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A Piece of My Mind
November 8, 2000

I Have Always Been Fascinated . . .

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(18):2295-2296. doi:10.1001/jama.284.18.2295

Admitting someone to a religion or a community is a very serious business. We live part of the year next to an orthodox monastery. Over the years I have watched the young people who the bishop and the monks agree are worthy to become apprentices, the process saying as much about my friends the monks or the bishop as it does the aspirants. The vetting process for religious orders is ancient, well-known, and, in many cases, steep. I went to a Jesuit high school where the bulk of the teaching was by scholastics who, we were told, if they made it successfully through the next 11 years, could finally gain permanent entrance to the Society of Jesus. Scholastics, or their equivalent in any religion, are watched and measured before they are tapped to move to another level.

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