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Faustina86

The Unknown Vocation: Secular Institutes

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OneHeart
On 3/11/2020 at 5:53 PM, BarbaraTherese said:

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.

I'm discerning secular institutes. I'm a secular Carmelite (fully professed OCDS) and when I entered, I thought that because there is an optional vow, that it was a consecration.  I was totally excited because for circumstantial reasons I can't enter a community. I thought yay! God remberede and I have a vocation. I was so excited.

 But it's not consecration. But by the time I figured that out I was already way into formation so I decided to stay. I love Carmel,and half a loaf is better than none. But I want to give my whole self and be received.  I explained to my President about my disappointment at not being able to be consecrated, but wasn't directed to Secular Institutes.  I discerned religious life for a bit and am very drawn to it. I want to be consecrated to God alone.  But community life isn't essential, and because of circumstances I have to stay "in the world". The circumstances are, I believe, the Lord's call on my life. So although I visited a community and really liked it, and they liked me, I've decided I have to stay in the world. Then I learned about Institutes just recently. And my SP had me draw up a rule of life for now, but it's private and I sense there is more.

Then I heard about the Leaven last month!. I'm thinking about contacting them.

 I've always been drawn to St.Catherine of Sienna and I thought OCSD was like what she did.  And St. Margaret of Cortona.  Consecration --- like being a nun but on your own. I would like to wear a habit too but if God choses to hide me, then ok.

I contacted the President or someone at the USA secular institutes but she hasn't responded to me.

I'm interested in consecration with a carmelite contemplative charism.  Are there others besides the Leaven?  I'm in USA.  I can afford travel.  Prayer and penance. Silence and intercession. Union with God. 

Can I get more information?

Jesus loves us!

 

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Faustina86
17 minutes ago, OneHeart said:

I'm discerning secular institutes. I'm a secular Carmelite (fully professed OCDS) and when I entered, I thought that because there is an optional vow, that it was a consecration.  I was totally excited because for circumstantial reasons I can't enter a community. I thought yay! God remberede and I have a vocation. I was so excited.

 But it's not consecration. But by the time I figured that out I was already way into formation so I decided to stay. I love Carmel,and half a loaf is better than none. But I want to give my whole self and be received.  I explained to my President about my disappointment at not being able to be consecrated, but wasn't directed to Secular Institutes.  I discerned religious life for a bit and am very drawn to it. I want to be consecrated to God alone.  But community life isn't essential, and because of circumstances I have to stay "in the world". The circumstances are, I believe, the Lord's call on my life. So although I visited a community and really liked it, and they liked me, I've decided I have to stay in the world. Then I learned about Institutes just recently. And my SP had me draw up a rule of life for now, but it's private and I sense there is more.

Then I heard about the Leaven last month!. I'm thinking about contacting them.

 I've always been drawn to St.Catherine of Sienna and I thought OCSD was like what she did.  And St. Margaret of Cortona.  Consecration --- like being a nun but on your own. I would like to wear a habit too but if God choses to hide me, then ok.

I contacted the President or someone at the USA secular institutes but she hasn't responded to me.

I'm interested in consecration with a carmelite contemplative charism.  Are there others besides the Leaven?  I'm in USA.  I can afford travel.  Prayer and penance. Silence and intercession. Union with God. 

Can I get more information?

Jesus loves us!

 

Hi OneHeart,

What an interesting and inspiring journey you have been on so far in discerning your vocation. I went through a similar discernment with the Secular Carmelites and was curious  about the vow aspect myself  but discerned out when I was an aspirant because I still felt called to Consecrated Life. At the same time I came across my community Caritas Christi Secular Institute of Pontifical Right and started discerning with them. I went through a nine month preparation formation, I applied found out 2 months later I was accepted and then was officially received into the community November 1, 2018. Next year around this time I will be asking to take my first dedication/vows. So I am still experiencing my journey and discernment. One of the things I want to share about my community is that because we aren’t tied to a particular spirituality we can pray in whatever Catholic spirituality we feel called to. So even though we are not a Carmelite order you could still be a third order Carmelite and take vows in Caritas Christi our constitutions would not conflict with your way of life as a secular Carmelite . One of our members is actually a Benedictine Oblate. So if you would like to know more about my particular secular Institute here is our website. 
https://ccinfo.org

Here is the directory of the secular institutes in the USA I’m not sure where you’re from. But if you’re curious about learning more about a particular secular institute I would suggest you contact them directly. 
 https://secularinstitutes.org/institute-directory/

if you have any specific questions I’d be happy to answer them if I’m able to  

 

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BarbaraTherese
1 hour ago, OneHeart said:

I'm discerning secular institutes. I'm a secular Carmelite (fully professed OCDS) and when I entered, I thought that because there is an optional vow, that it was a consecration.  I was totally excited because for circumstantial reasons I can't enter a community. I thought yay! God remberede and I have a vocation. I was so excited.

 But it's not consecration. But by the time I figured that out I was already way into formation so I decided to stay. I love Carmel,and half a loaf is better than none. But I want to give my whole self and be received.  I explained to my President about my disappointment at not being able to be consecrated, but wasn't directed to Secular Institutes.  I discerned religious life for a bit and am very drawn to it. I want to be consecrated to God alone.  But community life isn't essential, and because of circumstances I have to stay "in the world". The circumstances are, I believe, the Lord's call on my life. So although I visited a community and really liked it, and they liked me, I've decided I have to stay in the world. Then I learned about Institutes just recently. And my SP had me draw up a rule of life for now, but it's private and I sense there is more.

Then I heard about the Leaven last month!. I'm thinking about contacting them.

 I've always been drawn to St.Catherine of Sienna and I thought OCSD was like what she did.  And St. Margaret of Cortona.  Consecration --- like being a nun but on your own. I would like to wear a habit too but if God choses to hide me, then ok.

I contacted the President or someone at the USA secular institutes but she hasn't responded to me.

I'm interested in consecration with a carmelite contemplative charism.  Are there others besides the Leaven?  I'm in USA.  I can afford travel.  Prayer and penance. Silence and intercession. Union with God. 

Can I get more information?

Jesus loves us!

 

I am in Australia, so not much help to you.  And as I said before, our diocesan website has nothing at all about vocations as it did in the old website.

That I am aware of only, some secular institutes do have a consecration (public vows) rather than a self dedication in a private vow.  

The following quotation comes from Fr. Hardon who is now deceased.  He was a highly respected Cathollic author.  His biography is HERE

 

Quote

 

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Religious_Life/Religious_Life_033.htm   But as the Church developed, there appeared three types of Christian perfection which have not only survived to the present day but will continue until the end of time. In general, they are, first, the strictly monastic. It may be heremetical, but that is rare; there are very few hermits in the Roman Catholic Church. The monastic form has many variants. The cloistered communities would qualify under that general rubric. Second, apostolic communities, where they engage in some kind of apostolic work which carries their efforts, even if not the persons, outside of their own community life. And third, secular institutes.

There is a fourth category contemplated by the Holy See in anticipation of the new Code of Canon Law, so that something may be done for the thousands of women who seem not to want religious life yet seem to want to live especially dedicated lives in the Church. The secular institutes are a recent development of the Catholic Church. If there would be a fourth category, it would be some form of what we now call “secular institutes,” but the implications still have to be worked out.

 

Re the above fourth category, I do not know if it is still being considered or not.  At this point in time and for some years now, there is lot of focus on the scandals in The Church and what is the path ahead.

I am under private vows and hold that it is not the consecration in religious life so much that makes for holiness, it is living out the three vows and God's Will within religious life.  I have made private vows of the evangelical counsel - must be forty years ago now.  My priest religious SD asked the Archbishop if I could have a Home Mass for the renewing of the vows.  The Archbishop agreed.  The Archbishop did comment "This is a good way to do it", whatever that might mean. That Mass was overwhelmingly humbling and emotional for me and I felt then and it continues up to today that I have given my whole self and life to Jesus.

ONe does not make a public consecration nor private vows and that is it, it is the title of the first chapter in a journey that will be lifelong.  Discernment and living out one's vows will be lifelong.

But my awareness at that Home Mass might be a private reaction and conviction - not necessarily for all.  I would not know.  Private vows for me has a particular aspect not available in religious life to my knowledge.  There is no recognition, respect nor big celebrations at milestones in one's journey, no habit, no religious rituals.  The private commitment for life is for Jesus alone and in a human sense it has no human type reward.  That is not to state that those in religious life do not live the life for Him and only Him.  I think many probably do.

