Jump to content

If You Could Start A Religious Order/community, What Would It Be, Or L

Recommended Posts

Monastic-contemplative/apostolic activity
Community living/off-site
Mind-body health issues allowed/not allowed
Higher education requirement/not a factor
Means of supporting the community
Family members visits,letter writing,use of technology
Permit pets/no pets (not referring to animals used for food or products-cheese etc)
Why would your community attract women and or men (of all ages)
What makes it stand out
Located in the city/outskirts

Of course, as founder of community-it will be "a living sign of the primacy of the love of God who works wonders, and of the love for God and for one's brothers and sisters as manifested and practiced by Jesus Christ" While this is meant only to be a stimulating imagination fun activity... It also helps to keep in mind what discerning one's possible vocation is about. Suggested reading- Fraternal Life In Community ("Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor") www. Vatican.va/roman_curia/congregation fraternal life in community_en.htm

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 85
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • John Paul


  • Antigonos


  • nikita92


  • OnlySunshine


Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

This isn't strict..it's impossible!

​Oh dear! This is not for humans!  

it could be done ... if you eat a sandwich with one hand and hold the office in the other. 

I love this question! I've thought about it before. It would be a contemplative/apostolic community in which the sisters lived in radical poverty (think CFRs) but taught at universities (theology, philosophy). Habit. Eucharistic-centered. Latin Divine Office. A bit of the Franciscans, a bit of the Dominicans, a bit of the Carmelites thrown in. :) (My dream community . . .)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mission/Purpose: To offer reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the wounds inflicted on/within the family. (Abuse, neglect, but also the attack on family life and it's importance in our 21st C world, the dissolution of community and resulting sense of alienation in our young people.)

Contemplative/Penitential/Papal Enclosure.

Full habit, with an emblem including the cross and the Sacred Hearts of J&M worn over the heart.

Rule : Probably St Norbert

Spirituality: Franciscan with Benedictine overtones...er....sort of. Not sure how that would work in reality, but provision of hospitality for families would be a part of it.

Recognition of ones companions in community as true brothers/sisters in Christ and the active promotion of a full fraternal life would be emphasised, as would active inclusion in the life of the community by the families of the sisters/brothers. (for those family members who wanted this.) This would be somewhat of a challenge given full papal enclosure, but I think it is possible. The idea would be that rather than renouncing ones biological familial attachments, that these become transfigured and changed through the agency of His Sacred Heart, something that happens anyway but there would be a direct reference and acknowledgement of this.

Full Gregorian Chant, with night rising.

Vows: Solemn; Poverty, Chastity, Obedience, Virginal Consecration through Mary, and an additional Vow of Fraternal Charity. (Don't know if that is possible but hey, I can dream!)


What else was there?

Mind/Body/Health issues permitted, with each local superior/chapter deciding on what each community was able to effectively support in terms of disability, but knowing that disability of any description would not be a reason for refusing a candidate. For this reason every community would have to be totally disability friendly in terms of accessibility. In terms of mental health, those well managed on medication or in active psychotherapy would be permitted. ( I think this is more of an issue in those countries where medical care costs lots of money, so again, this would have to be a local decision based on need/resource). Given the emphasis on family and all members of a family being acceptable, this seems only right. It also goes against the move to euthanase through abortion those who may be potentially disabled, and against the prevalent stigma against those with MH issues in our society.

Higher Ed preferable but not a requirement.


Means of supporting the community:

Retreat centres focussing on family/parish retreats.

Hosting Conferences on related topics.

At least two 'family hermitages' available for rental by those families who wish to deepen their spirituality together. These would be charged for on a sliding scale according to means but not be less than a reasonable charge for such facilities. 

Writing of books and publications on family spirituality.

Baked goods for sale.


Use of technology limited but internet permitted.

Family visits: Permitted but I have no details worked out yet as I am still thinking about the family involvement in the community, to what degree, how, etc.

Pets permitted, maximum two dogs or a dog and a cat or the like.


