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Faustina86

The Unknown Vocation: Secular Institutes

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Faustina86

What is a Secular Institute?  

Catholic Secular Institutes whose members are consecrated for love of the Church and for sanctification of the world.

Members of secular institutes are "in the world and not of the world, but for the world." They live in whatever providential circumstances God gives them, but they wholly consecrate their lives to God through the evangelical counsels of poverty, obedience, and celibate-chastity. They are the newest vocation in the Catholic Church, and many say they are the vocation of the new millennium.

Each secular institute bears the unique charism of its founders and traditions, and each celebrates its "communion" by annual retreats, meetings, common daily prayer, and friendships that evolve quite naturally from living a similar life in God despite differences in profession or work in the world. A web of connectedness grows over time, linking the members to one another inextricably. For all consecrated seculars, the vocation undergirds all they undertake because it becomes the essence of what they are in God’s eye.

Want to know more and see what communities are out there?:

https://secularinstitutes.org

Edited by Faustina86

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BarbaraTherese

I had a look at my new diocesan website and everything connected to vocations is for religious nuns, sisters and priests and brothers but only in a very general way.  No actual list of religious orders are on their website.  Consecrated Virgins and Secular Institutes do not get a mention at all.  The website is a nightmare to negotiate.

Not impressed at all - saddened.  Not surprised however.

Quite some years ago I did apply to The Leaven, the Carmelite Third Order in Ireland http://theleaven.org.uk/.  We exchanged numerous emails and they invited me to discern further on a distance formation basis providing I made one visit to them in Ireland first -  but there was no way I could afford the trip.

The Leaven is actually a Secular Order within Carmel, not a Third Order of seculars.  They began as forming a religious community and later discerned a call to secular life.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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Faustina86

That’s a shame Barbara... Where do you live? I’m in the USA, the link on the bottom of my post is the “United States Conference of Secular Institutes” We have roughly 30 institutes in the USA. I am a member of the secular Institute called Caritas Christi, my community has members in over 30 countries and six official languages and it’s a secular institute of pontifical right. Have you heard of it? https://ccinfo.org
 

if you’re still discerning consecrated life and secular institutes I wouldn’t give up. I have heard of “The Leaven” But I don’t think they’ve reached the USA yet...

 

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BarbaraTherese

I am in Adelaide South Australia, Adelaide Diocese.  I am no longer discerning and am 74 years of age now and settled in my vocation and very much aware it is my call with Joy and gratitude.  I did discern religious life in my younger years and had two short entrances in religious life pre and post Vatican II.

I have noticed that in the USA you do not seem to be as affected by new age type of thought and theology and you are more traditional than Australia....in the main more or less.  It seems to me that new age type of thought/theology has been a slow, very slow, grasp of Australian Catholicism including religious orders (I am very much tempted to say insidious grasp).  In Australia it has been a sort of follow the 'leader' type of mentality it seems to me, and 'the leader' is what others believe and think.......values of the herd and desiring/needing to belong to the herd. That is why I was not surprised at my first sight of the new diocesan website.  I had not visited the old one for a few years.

I was educated by Dominican nuns pre V2 thankfully and given a pretty sound grasp of basic theology and have never lost my love and exploration of theology - and my family was a very traditional Catholic family that went into a state of shock with V2 - which I never did doubtless due to my Dominican education probably in the main.  Deo Gratius primarily.

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UndividedlyHis

I am not really discerning this Vocation (though of course my heart is very open to Jesus and what He in His love has for me!) but I just wanted to drop by and leave a quick comment how much I admire Secular Institutes and everyone living out this beautiful Vocation faithfully for God. I think it requires special people with beautiful hearts for God and His Church and your faith inspires me. :) God bless!!

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Faustina86
4 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

I had a look at the Caritas Christi website and it is quite informative: https://www.caritaschristi.cc/

Barbara,

Sounds like you’ve lived a fulfilled life for the lord so far. I could probably learn a lot from you. The USA can be pretty liberal but we do have our traditional Catholics, myself included. Even though the vocation I am discerning is considered a vocation of the new millennium I am very traditional and see the beauty in the traditional orders. But we also need to find new ways to reach people in the heart of the world and to relate to them so I think secular institutes is a beautiful way to do that. And it also made consecrated life a possibility for me as I was born with a rare form cerebral palsy and didn’t think consecrated life could be possible for me. I did a lot of research and a lot of discernment, some trial and error, but eventually I came across Caritas Christi and I felt at home ever since. God willing I will make my first dedication next year. ☺️. Thank you for sharing and checking out Caritas Christi. Many people might feel the call to this form of consecrated life but not know about it which is why I like to share the vocation. 

