Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I have been thinking about monasticism for a while. I am 30 years old and currently working on completing my bachelor degree. I am also thinking to continue for a master’s degree in the same field or if I find something in Christian studies. Sometimes I think that it is better to focus on my spiritual life and become a monk after my studies than to continue for a master degree. I talked about it to my priest and he told me that many consider that option and after change the idea. I went with a friend for 2-3 days to a Catholic monastery to see how it feels and I found it really peaceful. I am a little bit of shy person and maybe this can cause a problem to live in a community of monks. Should I take some steps further, like taking a retreat for couple of days in a Coptic monastery or talk about it to another priest?

The monastic life, like any path of life, has the goal of salvation at its core. It has its own special, unique blessings, as well as challenges. The monastic life in the Catholic Church is different than the monastic life in the Coptic Orthodox Church. There are two established Coptic Orthodox monasteries for men in the United States: St. Antony in California under the Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, and Hawaii; and St. Mary and St. Moses Abbey in Texas under the Diocese of the Southern United States. You should request a retreat in both of these monasteries and ask the steward to speak with one of the fathers during your retreats. Requesting the advice directly from your father confessor is advised rather than soliciting advice from different priests. Though the advice of each clergy is worthy, your father confessor knows you best, and hearing different opinions may cause more confusion. Keep up with your spiritual canon, Holy Bible and other spiritual readings, prayers, fastings, confessions, and services according to your father confessor's guidance. In the meantime, continue your studies and work. Achievement in work, study, and social life in a spiritual context in the world are also requirements for entrance into the monastic community, because monasticism is not a means of running away from world, but a perseverance of life with complete submission to God in the context of the communal life of prayer, poverty, and chastity through the monastic rules and the abbot's guidance.

If you wish to pursue Christian studies, you may consider one of these 3 SUS Diocesan seminaries:
2-Year Residential [Abbey] ~
4-Year On-Site & Distance Learning [Combined] ~
4-Year On-Site - Arabic [Tennessee] ~

Pray and ask your father confessor and the monks for their prayers that God may reveal to you your path of salvation.
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