.
12. Are you ever attracted
to others in a romantic way?
Of course! We still experiencenormal human needs, feelings, and
Code #227 VocationNetwork.org Community Search
Sister Coralie Muzzy, CSJP
“We are beginning
a new order. We
want brave, noble,
Mother Clare, Founder
Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace