The Catholic Church established this form of consecrated life in 1947 for people who wish to combine the contemplative and the apostolic life while living in the world. Secular institutes provide members with a community of like-minded people who put God first in their lives and everything else second.
Is it solely for priests, solely for sisters, solely for brothers? Is holiness meant for a rare, select few who “leave the world”… for those who find the society in which we live too absorbing to consider realities beyond the daily grind? The call to holiness is for all — here and now and everywhere: young and elderly, single and married, women and men.
We are a sign of a Church that loves to be among the people! We are at the center of the conflict that disturbs and divides the modern soul. We are a sign of a Church that is the friend of people and can offer comfort in every kind of affliction. We are ready to support all true progress in human life, but at the same time unyielding towards every choice of death, violence, deceit, and injustice.
Welcome! Have you ever had moments in prayer which give you the sense that God is leading you, asking you to reach higher, times when you felt you can offer more? Ours is “a life that is focused on the Beatitudes, that contradicts human logic to express unconditional trust in God, who wants human beings to be happy,” as Pope Benedict XVI wrote.
“At the heart of the Church with the heart of God “– this is how Pope Francis describes members of secular institutes. We are lay persons or clergy who live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the world and for the world. While all people are called to holiness, we members of secular institutes make this our main profession as the Lord becomes the focus of our daily lives. We witness to Catholic Christian values by our way of life and love. We commit ourselves to a specific spirituality and life style together with other members of our institutes through a sacred bond accepted by the Church.
The exterior circumstances of our lives vary – some live alone or with their family, others live in a common house with other institute members. Some are known as belonging to consecrated life and others are anonymous. But always, imbued by the Holy Spirit we attempt to bring Christ into the midst of the world in order to lift the world into the heart of the Father.
Consecration, secularity, and mission are the words that define our call: Belonging to God and reaching out to our neighbors, for the sake of sanctifying the world. St John Paul II wrote, “The Church also needs you to give completeness to her mission. Be seeds of holiness scattered by the handful in the furrows of history.”
President of USCSI