by Jetta Barbar
A year ago, nun of Lauren Karr’s friends would have guessed her future profession.
That’s right — last year Lauren Karr, 22, decided to leave her old life behind and dedicate herself to the Catholic Church – she decided to become a nun.
It all started in Rome, Italy, 2007. Lauren was on a school trip with her high school, and fell in love with the atmosphere and what she termed “Catholic culture.”
Raised Southern Baptist, Lauren decided to convert a few years after her visit. She said that her parents were accepting of her decision after a while.
Jump to 2009, when Lauren travelled to Atchison for a spiritual retreat. She went to reflect upon her major, which at the time was psychology.
“The spiritual director (in Atchison) said maybe I was there for another reason. And it just clicked in my head that I wanted to be a nun,” said Karr.
But becoming a nun isn’t a decision that anyone involved takes lightly. It takes years before one makes the final commitment to the church, five to nine years to be approximate.
Currently, Lauren is in the postulant stage of the nun hierarchy, which means lots of prayer and reflection on her life-changing decision. She also lives in a shared house, or monastery, with four other nuns of the Benedictine order. For those who don’t know, there are different orders of nuns, each with a different focus or “charism.”
According to Lauren, becoming a nun is all about humility and purity of heart. “It is a big commitment – basically like getting married,” Karr said. Like marriage, she stated that becoming a nun should come in gradual steps of commitment.
Of nuns, Karr said, “They are people. They are human just like everyone else. They make mistakes.”
Lauren’s major is educational administration. She plans to continue to a four-year institution, but she is undecided where she will go. But her spiritual journey is a continuous one.