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Faustina86

The Unknown Vocation: Secular Institutes

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GraceUk

Thanks very much for explaining Faustina. I think it's good we are finding out more about these various groups.  I had heard of Caritas Christi but didn't know what they did. I've never heard of the Leven only the third order Carmelites.So I've done a bit of reading. I hope everyone is well in those difficult times.

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Faustina86
8 minutes ago, GraceUk said:

I had heard of Caritas Christi but didn't know what they did.

Here is a little information about Caritas Christi:

Caritas Christi, Secular Institute of Pontifical Right Founded in Marseilles, France, in 1937 by Fr. Joseph-Marie Perrin, OP, and Juliette Molland, Caritas Christi is now one of the largest secular institutes for single women in the United States and has members in over thirty countries. The purpose of Caritas Christi is to form and give to the Church contemplative apostolic women who, in every condition of life, strive to live as consecrated Catholics by loving God and making him loved where he has placed them. All members have a sponsor to help them live a life in which God comes first even though they are working in the heart of the world. After three years of initial formation, members take a vow of celibate chastity and promises of poverty and obedience at a first dedication, followed by a definitive dedication five years later. 

“A laywoman herself, St Catherine of Siena’s life was the inspiration used by the founders of Caritas Christi. What attracted them to this Dominican Saint was her desire to live in the world for the service of the Church. She was chosen by God to offer herself for the Church as well as for all those who would follow her."
 

Yes these are some difficult times not being able to go to daily mass to receive Jesus in the Eucharist being one of the difficulties. But Jesus is suffering with us and we need to pray for all those affected and suffering. Thanks for your message I hope you’re doing well. 

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Faustina86

Secular Consecration

Consecrated Life is expressed through the profession of the evangelical counsels. In fact, the way of the evangelical counsels leads to a way of life which allows one to offer one’s being and

Baptismal identity for the service and honour of God. The Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata highlighted the fact that it is a gift of God and that its evangelical foundation lies in the special relationship that Jesus established during his earthly life with some of his disciples, inviting them not only to welcome the Kingdom of God in their life, but also to put themselves at the service of this cause, leaving everything behind them and imitate His way of life. Taking up such a form of life is only possible thanks to a specific vocation and thanks to a particular gift of the Spirit. Therefore, this special sequela of Christ, which always originates as the Father’s initiative, has an essential Christological and Pneumatological characteristic, thus expressing in a most vivid way the Trinitarian character of Christian life, which in some way anticipates the eschatological fulfillment toward which the whole Church tends.

Therefore, secular consecration is a form of Consecrated Life in the full sense. It is in no way something that lies halfway between the religious consecration and the Baptismal consecration. Essentially, Consecrated Life in a Secular Institute is not only an internal consecration to God, but also an external one, coram ecclesia, in an institution approved by the Church. With the profession of the evangelical counsels, lived out daily, the individual members place themselves within history like a seed of new horizons and an anticipation of the communion between God and humanity.

Membership in a Secular Institute, which is approved by a Bishop or the Holy See, entails a choice that involves all the dimensions of human existence, and one which lasts all life (independently from the type of incorporation defined in the Constitutions); it is a commitment to follow Christ, embracing the lifestyle which the Institute prescribes.

A fundamental relationship is established between the Institute and the individual member precisely because the latter’s is not an individual consecration, but a vocation to share and incarnate a charism recognized as an ecclesial good. The Institute is a fraternity which helps its members to live their vocation; it is the place of formation and communion; it provides a concrete help to persevere in one’s vocation. On their part, each consecrated man and woman, by incarnating the rule of life, expresses that vital gift which the Spirit gave to the Church.

 

Consecrated Secularity

It is in the light of the Revelation that the world appears as saeculum: in life, however, there is no such thing as a space for the sacred and another for the profane; a time for God and a time for the small or big events of history. The world and history are a “salvation history”, and therefore, the members of the Institutes live as contemplatives in the world, close to the others, sharing all events with the trust and hope that come from a fundamental relationship with the God of history.