I don't know of a community with this sort of focus so it would be unique.It is also IMO sorely needed.

Once established there might be an active branch.......but it would work in the opposite way to the Franciscans of the Immaculate inasmuch as all would be in the cloister FIRST, then see if they were called and had the strength to go on active duty as it were.


I would like to imagine that the sense of profound fraternal charity towards each other would mark this community out and make it very unusual.


Given the land use/space/need for being self supporting I think the communities would need to be in a semi-rural situation, though not in the sticks as this would make it too expensive for families to all travel together.


One can dream ( and pray!)



  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites











Mission/Purpose: To help family in need, to help children get through the first 8 years of school, but above all, to love, to serve and do the will of the Lord.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah... It was almost 5 am when I began writing... And I know I missed a few important areas to begin with! Lol. Thanks O;-)... (I wanted to pose this question, because it has been brought up (in the past) in conversations with people I know)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Before my computer's hard drive crashed, I had this all mapped out on MS Word.  Then I lost the file.  I've sincerely thought about looking into starting a Secular Institute or Religious Community because of the problems I've had with orders and medication issues.  I believe I remember most of the details, though I wish I had a draft of my original idea.


Name of Community:  Handmaids of the Divine Mercy (or something similar)


Spirituality: Not sure about this; probably Franciscan or Salesian


Patron saints:  Blessed Virgin Mary under title of Mother of Mercy; St. Faustina Kowalska; Bl. John Paul II; Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko; St. Margaret Mary; St. Therese of Lisieux; St. Francis de Sales


Devotional Practices:  Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm followed by Stations of the Cross; Daily Eucharistic Adoration; Daily Rosary in Community before Mass; Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Total Consecration to the Immaculate and daily Consecration to the Immaculate


Community Practices:  Friday as a day of prayer and abstinence from meat and sweets (no apostolate work to be done unless absolutely necessary); Stations of the Cross in the community garden and Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm


Traditional/Modern:  I would say traditional because I would desire a traditional habit and practices


Charism:  Active/contemplative


Apostolates:  Focus on nursing care of the sick and elderly (candidates would complete nursing school and/or CNA program)


Formation program:  6 months to 1 year of postulancy; 2 years of novitiate (canonical and apostolic); 5 years in temporary vows; 6 months in tertiate spent in reflection and study of the vows (2nd novitiate); Final Profession of Vows


Setting: in community within convent


Health desired:  Adequate physical and mental health with allowances for those who require medications as long as the illness is properly controlled and doesn't present danger to self or others; psychological evaluations will be considered on individual basis; would also require medical history from professionals


Higher education requirement:  Not required but highly preferred if candidate can receive education without acquiring student loan debt; would prefer nursing school completion


Community pets:  Would allow 1 dog or cat (preferably hypoallergenic)


Habit:  Regular habit would be white color with red scapular and an image of the Pierced Heart of Jesus on the left side (over the heart of the candidate); long white veil with red band (totally white veil for novices); white knee socks; black oxford shoes or sandals; large wooden crucifix


Postulant uniform:  Long jumper (mid calf) in red color; white long sleeve blouse in 100% cotton with pressed collar; small Divine Mercy pendant; small white veil or snood; white knee socks; black oxford shoes or sandals


Sign of profession:  Silver ring on left ring finger


Location:  Probably in spiritually and materially poor neighborhoods


Age requirements:  18-60 (as long as the candidate can perform the apostolate and is in good health; age limit not set in stone)

Edited by MaterMisericordiae
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Mater, I love yours.... I might be your first applicant if it would ever happen in real life. 


So, here is my go at this- all of it is theoretical


Spirituality- Franciscan


Patron Saints- St Francis and St Clare, along with St Collette


Mission/ Purpose:  Devotion and Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary..


Apostolate:  Chastity resources, possibly TOTB resources, retreats, and college ministries. 


Traditional/modern - traditional, with a habit.  Would like to see it with the TLM offered. 
Monastic-contemplative/apostolic activity:  contemplative and active, possibly an active community with a "sister" contemplative community.

