Sunday, October 5, 2008

Religious Vocations and Mental Ilness

"good physical and mental health"

That is one of the basic requirements of most religious orders. Yet, what does "good mental health" mean? If a person has a history of depression but has been stable for years... do they have "good mental health "? or should the person aspiring for religious life always be one of those fortunate souls that have never experienced an emotional breakdown?

I don't know the answer to this. I guess it depends on each religious order and on the individual... yet I know that wether the person can or cannot fulfill a vocation, Our Good Lord has a plan of glory for each one of us! Each person, whether sick or healthy, has a mission, a divine task to accomplish!

"He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His Love than in your weakness." Mother Teresa


Jackie Parkes said...

Interesting question...since poor mental health may afflict 1 in 4 of us..that's parents,priests,teachers etc

JoannaB said...

It's not just in vocations but also comes in to question if we want to go on mission or work abroad or even working in the UK. Health issues are very much part of the interview process.

Rosario said...

really? in America asking about any kind of disability is a huge "No-No" in the interview process. The reasoning is that it can lead to discrimination... I appreciate that!

JoannaB said...

It's supposed to be non-discriminatory but most companies ask you to fill out a 'confidential' health questionnaire. If you omit anything then if you get the job and have a day off for something - they will say - but you didn't put that down on your health form. Obviously if you give them too much info on the health form then they don't give you the job. Several (from experience) also ask how many days off sickness you've had in the last year and what were they for. Perhaps I should start up a new petition with 10 Downing Street on line (you can do that) and get people to sign it to make it that you only have to fill out details for personnel once you have already been offered a position. I think I will do that first thing tomorrow!

JoannaB said...

Hoping you are keeping well and blessed!

berenike said...

actually there's a community of female religious in France founded especially to allow women whose mental health disqualifies them from other orders to live the religious life. Several members are mental health specialists, to help the others out.

I was told this by A Nun a couple of years ago, I don't know any more than that, but it intrigues me. Bit like what St Jane Chantal said about the Visitation, that it should not be rigorous and harsh, so that anyone might join.