This means that “remaining” in the world is the fruit of a choice, a response to a specific calling: to take up this dimension of ‘staying within’, to be close to the others, and to look upon the world as a theological reality in which the historical and the eschatological dimensions are intertwined. This entails a high degree of that human quality which is so much evoked, that is, the capacity to “co-participate”. A responsible and generous “co-participation”.

-Living within-

Co-participation may be defined by a simpler expression, and this is “knowing how to live within”:

– within the heart: that is, within the whole gamut of affections, sentiments, emotions and reactions which form part of inter-personal relationships and of that cohabitation which is our daily life;

– within the home: knowing about familial problems and suffer because of them, births and deaths; sickness and housing; shopping, relation- ships within an apartment block;

-within the structures:that is,in the difficulties caused by contradictions, in the temptations

of acting against one’s conscience, in the melee of rivalries;

– within the situations: through a continuous commitment to discernment, through the perplexities of choices, the sufferings and lacerations;

– within history: that is, by taking up economic, political and social responsibilities; by being alert to the ‘signs of the times’, by sharing common risks, through the arduous commitment of hope.

Quoted from: 

CONSECRATION AND SECULARITY
Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church regarding the Secular Institutes 2018

Edited by Faustina86

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Faustina86

Magnificat Magazine: Meditation of The Day

March 25th- Solemnity of The Annunciation 

“Be it done to me”

The mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart, above all, when this heart is pure and spotless. The words of Christ are truly words of eternal life, filled with inexhaustible light and fruitfulness. Those of the Blessed Virgin reflect something of this fullness. There is no doubt that her response to the message of the Angel Gabriel is her greatest word. It is the sublime revelation of the Immaculate Heart….

Mary has heard. She believes. She is aware of the mystery which has been revealed to her. All eyes in heaven and on earth are turned in her direction…. Mary senses the expectation of the Archangel, or rather of the God who sent him. She hears the groanings of humanity resounding in her heart, that humanity which is enslaved by sin and burdened with sorrow. Her soul expands with the breath of hope which, for centuries, has given life to her people. She is, as it were, buoyed up by the desires and hopes of all the patriarchs and prophets, but at the same time, astonished at the prospect of such a destiny and its fearsome responsibility….

And Mary answers: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. It is as if she said to God: “I am completely yours; use me for whatever your heart desires.” These are sublime words whose simplicity contains more wisdom than the whole angelic world! It is an act so great and so decisive that its consequences will be endless. Be it done to me according to thy word, the humble Virgin whispers, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And this living Word embodies the grace of redemption and all the sanctity of the Church. It will mean for all people unending union with him in his Father.

Father Joseph-Marie Perrin, o.p.

Father Perrin († 2002) was a French Dominican priest, the founder of the secular institute Caritas Christi, 

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OneHeart
On 3/28/2020 at 10:16 AM, Faustina86 said:

Secular Consecration

Consecrated Life is expressed through the profession of the evangelical counsels. In fact, the way of the evangelical counsels leads to a way of life which allows one to offer one’s being and

Baptismal identity for the service and honour of God. The Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata highlighted the fact that it is a gift of God and that its evangelical foundation lies in the special relationship that Jesus established during his earthly life with some of his disciples, inviting them not only to welcome the Kingdom of God in their life, but also to put themselves at the service of this cause, leaving everything behind them and imitate His way of life. Taking up such a form of life is only possible thanks to a specific vocation and thanks to a particular gift of the Spirit. Therefore, this special sequela of Christ, which always originates as the Father’s initiative, has an essential Christological and Pneumatological characteristic, thus expressing in a most vivid way the Trinitarian character of Christian life, which in some way anticipates the eschatological fulfillment toward which the whole Church tends.

Therefore, secular consecration is a form of Consecrated Life in the full sense. It is in no way something that lies halfway between the religious consecration and the Baptismal consecration. Essentially, Consecrated Life in a Secular Institute is not only an internal consecration to God, but also an external one, coram ecclesia, in an institution approved by the Church. With the profession of the evangelical counsels, lived out daily, the individual members place themselves within history like a seed of new horizons and an anticipation of the communion between God and humanity.