I hope you will find what you are seeking and you will if you remain open to what God Wills, not on what you want.  The two are not necessarily compatible and I found that out in my many years of living the lifestyle I do - and my long journey of discernment which continues each day in discerning God's Will and in the renewing daily of commitment, come what may.  I also had to write my own rule of life.

God's Blessings on your journey.

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underatree

I know a priest associated with this secular institute (Carmelite spirituality): http://www.notredamedevie.org/en/

I think it’s still mostly in French-speaking countries but he said they’ve been expanding over the past few years. I have a book by their founder, who was a Carmelite friar and who I think is now a Blessed. Very beautiful spirituality and life, certainly worth a look.

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Faustina86
4 minutes ago, underatree said:

I know a priest associated with this secular institute (Carmelite spirituality): http://www.notredamedevie.org/en/

I think it’s still mostly in French-speaking countries but he said they’ve been expanding over the past few years. I have a book by their founder, who was a Carmelite friar and who I think is now a Blessed. Very beautiful spirituality and life, certainly worth a look.

Hi undertree,

Thanks for sharing! I have actually heard of that secular Institute. I love to learn about other religious communities and secular institutes so I can better share information with other discerners. As I am already a part of a secular institute myself. But this will be helpful for anyone interested in Carmelite secular institutes. There is a book called “Single For a Greater Purpose” and it talks about dedicated singleness which is not a form of consecrated life but it is a vocation in the church. Which the book references some religious orders and secular institutes which the book mentions in passing my community Notre Dame De vie and the Schoenstatt Movement. I think the book is writing about what is BarbaraTherese was talking about a form of a private vow for anyone interested in learning more about it. 

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BarbaraTherese
1 hour ago, Faustina86 said:

I think the book is writing about what is BarbaraTherese was talking about a form of a private vow for anyone interested in learning more about it.

Yes.  I was speaking about a private vow or vows - not connected in any way to secular institutes, although the dedicated single life is also a vocation in The Church.

I must underscore that this thread is about secular institutes and a great honour in The Church.  Since private vows has come up, I just would like to round things off if I can.

I think we need to remember that nothing whatsoever on any level is higher nor better, more perfect, than God's Will - some might find they are called by God to nursing for example or perhaps to the military, even accounting as another example - any role in life in fact...........no vow public or private, consecration nor dedication involved.  Such a vocational call and God's Will for a person is still a vocation (vocare - to call) by virtue of God's Will calling and taken up.  The person is committed (and foundational to vocation per se) discerning it is God's Will for him or her and discernment at any level is always prudently and wisely done with spiritual direction.  Pope Benedict recommends that spiritual direction is for anyone "who wants to live their baptism responsibly" https://spiritualdirection.com/2011/05/19/pope-benedict-recommends-spiritual-direction-to-everyone 

Absolutely no one does not have a personal vocation at any time in their life, while we all have the general call to holiness.  A personal vocation is in what manner or path God is calling one to achieve holiness.

Formal vocations in The Church with consecration solely to God by The Church are where public vows are concerned, or Holy Orders for priests and deacons. Marriage for the married.  There is also the eremitical life under Canon 603 and the Consecrated Virgin. These are all public consecrations by The Church. A committed single life in The Church as discerned as God's Will is a self dedication to God's Will with nothing formal/public within The Church.  Dedicated singles are in the world for the world as are members of secular institutes.  Consecrated vocations etc by The Church are taken out of the world for the world. even if they are living in the world.

Any vow or promise, dedication, to God must be fulfilled under the virtue of Religion.  We must remember that we are promising, vowing or whatever before God!  For that reason, it is an extremely important to know what one is doing and why.

Vocation is a call to to build on our baptism.  Private vows and dedication is more easily dispensed than those under some form of public consecration.  But to take up the private vows or dedication because it is easily dispensed is certainly a most imperfect motivation - full commitment too is lacking.  And commitment to whatever is the foundation of vocation per se.  Motivation however for any vocation can be purified as the journey goes on.  But it is a sin of presumption to presume that that will occur.  It is a different matter to hope it will occur and this is one area only where spiritual direction comes in.

