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I have a friend who joined a religious order after his first dissolved. But he had to start from scratch starting with postulancy.

My question is what does normally happen to someone's final vows after his religious order dissolves? Are these people free to leave the monastic life or do they or should to find another religious order?

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What happens to monk's final vows if the monastery dissolves?

What normally happen to someone's final vows after his religious order dissolves? Are these people free to leave the monastic life or do they or should to find another religious order?

A lot will depend on why a monastery was dissolved and what type of Religious Institution was suppressed.

If a Religious Institution has only a few houses of a different Religious Formation, then they would probably have to start as a postulant in another type of Monastery or Religious Institution. If the individual is a priest, they could petition a bishop to be joined to a diocese of their choosing. If it is a Religious brother he may seek entrance into another house of Religious Formation. They may also petition Rome to dissolve their vows, which in the eyes of Rome would be easily approved.

If the individual is of a Religious Institution that has several other places where their same Religious Institution is, they may petition the Superior of another house or monastery for admission, with probably a year’s probation, but no postulancy needed.

I have personally seen each of these cases played out.

I know of Benedictine monks being welcomed in another Benedictine monastery of the same congregation with no problems. If the individual is of a different Benedictine Congregation, they are invited in, but are given a year’s probation in order to see if they can make the adjustment of a different monastic set of rules.

If a non-Benedictine Religious petitioned a Benedictine abbot for admission they would have to be entered as a postulant because they are of different Orders altogether.

Most of the time, a solution is always found. Different Religious Orders and Houses of Formation have different rules surrounding this subject matter, but I imagine they would be quite similar in wording.

I take it that you are not talking about the historical Suppression of English Monasteries under Henry VIII

When Henry the VIII dissolved the monasteries in England many choose exile, some went to prison and were martyred for their faith, some went into hiding and some took a government pension to be able to live a quiet life.

Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries in England created the issue of what to do with those being 'expelled' from their homes. Initially, the authorities sought to close smaller communities, meaning those who wished could move to a larger religious house. Once these, too, were marked for closure, those in religious orders had few options.

Most commonly they accepted the offer of a pension. This award was generally left to the discretion of the commissioners carrying out the closure rather than being a centrally set sum. The wealth of the monastery would be considered, with those in higher ‘management’ positions, such as an abbot, being offered an increased sum – partly, it has been argued, to entice them to go peacefully. Older members could also receive an increased amount as their chances of future employment were less than the younger members, who could potentially augment their pensions. Some members of religious orders chose exile; others offered resistance to the changes. When the Carthusian monks refused to take the Oath of Supremacy, recognising Henry VIII as head of the church, several were hanged, drawn and quartered, while others ‘disappeared’ in prison and were starved to death.

Some members of religious orders chose exile; others offered resistance to the changes. When the Carthusian monks refused to take the Oath of Supremacy, recognising Henry VIII as head of the church, several were hanged, drawn and quartered, while others ‘disappeared’ in prison and were starved to death.

It is often forgotten that the suppression of the monasteries included the closure of female religious houses. Frequently, nuns received smaller pensions than the monks despite their reduced chances of finding future employment.

Elizabeth Throckmorton was the abbess of the Poor Clares at Denny in Cambridgeshire. After the closure of the convent, she, like other nuns, returned to her family. At her nephew’s house at Coughton Court in Warwickshire, she and several others lived in an upper room, wore their habits and continued their conventual life. - Where did the monks go after the dissolution of the monasteries?

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  • Henry VIII had no authority to suppress monasteries.
    – Geremia
    Jan 28, 2023 at 20:54

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