Membership in a Secular Institute, which is approved by a Bishop or the Holy See, entails a choice that involves all the dimensions of human existence, and one which lasts all life (independently from the type of incorporation defined in the Constitutions); it is a commitment to follow Christ, embracing the lifestyle which the Institute prescribes.

A fundamental relationship is established between the Institute and the individual member precisely because the latter’s is not an individual consecration, but a vocation to share and incarnate a charism recognized as an ecclesial good. The Institute is a fraternity which helps its members to live their vocation; it is the place of formation and communion; it provides a concrete help to persevere in one’s vocation. On their part, each consecrated man and woman, by incarnating the rule of life, expresses that vital gift which the Spirit gave to the Church.

 

Consecrated Secularity

It is in the light of the Revelation that the world appears as saeculum: in life, however, there is no such thing as a space for the sacred and another for the profane; a time for God and a time for the small or big events of history. The world and history are a “salvation history”, and therefore, the members of the Institutes live as contemplatives in the world, close to the others, sharing all events with the trust and hope that come from a fundamental relationship with the God of history.

This means that “remaining” in the world is the fruit of a choice, a response to a specific calling: to take up this dimension of ‘staying within’, to be close to the others, and to look upon the world as a theological reality in which the historical and the eschatological dimensions are intertwined. This entails a high degree of that human quality which is so much evoked, that is, the capacity to “co-participate”. A responsible and generous “co-participation”.

-Living within-

Co-participation may be defined by a simpler expression, and this is “knowing how to live within”:

– within the heart: that is, within the whole gamut of affections, sentiments, emotions and reactions which form part of inter-personal relationships and of that cohabitation which is our daily life;

– within the home: knowing about familial problems and suffer because of them, births and deaths; sickness and housing; shopping, relation- ships within an apartment block;

-within the structures:that is,in the difficulties caused by contradictions, in the temptations

of acting against one’s conscience, in the melee of rivalries;

– within the situations: through a continuous commitment to discernment, through the perplexities of choices, the sufferings and lacerations;

– within history: that is, by taking up economic, political and social responsibilities; by being alert to the ‘signs of the times’, by sharing common risks, through the arduous commitment of hope.

Quoted from: 

CONSECRATION AND SECULARITY
Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church regarding the Secular Institutes 2018

If consecration is expressed by profession of the Evangelical council's, and in OCDS one can make a vow to follow the Evangelical council's, then how is this not a consecration, the same as in a secular institute. Indeed, I have even heard the third order referred to as a secular "institution" in the Church. How are these third orders not the original secular institutes? 

I am so confused.  My OCDS president said that "the vows are really no different than the promises" and I wonder if things have gotten so watered down in the third order as to cause confusion. Were these (third order) institutions the old ways that the church offered to people who felt called to consecration but not to religious community,but that that is getting lost in the structure of the Church now? And are "secular Institutes" popping up to fill the need (nature abhors a vacuum) for a secular consecration?

If I make vows in OCDS, how am I not consecrated?

 

This is not simply an academic question. I'm really trying to discern where God is calling me to be. In prayer, I hear the Lord saying "give yourself to me." And "consecration".  That's what I'm trying to follow. I visited a community and we all liked each other and I almost entered, because I concluded that a community is the usual, and sensible, place to become and live consecrated.  But circumstances seem to prevent that now, and I've realized that "community" is something that *I've* added to "consecration" and so maybe that's not what God is saying - it's my own interpretation.  So I'm trying to find "consecrations" without "community".

I think there is OCDS, or third orders, secular institutes, had bring a hermit. The later seems absurd since I have no experience in religious life and that's kinda recommended for someone who wants to be a hermit. Soon left with third orders and secular institutes.

I think the Lord wants me to be consecrated, and live a life of prayer and penance. That's what I'm hearing from prayer.  I'm doing the best I can right now, but where is consecration?  How do I give myself in a concretized way to Him?  That's what He is asking, I think.