1 hour ago, UndividedlyHis said:

I am not really discerning this Vocation (though of course my heart is very open to Jesus and what He in His love has for me!) but I just wanted to drop by and leave a quick comment how much I admire Secular Institutes and everyone living out this beautiful Vocation faithfully for God. I think it requires special people with beautiful hearts for God and His Church and your faith inspires me. :) God bless!!

Thank you for stopping by and sharing encouragement. Prayers for you and your particular discernment!☺️

Edited by Faustina86

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BarbaraTherese

Hi Faustina

My post might might have been misleading perhaps I think and my apologies if so:blush:.  Congratulations and blessings on your making your dedication next year.

Please do not think that what I am about to write is addressed to you personally, Faustina - it is a general comment and my own opinion re Secular Orders and New Age type of thought and theology.

Personally............

...........I am all for Secular Institutes and think it is a beautiful and holy vocation - a Divinely inspired addition to consecrated life.  I embrace Vatican II, which really was a breath of fresh air for me, I could breathe at last!   I am faithful to The Church and Pope Francis and pray and hope to remain so until death.

New Age type of thinking is complex to explain to me other than it is not Christocentric...but the Church has addressed the issue in a very long document speaking against new age type of thought and theology, and I quote very briefly from it below:  http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html#2.3. The fundamental principles of New Age thinking

Quote

 

"Jesus Christ, the Bearer of The Water of Life"

Excerpt: "1.4. The New Age and Catholic Faith

Even if it can be admitted that New Age religiosity in some way responds to the legitimate spiritual longing of human nature, it must be acknowledged that its attempts to do so run counter to Christian revelation. In Western culture in particular, the appeal of “alternative” approaches to spirituality is very strong. On the one hand, new forms of psychological affirmation of the individual have become very popular among Catholics, even in retreat-houses, seminaries and institutes of formation for religious. At the same time there is increasing nostalgia and curiosity for the wisdom and ritual of long ago, which is one of the reasons for the remarkable growth in the popularity of esotericism and gnosticism

 

I do not think that The Church has to fall in line with modern society, rather I think that The Church has to understand/interpret modern society and discern how to respond to it fruitfully with how to draw people to Jesus and His Gospel, His Church:  I agree that we need to find new ways to respond to the world while remaining faithful to Jesus and His Gospel and Church.

"You who know how to read the signs of the weather but cannot read the signs of the times" (Matthew Chapter 16)

 

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UndividedlyHis
9 hours ago, Faustina86 said:

Thank you for stopping by and sharing encouragement. Prayers for you and your particular discernment!☺️

Thank you so much Faustina for such beautiful encouraging words and prayers! God bless and Mary keep you!

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Faustina86
9 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

Hi Faustina

My post might might have been misleading perhaps I think and my apologies if so:blush:.  Congratulations and blessings on your making your dedication next year.

Please do not think that what I am about to write is addressed to you personally, Faustina - it is a general comment and my own opinion re Secular Orders and New Age type of thought and theology.

Personally............

...........I am all for Secular Institutes and think it is a beautiful and holy vocation - a Divinely inspired addition to consecrated life.  I embrace Vatican II, which really was a breath of fresh air for me, I could breathe at last!   I am faithful to The Church and Pope Francis and pray and hope to remain so until death.

New Age type of thinking is complex to explain to me other than it is not Christocentric...but the Church has addressed the issue in a very long document speaking against new age type of thought and theology, and I quote very briefly from it below:  http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html#2.3. The fundamental principles of New Age thinking

I do not think that The Church has to fall in line with modern society, rather I think that The Church has to understand/interpret modern society and discern how to respond to it fruitfully with how to draw people to Jesus and His Gospel, His Church:  I agree that we need to find new ways to respond to the world while remaining faithful to Jesus and His Gospel and Church.

"You who know how to read the signs of the weather but cannot read the signs of the times" (Matthew Chapter 16)

 

Don’t worry I’m not taking anything you’re trying to share personal. Thank you for explaining more in depth. There has been all different kinds of religious heresy like this new age stuff you’re explaining that the church has a had to address for years since the beginning so it doesn’t surprise me. But thanks for sharing I have never heard of this.☺️

 

Edited by Faustina86

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Faustina86

What Being a Member in a Secular Institute Looks Like:

 

Three conditions are necessary for a secular institute to exist:

Apostolate;

Consecration;

Secularity.