With private vows, the terms of obedience under the private vow of obedience can be spelt out in one's rule of life even with "t's crossed"and "i's dotted", as can the private vows of poverty and chastity.

My mind boggles that God's Will should fall upon me or anyone for any reason whatsoever.  It is the highest action and act of God (with any content whatsoever) on earth to, for and with His creatures who are but dust and we all will return to dust.  The Will of God, God The Almighty, is totally humbling and amesome, stunning, sensational and bewitching.

  God's Will as The Ultimate Perfection - By St Alphonsus Liguori https://www.catholicbible101.com/godswillourwill.htm  .  To study the theology of God's Will is astonishing, humbling - and more than well worth the effort.

Please return to the subject of secular institutes and please do be forgiving that I have diverted from it somewhat.

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Faustina86
12 minutes ago, BarbaraTherese said:

A committed single life in The Church as discerned as God's Will is a self dedication to God's Will with nothing formal/public within The Church.  Dedicated singles are in the world for the world as are members of secular institutes.  Consecrated vocations etc by The Church are taken out of the world for the world. even if they are living in the world.

Any vow or promise, dedication, to God must be fulfilled under the virtue of Religion.  We must remember that we are promising, vowing or whatever before God!  For that reason, it is an extremely important to know what one is doing and why.

Hi BarbaraTherese,

Thank you for sharing such a detailed thought. When I mentioned private vows or dedicated singleness  it’s because your earlier post reminded me of it. I have heard of people making private vows but I never heard of dedicated singleness as a vocation until recently. Even though members of secular institutes live in the world, they do as you stated have a public consecration in the church   Which puts them under the category of consecrated life. But I was fascinated to hear about dedicated singleness as a vocation where you’re not consecrated but you are dedicated to God in the service of the church, you are just not in a transitional single state but you make the choice to stay single. I thought it was beautiful that there is a whole book describing this vocation which is why I wanted to mention it even though it’s not about Secular Institutes  just in case someone is interested.

 I agree with the other parts of your statement  we always need to discern God‘s will for our lives and our vocations. Our vocation can be many different things and we can serve in many different ways. And if we make vows or promises of any kind, public or private we should take them seriously and we should always discern carefully and seek guidance-spiritual direction. There are many different paths to holiness. Thanks again for sharing I would go more in depth but I’m not a big Typer lol. 

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BarbaraTherese

when-god-calls-you-to-something-he-is-no

2 minutes ago, Faustina86 said:

I was fascinated to hear about dedicated singleness as a vocation where you’re not consecrated but you are dedicated to God in the service of the church, you are just not in a transitional single state but you make the choice to stay single.

Hi again Faustina.............Just to clarify.  Private vows to the single life always remains open to a further call from God to another state in life.  However, at the time of making the private vows one is committed in full to those private vows as well as openness to a further call or vocation.  One can make private vow or vows for life while remaining open to a further vocational call.  I have entered monastic life pre and post V2 and both times chose to leave.  I have now been privately vowed for over 40 years it surely must be.  I have never doubted that vocational call.  The same potential dispensation from Public Vows applies to consecrated life, although it is a far more involved and serious matter than with private vows......because consecrated life is a Public Vow formally in The Church.

One could make private vows to the evangelical counsels, or any private vow or vows, for a stipulated period of time/conditional period of time.  In that sense, private vow or vows could be termed transitional although temporary is more accurate.

One can convert private vows to a higher (objective theological determination) vocational state, but not to a lower state without dispensation from private vows. A lower state would be one that does not ask celibacy as private vows to the evangelical counsels asks.

To read a fairly comprehensive commentary on Vows both Public and Private in The Church, go to: https://www.franciscanpenancelibrary.com/vows   It is based on Canon Law and quotes Canon Law, and Canon Law can be a real minefield of complexities, one clause qualified by another and that by another.

Public and Private vows or promises are theological Canon Law terms in this instance.

I am hoping any Canon Lawyer members will read and correct where I may be mistaken. Still got my L Plates and will have them until death for sure. I am the perpetual novice in all things.

Images I have posted are generalities only, not personal.  They relate to the subject of vocation in a general sense. 

25 minutes ago, Faustina86 said:

I’m not a big Typer lol. 