And yes, I know I already have baptism, and I also know I can offer myself to Him individually and I do that as best I can on a daily basis.  But I think it needs to be concretized.  Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Concretely.

That's why I'm asking these questions. Thanks.

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beatitude
2 hours ago, OneHeart said:

If consecration is expressed by profession of the Evangelical council's, and in OCDS one can make a vow to follow the Evangelical council's, then how is this not a consecration, the same as in a secular institute. Indeed, I have even heard the third order referred to as a secular "institution" in the Church. How are these third orders not the original secular institutes?

Married people can become members of the OCDS. (Couples are called to live chastely too, which in their case would mean being faithful to their spouses.) Marriage would be their vocation, and membership of the OCDS would be an expression of their spirituality, whereas members of secular institutes have received a call to live in celibacy. The consecrated single life is their vocation.

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Faustina86
23 minutes ago, beatitude said:

Married people can become members of the OCDS. (Couples are called to live chastely too, which in their case would mean being faithful to their spouses.) Marriage would be their vocation, and membership of the OCDS would be an expression of their spirituality, whereas members of secular institutes have received a call to live in celibacy. The consecrated single life is their vocation.

Thank you Beatitude, I think you explained the difference simply and to the point because I can see how can be confusing. 

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Faustina86
4 hours ago, OneHeart said:

If consecration is expressed by profession of the Evangelical council's, and in OCDS one can make a vow to follow the Evangelical council's, then how is this not a consecration, the same as in a secular institute. Indeed, I have even heard the third order referred to as a secular "institution" in the Church. How are these third orders not the original secular institutes? 

I am so confused.  My OCDS president said that "the vows are really no different than the promises" and I wonder if things have gotten so watered down in the third order as to cause confusion. Were these (third order) institutions the old ways that the church offered to people who felt called to consecration but not to religious community,but that that is getting lost in the structure of the Church now? And are "secular Institutes" popping up to fill the need (nature abhors a vacuum) for a secular consecration?

If I make vows in OCDS, how am I not consecrated?

 

This is not simply an academic question. I'm really trying to discern where God is calling me to be. In prayer, I hear the Lord saying "give yourself to me." And "consecration".  That's what I'm trying to follow. I visited a community and we all liked each other and I almost entered, because I concluded that a community is the usual, and sensible, place to become and live consecrated.  But circumstances seem to prevent that now, and I've realized that "community" is something that *I've* added to "consecration" and so maybe that's not what God is saying - it's my own interpretation.  So I'm trying to find "consecrations" without "community".

I think there is OCDS, or third orders, secular institutes, had bring a hermit. The later seems absurd since I have no experience in religious life and that's kinda recommended for someone who wants to be a hermit. Soon left with third orders and secular institutes.

I think the Lord wants me to be consecrated, and live a life of prayer and penance. That's what I'm hearing from prayer.  I'm doing the best I can right now, but where is consecration?  How do I give myself in a concretized way to Him?  That's what He is asking, I think.

And yes, I know I already have baptism, and I also know I can offer myself to Him individually and I do that as best I can on a daily basis.  But I think it needs to be concretized.  Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Concretely.

That's why I'm asking these questions. Thanks.

Hi OneHeart,

You have a lot of good questions and there’s a lot to unpack here, I will try to answer some of this to the best of my ability.

”Were these (third order) institutions the old ways that the church offered to people who felt called to consecration but not to religious community,but that that is getting lost in the structure of the Church now?”

No, to the best of my knowledge “Third Orders” were never never a form of what’s now called “Consecrated Life”. They were a way for the laity to practice a religious spirituality and rule life in their vocation as married or single. It was an “addition” to their already vocation. We are all called to holiness and our vocation is what helps achieve holiness and The Church gives us “means” to grow in holiness. Third Orders are a vocation but they are not a “main” vocation: marriage or religious/Consecrated Life or single life. 

 And are "secular Institutes" popping up to fill the need (nature abhors a vacuum) for a secular consecration?”

