Where do nuns live? (how do nuns live?)

As a theologian, I enjoy learning more about different Christian denominations. I was especially intrigued by the Catholic church, as they are a little different from the rest of the Christian churches. I wanted to learn more about their nuns and where they live since I knew they did not return to their homes after admission. I then decided to visit the nearest catholic church and interact more with the nuns to know how and where they live. Last week, I was covering a topic on the Catholic church and told my theology class about the visit to the church. One of my students wanted to know more about the everyday lives of the nuns and where they lived. Having visited the nuns and knew where they lived, I took the opportunity to answer this question. So, where do nuns live?

Nuns live in a building that is known as the convent. After the catholic church has taken them in as novices, nuns undergo their training until they take their solemn vows and “graduate.” They are not allowed to return to their usual homes and are put up in a large building known as a convent. The convent helps them to be closer to each other as they walk together on their new journey. The convent also keeps them away from the outside world, making it easier for them to adapt to their new life without worldly temptations.

So, join me until the end as I explore more about this topic. I will explain if the convent and monastery are the same, if all nuns live in a convent and if nuns can live in regular houses, among other exciting topics.

Is a convent the same as a monastery?

A convent is not quite the same as a monastery, although these two buildings are associated with the catholic church. The name convent comes from a Latin word meaning “to gather” or “to convene.” With this, a convent may be defined as a building or a community where religious personnel, including nuns, live. This may be loosely translated as living quarters for nuns or sisters.

Conversely, a monastery comes from a Greek word meaning “to live alone.” A monastery can therefore be defined as a building used by religious personnel under a religious order, usually built “away’ from the rest of the world.

The difference between a convent and a monastery is that a convent s usually linked to nuns, while the monastery is usually linked to monks or monastics.

Do all nuns live in a convent?

how do nuns live?
Do all nuns live in a convent? Image source: Pixabay

Not all the nuns live in the convent. Most nuns who live in the convent do not have to practice or do any other job apart from their calling. They will be required to live in a convent to help the community. However, nuns that are professionals, such as teachers or nurses working away from the convent, are not forced to live in the convent and can find other houses near their work areas. Theologians from The Ursuline Sisters organization also suggest that a nun can decide to live independently for personal reasons as long as she is still connected with the rest of the nuns and the church by attending their regular and community gatherings.

How many nuns live in one convent?

There is no definite number of nuns that can live in one covenant. A convent is usually a big building and may be shared by ten to twenty nuns depending on their living arrangements. A big convent may host more than twenty-five nuns, while a smaller one may host less than fifteen. The catholic church usually encourages the nuns to live together, as this helps them build a “sisterhood” needed in their walk of faith. Living in convents also helps the nuns conduct their prayers together, which is the best thing ever.

Can nuns live in regular houses?

The place where nuns live is usually determined by the religious order they belong to or their communities. While all the nuns are encouraged to live in the convent to keep away from the outside world as possible, some nuns live on their own in regular houses. These houses may be rental houses. Nuns mostly live in regular houses because of their work or ministry. For instance, a nun may live in a regular house if she is sent on a mission and does not find a convent near where she is. A nun can also live in a regular house if she works away from her community and convent.

Where do retired nuns live?

Where do nuns live?
Where do retired nuns live? Image source: Pixabay

A former nurse, Lee Ann Gerleman, suggests that retired nuns live in the convent. Once a nun has been professed as a nun and taken the vow of poverty, she seizes to own any property and considers the convent her forever home. When nuns get old and retire, they usually spend most of their time around the convent, helping with lighter work they can manage.

Claire-Edith de la Croix, a nun, and a writer, also suggests that nuns do not retire, as they work until their last breath. They, however, still live inside the convents and continue to gather with other nuns.

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