The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

“Just promise me you’re not going to become a nun”

An Evangelical Protestant attorney couldn’t make that promise to her mother when she announced that she was studying to become a Catholic. And now, she could end up spending her life in a cloister.

Her amazing story, from the Catholic Anchor:

Many find it hard to fathom why a woman would ever think of trading in a good job and the prospect of marriage and family for a life of poverty, chastity and obedience.

tara-clemens-pic-2010-1.jpgTara Clemens of Anchorage, Alaska is doing just that.


It’s all the more surprising because Clemens was raised Evangelical Protestant. Plus, she’s a highly-educated attorney who already offers extraordinary service as a lay person in the Catholic Church.

So why leave all the world has to offer for a nun’s habit and the silence of a cloistered monastery?

Because it might be what God wants, explained the 31-year-old Clemens.

She regularly prays, “Lord, what is it that you want of me? Tell me what it is, and I will do it.”

That prayer is part of a journey to discern God’s call for her life. Taking time to discern one’s vocation is something she believes everyone should do.
“God calls everyone,” she said in an interview with the Catholic Anchor — to marriage, the single state or maybe even the religious life.


Clemens’ path to the monastery began even before she was Catholic. She was working full-time and attending law school – but she wasn’t much involved in a faith community. The summer before her final year in school, she took stock of her life and realized she wasn’t where God wanted her to be.

So she began praying, “Lord, show me your church. Show me where you want me.”
For the first time, Clemens looked closely at Protestant doctrine, which “raised more questions than answers,” she said.

Then, a coworker invited her to Mass.

“Not being able to think of an excuse to say, ‘No’, I said, ‘Yes,'” Clemens recalled with a laugh. Soon after, she began investigating Catholicism, “so I could evangelize my friend” out of it, Clemens admitted.


“I came to the conclusion that God was answering my prayer and (the Catholic Church) was, in fact, the church — his church — where he wanted me,” she explained.

After graduating, Clemens moved to Alaska, studied for the Bar Exam and began the official steps to become Catholic.

In praying to find a job, she “stumbled across” a vocation prayer which she began to say.

Then, one day in the kitchen, Clemens’ Protestant mother articulated a possibility that had never crossed Clemens’ mind.

“She said, ‘Just promise me you’re not going to become a nun,’ recalled Clemens, whose “jaw hit the floor” at the idea.

Still, Clemens couldn’t make the promise.

“I said, ‘I can’t do that. I don’t know what God might call me to in the future.'”

Read the rest at the link. And keep this woman and her vocation in your prayers.

Comments read comments(2)
post a comment

posted August 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Tara has to do what she feels is right for her. Being a mother, however I can understand her mother’s statement. Like me, I suspect she would like to be a Grandmother someday (I got my wish last March) and if Tara indeed becomes a nun, that isn’t going to happen. The article didn’t mention if Tara has siblings. If she does, and her mother wishes to be a grandmother, perhaps a sibling will be able to fulfill that wish. It is indeed a huge commitment to join a religious community. In the RC school I taught in, 2 of the teachers were former nuns. One fell in love and married and had a child. The other never took her final vows,and as I said, is a teacher in the RC school.

report abuse


posted September 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Yet another example of our worldy preoccupation w/ success. Were she not a lawyer, well, it just wouldn’t be sufficiently interesting. Like I always say: unless you give up brain surgery for the convent, well, who cares?

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.