Secular Institutes are in themselves their own unique vocation fashioned by Holy Spirit and are not in anyway an updated form of Third Orders. Secular institutes were formally recognized by The Church as form of Consecrated Life in 1947 but their roots go back much further than that- The Company of St. Ursula, founded by St. Angela Merici in 1535- women dedicated to Christ living in the world-papal recognition in 1546. Our purpose as members of Secular Institutes is to sanctify the world within by living in the heart of it among everyone else.

“If I make vows in OCDS, how am I not Consecrated?”

The simplest answer is no because the “promises” made in a Third Order are in spirit of the Evangelical Counsels and not material. Even the “vow” of chastity in OCDS does not change your state in life- you could still could get married one day. Secular institutes although not Religious Institutes do involve a full profession of the evangelical counsels. They make a total donation of self to God in service of The Church and take a vow of celibate-chastity.

I wanted to take the time to type this out and answer some your questions. But it sounds like you have a lot of discerning to do and how you might be called to give yourself totally to God. All forms of Consecrated Life are beautifully unique and none of them are less than each other. I have a genuine respect for consecrated virgins who are the first brides of Christ. And religious who give up normal life to follow a strict self giving life in community. 
 

I suggest you continue researching the different forms and even consider taking a “private” vow if God isn’t calling you to these forms consecrated life. There is a book that talks specifically about “dedicated singleness” which is not a form of consecrated life but it is a vocation, the book is called: “single for a greater purpose”

The quote on the bottom is from an exhortation by St. Pope JPII called “Vita Consecrata” which talks about consecrated life, the different forms and their purpose in the church in the world. If you want to read the full thing here’s the link: http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_25031996_vita-consecrata.html

Secular Institutes:

The Holy Spirit, who wondrously fashions the variety of charisms, has given rise in our time to new expressions of consecrated life, which appear as a providential response to the new needs encountered by the Church today as she carries out her mission in the world.

One thinks in the first place of members of Secular Institutes seeking to live out their consecration to God in the world through the profession of the evangelical counsels in the midst of temporal realities; they wish in this way to be a leaven of wisdom and a witness of grace within cultural, economic and political life. Through their own specific blending of presence in the world and consecration, they seek to make present in society the newness and power of Christ's Kingdom, striving to transfigure the world from within by the power of the Beatitudes. In this way, while they belong completely to God and are thus fully consecrated to his service, their activity in the ordinary life of the world contributes, by the power of the Spirit, to shedding the light of the Gospel on temporal realities. Secular Institutes, each in accordance with its specific nature, thus help to ensure that the Church has an effective presence in society. valuable role is also played by Clerical Secular Institutes, in which priests who belong to the diocesan clergy, even when some of them are recognized as being incardinated in the Institute, consecrate themselves to Christ through the practice of the evangelical counsels in accordance with a specific charism. They discover in the spiritual riches of the Institute to which they belong great help for living more deeply the spirituality proper to the priesthood and thus they are enabled to be a leaven of communion and apostolic generosity among their fellow clergy.

—St. Pope John Paul II: Vita Consecrata 

 

Anyway, praying for your discernment. I hope I at least answered some of your questions. 

Edited by Faustina86

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Faustina86

A Prayer For us All

Lord, I’m not praying for miracles and visions, I’m only asking for strength for my days. Teach me the art of small steps.
Make me clever and resourceful, so that I can find important discoveries and experiences among the diversity of days.
Help me use my time better. Present me with the sense to be able to judge whether something is important or not.
I pray for the power of discipline and moderation, not only to run throughout my life, but also to live my days reasonably, and observe unexpected pleasures and heights.
Save me from the naive belief that everything in life has to go smoothly. Give me the sober recognition that difficulties, failures, fiascos, and setbacks are given to us by life itself to make us grow and mature.
Send me the right person at the right moment, who will have enough courage and love to utter the truth!
I know that many problems solve themselves, so please teach me patience.
You know how much we need friendship. Make me worthy of this nicest, hardest, riskiest and most fragile gift of life.
Give me enough imagination to be able to share with someone a little bit of warmth, in the right place, at the right time, with words or with silence.
Spare me the fear of missing out on life.
Do not give me the things I desire, but the things I need.
Teach me the art of small steps!’
Amen. —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Faustina86

The call of Our Lord inviting us to follow Him may either lead us to withdraw from the world—this is the religious life—or keep us in the midst of the world. This the Secular Institutes do, but they keep us in the world to do Christ’s own work.

