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Questions About Private Vows.


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A lay person who enters one of the consecrated states does so of their free choice.  God then consecrates them through the bishop.  The person then ceases to be in the lay state and is in the consecrated state of life.


Under private vows, the lay person consecrates/dedicates themselves and their life to God privately and remains in the lay state. 


  I know on the internet there is a struggle from some sections to have the word "consecrated" confined to the consecrated state only and for "dedicated" to be used if not in the consecrated state per se.  This is their struggle and nothing official from The Church as yet.  Personally, I dont care if neither term is used.  I am a celibate lay person (with private vows to the evangelical counsels).



Edited by BarbaraTherese
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Those interested in private vows - in understanding them and in the Church's actual position might be interested in my post in which I have been able to answer, with research, my own question (see post #62)and from Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution onThe Church)  :


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Just reminder that we have had no further news of Sr Emmanuel (IndwellingTrinity) to my knowledge.  She is very ill and still in need of our loving thoughts and prayer.  She has meant much to many on this site.

There is thread in the Prayer Forum and also a thread of its own in this VS titled "IndwellingTrinity is very ill" - and because Sr E has indeed meant much to many in VS in particular, I thought I would put in something of a reminder here, if indeed we need a reminder.  It was in this thread on private vows that Sr E's blood sister first advised that Sr E is very ill.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Peace and Good!

I am a POrtuguese secular franciscan brother, and when I joined SFO I did a private vow to pray the Liturgy of Hours, to dress the former SFO habit (tunic, chord and mantle) and to go barefoot whenever possible, and when no possible, put on sandals.

I am very happy, thanks be to God!

Fraternal hug in Jesus, Mary and Francis!

Br. Alberto Guimaraes SFO

Secular Franciscan Fraternity of Braga - Portugal

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  • 6 years later...

Apologies to moderators for raising a very old thread:rules:

Since all the above and the last post in 2013, I had the permission of our newest Archbishop to renew life or perpetual vows to the evangelical counsels at a Home Mass.  That Mass took place on the Feast of The Annunciation in 2014.  His Grace's comment to my SD priest and religious (now decd) at the time was "It is an excellent way to do it".  I presume only (and quite unsure) I might know why he said that and I have covered it in previous posts re the subject of private vows being somewhere on the To Do List in Rome.  I do imagine that with all the problems The Church must now confront, it is way down towards the bottom of any such list.  And ok with me.  Divine Providence.  And anyway, to be included in consecrated life would be a very serious step.  I chose and choose to remain in the Lay state of life and am very much aware it is my vocation and call from God to this point.  Private vows can always be converted into a greater good, which consecrated life would be.

However, if Rome should decide something or other for those in private vows as a "fourth category", I would and with spiritual direction discern God's Will for me, since consecrated life is indeed the greater good as an objection theological determination - but not necessarily the subjective greater good.  Nothing can be greater than God's Will for a person.


Just remembered:


You will need to search for "fourth category" in the body of the text ........... just noticed the copyright statement and am not pasting the para with the "fourth category" etc. into this post.

The problem I have with the "fourth category" is that I do not know when Fr. Hardon wrote the article.  If it was before the newest edition of Canon Law, then there might not be a fourth category any more and Rome has decided against it.  If it was written after that newest edition of Canon Law, then it could be on the To Do List somewhere in Rome somewhere.  I do suspect that it might have been written before the newest edition of canon law.........but still remains on the To Do list down near the bottom somewhere.  I could be wrong, very wrong.  Not by far a first!

Personally, I am not concerned about it and I am sure we would hear if anything had been decided by Rome in favour of this 'fourth category'; alternatively it would appear in any new revision of Canon Law to come at some future date, I would image.  I rather think, howeve, that revisions of Canon Law do not occur very often at all.


My GP (Polish Catholic) asked me about private vows today and meaning of the guimpe - I did not know, Looking for the meaning of a nun's guimpe tonight, I came across this post from 2012. And decided to round it off.   Here I am.

For any aware I have been unwell with bipolar.  I think I reached the totally unexpected today and a distinct sudden improvement.  However, with my brand of bipolar time only will prove yay or nay.  This could be merely a patch of relief.  It could be the beginning of the end of the episode.  Then again, it could be the total end of the episode as suddenly as a light switch switches on light.  It happened once in the past..........one moment off the planet and as nutty as a fruit cake........very next second two feet on earth and sanity once again. I was lierally stunned, glanced at the clock - 6pm and Vespers - recovered from stunned quickly, and then went over to my neighbour next door for coffee and a chat about normal daily type this and that's.   Time will tell where I am just now.  Whatever, c'est la vie Deo Gratius, bipolar always is draining and tiring and for a while after once it is all over.

A prayer very much appreciated and thank you very much to those who may have prayed for me already.:wave: All benefactors of Bethany (my way of life) in any way at all are in my own daily prayers of very humble gratitude and thanksgiving for my fellow human beings.



Edited by BarbaraTherese
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