Community living/off-site  Living in community

Mind-body health issues allowed/not allowed- yes, pretty much see Mater's above

Higher education requirement/not a factor- the apostolate would most likely require that at least some of the sisters have a higher education.

Means of supporting the community Not sure-  Franciscans are in love with Lady Poverty.  Retreats, maybe, and a bookstore?

Family members visits, letter writing, use of technology  Yes to all.  Technology would be a means to get out the word on chastity

Permit pets/no pets (not referring to animals used for food or products-cheese etc)  Yes, would have to work with allergies as I have some. 
Why would your community attract women and or men (of all ages) Who can resist Our Lord and Our Lady?

What makes it stand out  The apostolate is very much needed in our time, I think.

Located in the city/outskirts  Anywhere God would want.  College towns, maybe?


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something about this whole idea disturbs me. I think it's this: When someone's on the marriage market, people often warn him/her: "You're never going to find Mr./Mrs. Perfect. So don't even fantasize about that!"

But it seems to me that that's exactly what we're doing. And when we come at discernment in this way (I'm not saying anyone in here is doing that), we often look at websites or visit houses with a kind of "checklist" in our mind: "Yep, they've got that, and that, and that... Oh, but they don't have this, or that, or this... I dunno..."


What we should do instead (so far as I understand things) is look for a basic attraction to charism and apostolate, then go and see if we fall in love, if we feel at home, if we could see ourselves living our whole lives with this order/house—in other words, "marrying" it.


I also have noticed lately that a lot of newer orders "mix and match" a great deal. For one, I've noticed that all the contemplative–active orders I've ever seen were founded within the last 50 years or so. And then there are those that combine a bunch of different charisms and devotions that just seem kind of glommed together, like they're clearly the brainchild of one individual who just happened to love all those things. Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. I just find it downright odd sometimes. (And other times, well: The Institute of Christ the King combines Benedictine, Dominican, and Salesian elements, and I think they're just a beautiful order. So...)


Still, whenever I see this, it reminds me of my recent shopping trip (online) for boots. I went to the Timberland website and saw their "Design Your Own" option. And I thought, "What, cuz the 500 varieties you already make aren't enough? I have to have everything exactly the way I dream of it?"


It makes me wonder if the burgeoning of all these new, mixed-and-matched orders grows out of our consumerist mentality. We're so used to being able to have things just so, just our way, that that "habit" (if you will) gets carried over into our "search" for the right order/house.


Again, don't get me wrong: I'm not saying we should stop founding new orders, or that those that have mixed and matched charisms and apostolates are all confused or bad or something. I definitely don't think so. I'm just saying, "Hey, I've noticed this. And it makes me wonder..."


I'm also not trying to be critical of anyone who's posted in here. I understand y'all are just having fun. Go ahead and have fun. :-) I just wanted to point this out so that, in case anyone out there is really stuck in this "checklist" discernment mode and didn't realize it until now, well... now you might.

Edited by curiousing
Link to post
Share on other sites

Orders are started because men/women are called to do so by God.  If someone is starting an order simply because they want to I would be inclined to think it (the order) would not be around very long because it was started and pushed through by ego instead of the Holy Spirit. 


Just my thoughts....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Orders are started because men/women are called to do so by God.  If someone is starting an order simply because they want to I would be inclined to think it (the order) would not be around very long because it was started and pushed through by ego instead of the Holy Spirit. 


Just my thoughts....


Agreed.  I would never start an order unless I was absolutely sure I was called to do it by the Holy Spirit.  It's never an endeavor for the faint-hearted.  ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well.. Ask the people that are not being considered for admittance or tuened away for one reason or another.. Such as advanced age or minor heath conditions or having been married with adult offspring.. And after awhile, it gets one thinking.. Gee wouldn't it be wonderful if XYZ community existed and that is where one's imagination starts to kick in. I'm not talking about actually starting one nor a shopping list. (By this time, I pretty much know due to my age factor what communities are out of the question... Which leaves very limited considerations)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.

  • Create New...