Caritas Christi is one of the forms taken by this vocation lived in the world. It is therefore necessary to reflect on the teaching of the Church on this matter in order to realize fully the characteristics, the meaning, and the requirements of such a vocation.

A. The Church declares it to be a state of perfection. She declares, by virtue of her divine authority, that it is a recognized way of life by which her children can attain perfect love.

(a) The covenant by means of which we enter on this way of life means that we are bound by certain special obligations which help us to attain to this perfect love. It means also that we are bound to certain practical expressions of this love.

(b) This covenant must be permanent. Human life is by this means stabilized and made secure in the midst of fluctuations and sudden changes. It is unthinkable that one who truly loves should hesitate to give all and to promise once and for all her whole life. She will wish to deprive herself forever of all possibility of keeping anything for self.

(c) Finally, in order that this way of life should be consecrated by Christ’s authority and by the consent of “several gathered together in His name,” it must have a guarantee of the Church and must fulfill the conditions laid down by her wisdom.

It must be noted that the Church’s guarantee brings with it the guarantee of Our Lord who has given His Church power to bind and to loose in His name, but it must not be forgotten that such a guarantee presupposes faithfulness to the promises made. The Church states infallibly that a certain road is a good one but the actual speed with which we advance depends on the generosity of each one of us traveling along it and on our fidelity in following the directions.

B. A state of perfection in the world. This is the definition given by the Holy Father. Secular Institutes are Societies “whose members, in order to attain Christian perfection and to exercise a full apostolate, profess the evangelical counsels in the world” (Provida Mater, art. I). They are thus living in a state of perfection because in a recognized manner and with the approval of the Church, Christian perfection is sought by living in the world but living for Christ and in the spirit of Christ.

The following year, the Holy Father insisted still more strongly on the nature of Secular Institutes: “. . . this must always be kept in mind that in all of them their special and peculiar character as secular Institutes, which is the whole reason for their existence, be clearly ex-pressed. Nothing is to be subtracted from the full profession of Christian perfection solidly based on the evangelical counsels and in substance truly religious; but this perfection is to be exercised and professed in the world, and therefore in all things which are licit and which can be brought into conformity with the duties and works of that same perfection, it must be adapted to the secular life. The whole life of members of Secular Institutes, sacred to God through the profession of perfection, must be turned toward the apostolate” (Primo Feliciter, art. II).

 

 

 

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Faustina86

 Happy feast day of Saint Catherine of Siena! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10163378804475463&substory_index=0&id=890040462


This feast day is kind of special to Caritas Christi because she is the inspiration of our community: Caritas Christi community was first called The Little Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena
St Catherine of Siena’s life was the inspiration used by the founders of Caritas Christi. What attracted them to this Dominican Saint was her desire to live in the world for the service of the Church. She was chosen by God to offer herself for the Church as well as for all those who would follow her."
The aim of Caritas Christi is to give God contemplative and apostolic Consecrated women in all environments. Their raison d’être is to love God and to make Him loved, abiding in His love.

