What Happens When Friars Get Old?

It is a fact of life: we don’t stay “young” forever. If we are blessed enough to live a long life, we will inevitably find ourselves having less energy, unable to do the things we once could, and needing more help. For many of us, this is accompanied by more free time with family and friends, a time that we can rightly call our “golden years.”

But what about for friars who are so defined by our work and have chosen not to build families of our own? What happens to these men who grow old and infirm without a wife, children, or grandchildren by their side?

This was a major question I had in my discernment, one that almost prevented me from entering. Would I be lonely? I wondered.

Visiting one of our retirement houses this week, I was reminded of that old fear and how I overcame it. I was reminded of the great treasure that these men are to our order.

If you or someone you know is considering religious life and is worried about this issue, I pray that my experience may help. I cannot think of a more meaningful thing to do with one’s life, and I know that while I may never have the comfort of a wife and kids, I will always have this life to live and the brothers by my side to live it with me.


2 Comments on “What Happens When Friars Get Old?

  1. You chose correctly Brother Casey. I wish I had your zeal and courage when I was younger. I never married nor have kids. I don’t regret it either. I regret the things I didn’t do rather than what I did do. You have joy and will continue to have joy, that most of us never will. A lasting joy; not the short-term pleasures we get in a life of drudgery and mistakes.

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