Active and Contemplative Religious Sisters and Brothers


Active and Contemplative Religious Sisters and Brothers


Within the Roman Catholic Church, the titles sister and brother are given to members of religious communities. Members take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and devote their lives to God. Sisters and brothers generally view their way of life not so much as a career but as a vocation—a calling. Another term for a sister or brother is a religious.

Active religious sisters and brothers divide their time between private prayer, communal worship, and service work. Each active religious community ...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



No experience needed





Personality Traits



Salaries for active sisters and brothers are comparable to those of other people in their fields with similar education and skills. Contemplative religious sisters and brothers have no individual earnings. Income from their cottage industries and private donations belongs to the community as a whole. All of their needs, such as food, clothing, and medical insurance, are paid for out of communit...

Work Environment

The working conditions of religious depend on their community's location and mission. Most religious can count on a pretty conventional life in the settings they have chosen, such as the hustle and bustle of an urban mission, the steady work of a suburban parish or school, or the serenity of a monastery. Still, it is important for sisters and brothers to be ready and willing to serve wherever t...


Opportunities for religious sisters and brothers are practically unlimited, for two major reasons. The first is that the Roman Catholic Church wholeheartedly encourages those who have been called to live a life completely devoted to serving God. The second reason for the great opportunities in religious life is the decline in vocations over the past few decades. A majority of today's sisters an...