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Faustina86

Your state of consecrated life is a special gift of the Holy Spirit given to our times to help us, as my Latin American confreres put it at Puebla, "to cope with the tension between objective openness to the values of the modern world (the authentic secular Christian attitude) and the complete and unreserved gift of the heart to God (spirit of consecration)" (cf. Final Document of the Puebla Assembly, n. 775). You actually live in the thick of the fight, the conflict which stirs and sunders men's souls today. That is why you can give "a really helping hand in forward looking pastoral work. You can open new roads, roads which are right for all men and women of the people of God throughout the world" 
As members of Secular Institutes you want truly to be his disciples by means of a commitment which goes to the very roots, the following of the evangelical counsels. It requires more of you. Your commitment in the world and for the world, which goes with your secular condition, is steady and permanent. Let this sink in. The special consecration which brings the consecration of your baptism and confirmation to the full height of potentiality, must impregnate your whole life and all your daily activities. It must create in you a complete availability to the will of the Father who has placed you in the world for the world. In this way your consecration will become a kind of interior touchstone for your secular life.
"They should make a total dedication of themselves to God in perfect charity their chief aim, and the Institutes themselves should preserve their own proper, i.e. secular character, so that they may be able to carry out effectively everywhere in and, as it were, from the world the apostolate for which they were founded" (Perfectae caritatis).
Dear sons and daughters, your field of action is, as you can see for yourselves, really vast. The Church expects a great deal of you. The Church needs your witness in giving to the world, hungering, whether consciously or not, after God's Word, the "tidings of great joy", the news that every truly human aspiration can find fulfillment in Jesus Christ. You must learn to rise to the occasion, the opportunities that Divine Providence is offering to you in these days, as the second millenium of Christianity draws to a close.
To change the world from the inside: Discourse to the 2nd International Congress of Secular Institutes. John Paul II 8/28/1980

Edited by Faustina86

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Anastasia
On 4/30/2020 at 5:04 AM, Faustina86 said:

St Catherine of Siena’s life was the inspiration used by the founders of Caritas Christi. What attracted them to this Dominican Saint was her desire to live in the world for the service of the Church. She was chosen by God to offer herself for the Church as well as for all those who would follow her."

Well, she was a consecrated (vowed) virgin as well. When I read the website of Caritas Christi I could not see how being its member is different from being a consecrated virgin - I am speaking broadly, living the physical virginity aside. 

Faustina86

I very much would like to learn how Caritas Christi supports its members - spiritually. I understand that you have a yearly retreat but apart from that anything else? There are so many institutions, Orders etc but, in my experience at least, what truly counts is the sense that one is walking with others who can provide support in difficult times.

Also, is there a rule to follow? (like in Carmel)

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Faustina86
On 5/31/2020 at 2:55 AM, Anastasia said:

Well, she was a consecrated (vowed) virgin as well. When I read the website of Caritas Christi I could not see how being its member is different from being a consecrated virgin - I am speaking broadly, living the physical virginity aside. 

Faustina86

I very much would like to learn how Caritas Christi supports its members - spiritually. I understand that you have a yearly retreat but apart from that anything else? There are so many institutions, Orders etc but, in my experience at least, what truly counts is the sense that one is walking with others who can provide support in difficult times.

Also, is there a rule to follow? (like in Carmel)

Everything I’ve read on Saint Catherine of Siena mentions she “vowed” Virginity (like a private vow)  but was not technically a “Consecrated” Virgin as we know them to be today but that is splitting hairs.
 

So what makes Caritas Christi different than a consecrated virgin, is that a consecrated virgin, the consecration is given to them they don’t technically make a profession of the evangelical counsels. Where as CC members Vow celibate chastity and promise of Obedience and poverty. We also have our own constitutions like any religious order and they are called “Life and Spirit” which we promise to follow. And yes we have fraternity through yearly retreats. But we also use modern technology to stay Interconnected with each other. Depending on where there are members, because we are international, members may meet more regularly. In the US back in the day we used to have whats called diocesan groups and they would meet regularly as a community but because now  we’re all spread out across the states we don’t have diocesan groups anymore. So modern technology helps us stay connected with each other regularly. We have a General Council and a National Council. The General Council oversees the entire community and the National Council oversees the local community. They are the ones that make decisions for the community. We have what you would call a newsletter that comes out every few months about what’s happening all across the world with our community we have “bulletins” that is basically our formation Text and we have a personal sponsor that walks with us in our journey and helps formate us. We also receive our constitutions and books written by our founders to help us on our journey in our vocation. I don’t know if this answers your question, sorry it took me so long to respond I wasn’t notified that anyone posted. 

Edited by Faustina86

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