Here's one question, which I think many potential vocations might be thinking about.
--How much does choice have to do with the type of 'work' one ends up doing? (Awkward phrasing)
A long time ago the attitude towards type of work reflected what the
Missionaries of Charity still practice--you should be able to accept
doing any type of work anywhere in the world.
Some applicants may prefer (and be more suited for) one type of
apostolate rather than another, within an institute, but know that the
institute has a variety of apostolates.
Does preference play any role at all?
There is an understanding in Religious life that one embraces it with an
attitude of self-giving and abandonment to the Will of God as
manifested in the will of one's Religious Superior. The whole purpose
of embracing the life of the vows is to be stripped of one's will and
preferences for the love of God (and this is an important qualifier) so
that one gains the freedom of the spirit to follow wherever God's will
But having said that, I must also add that in my Community at least (I
can only speak for mine), a spirit of dialogue and consultations is
normal. Consideration is given to the Sister's talents and abilities
and consideration also as to where she can serve God and the elderly
best. Now, it will happen that the needs of the Congregation will
dictate a different approach. Taking myself as an example, my Community
has always used my training as a nurse in all of my assignments. But
in my recent change of position, my Community is asking me to function
in a role I was not trained for or had no previous experience in. This
is where the Vow of Obedience comes in. In other words, yes,
leadership looks at your potentials but are not always bound by them.
This is where religious ministry differs from a regular job. Religious
life always look out for the common good, not just oneself. We
constantly remember that one does not become a Sister / Brother just to
do good works. As Mother Teresa used to say," we (religious) are not
called to be successful but to be faithful." The actions of a
religious are not her own. By freely embracing the vows, we surrender
our will to the will of another. If a Community goes by the practice
of what I had just described, well and good, thanks be to God, but it
doesn't have to. That's why religious life is a vocation. Not
everybody can accept this attitude. God cannot use us effectively if
we do not venture out to paths unknown and untried.