Now I am severely physically disabled and retired at 74 years of age, I have time plus on my hands and restricted in what I can do - typing is a sit on the rear type of matter as is reading and study.  These have opened a new world and direction for me.   In my working life I was a private secretary in the days of manual and then electric typewriters.  No internet and conference calls, which could only be done on a telex machine.  No emails, rather letter or telegram, telex.  Nowadays with the young ones, they would have no idea what I was talking about in the main.

6c304ead813fcad41e9e3b0e069f3342.jpg

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Faustina86
10 minutes ago, BarbaraTherese said:

read a fairly comprehensive commentary on Vows both Public and Private in The Church, go to: https://www.franciscanpenancelibrary.com/vows   It is based on Canon Law and quotes Canon Law, and Canon Law can be a real minefield of complexities, one clause qualified by another and that by another.

I have read something like this before maybe even from this site anyways thanks for sharing. ☺️

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BarbaraTherese
1 hour ago, BarbaraTherese said:

Since private vows has come up, I just would like to round things off if I can.

I am confident I was the one who first raised the subject of private vows.:rolleyes:

Just as another point.  I have made private vows to the evangelical counsels.  In my own rule of life, it is stipulated that if I have an episode of bipolar, the vows are temporarily suspended. It is a condition in my rule of life. During an episode I might not know what is up or down nor sidewards.  Confusions abound - memory is worse! mood with anxiety can be all over the place :rolleyes:  Common sense dictated my conditional clause. :) 

Believe it or not I am anxious to get off the subject of private vows yet want to ensure I have said it all since I raised the subject and continue it.

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BarbaraTherese

                              

If I have anything more to say about private vows, I will do what I should have done - start a thread in Open Mic.

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Faustina86
10 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

                              

If I have anything more to say about private vows, I will do what I should have done - start a thread in Open Mic.

Well BarbaraTherese, thanks for for sharing. I did start this thread to help make known the somewhat under appreciated Secular institute vocation in church and to share information with each other. So yes this is mainly for information or sharing on Secular Institutes. But appreciate any thoughts someone feels like sharing on vocation.☺️

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Faustina86

Provida Mater Ecclesia was a revolutionary ges- ture in the Church. Secular institutes are themselves an act of courage that the Church made at that moment; giving a structure and institutionalize the Secular Institutes.
And from that time up to now, the good you do for the Church is very great; it is done with courage, for one needs great courage to live in the world.
Many of you live alone, others in small communities. Every day you live the normal life of a person in the world, and, at the same time, nurture contemplation. This contemplative dimension toward the Lord as well as in relation to the world: to contemplate reality, to contemplate the beauties of the world as well as the great sins of socie- ty, its deviations; all these things, and always in a spiritual tension....
This is why your vocation is so fascinating, because it is a vocation which is spot on, where the salvation not only of people but of the institutions are at stake. And a great many lay institutions are necessary in the world. That is why I think that Provida Mater Ecclesia was a truly revolutionary step for the Church!
Pope Francis

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GraceUk

Whats the difference between an Oblate and a member of a tertiary order. I know Oblates are usually attached to a particular monastery. But do they take vows or make promises. I tried to find out on the internet but not much success. Thanks.

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Faustina86
8 hours ago, GraceUk said:

Whats the difference between an Oblate and a member of a tertiary order. I know Oblates are usually attached to a particular monastery. But do they take vows or make promises. I tried to find out on the internet but not much success. Thanks.

Hi GraceUk,

I don’t know in depth about “third orders”(tertiary orders) Secular institutes are a form of consecrated life which take vows/sacred bonds of celibate-chastity, poverty and obedience. A tertiary order (secular order) do not, they usually make promises to live out the spirit of the evangelical counsels but not in a material way in that it does not affect their state in life single or married. So for an example they would live out the promise of chastity according to their state in life. And live according to the spirituality of their order like Franciscan, Carmelite, Dominican or Benedictine. I don’t really know much of a difference with the term oblate. I know Benedictines have Benedictine oblates. I think the lifestyle is similar to any other third order except the Benedictines allow non-Catholics to follow the Benedictine rule of life. All secular  orders are slightly different from each other in their way of life, Carmelites are stricter than Franciscans. I discerned with the secular  Carmelites before I discerned into a form of consecrated life. 

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