Apostolate: is the work every Christian must realize to establish the Kingdom of God. Having encountered the love of Jesus Christ, every baptized person wishes that everyone could experience conversion that takes hold of one’s whole life. For a secular institute member, this conscience is even greater and becomes life’s raison d’être.

Consecration: is the act through which a secular institute member makes the total giving of oneself to the Lord in view of the mission. By answering a personal calling from the Lord, through the means of consecration, the member choses the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience as the most excellent way to live out his gift to God. Every baptized person is called to live out the evangelical counsels since the Gospel is for everyone. Nevertheless, some persons decide to take a more definite step and ask the Church to recognize this gift.

Secularity: is the fact of living in the world, with the world, to reveal God present. By exercising one’s profession, accepting family, professional, civic and social responsibilities, a secular institute member discovers the world as a mission field.

This novelty in the Church gives a chance to laypersons to live out the Gospel’s radicalness in the world, while exercising their profession and being attentive to respond to apostolic opportunities that daily life brings.

In the midst of the world that advances oftentimes without reference to God, secular institute members want to unite their profound consecration to God and their presence to the world. They commit themselves to vows: chastity: in a celibate lifestyle; to a life of poverty: that wants to be a path to share with the poor and an invitation to offer their time, friendship and professionalism to those most in need; to a life of obedience that renders them more attentive to the calls of the Spirit in life’s different moments.

This way, living in the world, with the world, for the world, transforming it from the inside as leaven, salt and light, men and women members of secular institutes accept with generosity the mission Christ confided to them: to spread the Gospel to the four corners of the earth.

 

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Faustina86

Our Daily Community Prayer:

 

Caritas Christi 

Prayer For The Church 

I come before you my God, to renew the promises I made at my dedication and to realize afresh the meaning of my vocation. My life is Yours. May it be spent in responding wholeheartedly to Your love and in giving You glory by my service in Your Church.

My prayer Lord, for Your Church is that she may realize the designs of Your heart and show forth Your presence among us. Take from me whatever You please, so it may serve our Holy Father, Pope___that, in Your Mystical Body, he may accomplish Your work in truth and fulfill the task that You have committed to him. 

I pray also for my Bishop___and for all Your priests; and I ask that they may be holy so that all who come in contact with them may love You more.

I humbly commit to You all those I meet in my daily life, those to whom I should be Your apostle and witness. Be pleased to make up for, and to supply on their behalf, my omissions, failures and carelessness, so that in spite of me the fire You came to cast on earth may everywhere be kindled. 

Lastly I pray for all the souls who are united to me by the bonds of the same promises, and for all those who sanctify themselves and dedicate themselves to the spread of Your Kingdom in the world, so that together we may accomplish Your work and be Your disciples and witnesses.

Above all I give myself to You, with all that I am, with all that I have and with all that is in my power to give, so that in me and through me Your well may be done.

I ask all this through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that after her example all my life may be spent for Your Church in loving You and making You loved, Who spent Yourself for love of us. Amen.

12 minutes ago, Faustina86 said:

Our Daily Community Prayer:

 

Caritas Christi 

Prayer For The Church 

I come before you my God, to renew the promises I made at my dedication and to realize afresh the meaning of my vocation. My life is Yours. May it be spent in responding wholeheartedly to Your love and in giving You glory by my service in Your Church.

My prayer Lord, for Your Church is that she may realize the designs of Your heart and show forth Your presence among us. Take from me whatever You please, so it may serve our Holy Father, Pope___that, in Your Mystical Body, he may accomplish Your work in truth and fulfill the task that You have committed to him. 

I pray also for my Bishop___and for all Your priests; and I ask that they may be holy so that all who come in contact with them may love You more.

I humbly commit to You all those I meet in my daily life, those to whom I should be Your apostle and witness. Be pleased to make up for, and to supply on their behalf, my omissions, failures and carelessness, so that in spite of me the fire You came to cast on earth may everywhere be kindled. 

Lastly I pray for all the souls who are united to me by the bonds of the same promises, and for all those who sanctify themselves and dedicate themselves to the spread of Your Kingdom in the world, so that together we may accomplish Your work and be Your disciples and witnesses.

Above all I give myself to You, with all that I am, with all that I have and with all that is in my power to give, so that in me and through me Your will may be done.

I ask all this through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that after her example all my life may be spent for Your Church in loving You and making You loved, Who spent Yourself for love of us. Amen.

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