Secular Institutes Directory
For: Women | Founded: 1947 | Purpose: Apostolic Holiness
Founded: Rome, Italy, 1947; established in the U.S., 1962; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right Dec. 8, 1994.
Purpose: To promote the universal call to holiness through the specific apostolate of the Pro Sanctity Movement.
45-30 195th St
Flushing NY 11358
For: Women | Founded: 1937 |
Purpose: Contemplative Apostolic Laywomen
Founded: Originated in Marseilles, 1937. Established as a secular institute of pontifical right Mar. 19, 1955.
Purpose: To form and give to the Church women who strive to love God and make him loved where he has placed them in the midst of the world.
7 Graham Place
Rockaway Point NY 11697-1904
For: Women | Founded: 1535 |
Purpose: living Christ’s love in the world
COMPANY OF ST. URSULA
Founded: Brescia, Italy, 1535, by Angela Merici; an international federation linking most Companies was approved as a secular institute, 1958; began in the U.S. in 2000.
Purpose: By life-long promises, members commit to share God’s love for the world, making Christ better known, and infusing the spirit of the Gospel into our surroundings.
3021 Fairfield Apt B9
Cincinnati OH 45206-1452
For: women | Founded: 1964 |
Purpose: personal sanctification, parish apostolates
DE SALES SECULAR INSTITUTE
Founded: In Vienna, Austria, 1947; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, 1964.
Purpose: The personal sanctification of its members living in the world according to the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales and the application of this spirituality in institute, missionary, parish, and community apostolates depending on our different life situations.
2021 Woodcrest Rd
Indianapolis IN 46227
For: women | Founded: 1978 |
Purpose: a variety of apostolates
DON BOSCO VOLUNTEERS
Founded: 1917 by Bl. Philip Rinaldi; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, Aug. 5, 1978.
Purpose: Following the charism of St. John Bosco, in an effort to renew society from within, members bring their talents to a variety of apostolates, particularly on behalf of the youth.
DON BOSCO VOLUNTEERS
P.O. BOX 334H
SCARSDALE, NY 10583
The Don Bosco Volunteers is a secular institute for women who love Don Bosco’s spirit and choose to follow in his footsteps for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. In the19th century St. John Bosco had already envisioned a novel type of consecrated life for “extern” Salesians living in the world. Historically the Don Bosco Volunteers were founded as a lay association in 1917 by the Blessed Philip Rinaldi, Don Bosco’s third successor as Rector Major of the worldwide Salesian Family. After the Church’s approval of Secular Institutes in 1947, the Don Bosco Volunteers prepared a new text of their Constitutions, in accordance with new papal documents (1956). On January 31, 1971, the Cardinal of Turin established the Don Bosco Volunteers as a Secular Institute under diocesan law.
Approved by Paul VI on July 21, 1978, the Don Bosco Volunteers became a Secular Institute of Pontifical Right on August 5, 1978, the day before the Holy Father died.
The Volunteers will always remember this great Pope for the encouragement he gave to our Institute; his memorable words shall always be inscribed in the hearts of its members:
In witness of the perennial, springlike vitality of the Church, especially in these days … for the new blossoming of the new kingdom of God we salute, we encourage, we bless the Don Bosco Volunteers…”
Pope Paul VI
Who Are They?
The Don Bosco Volunteers (DBV) are consecrated women who live in the world, dress like other women, work among others; they carry on a quiet and steady mission of making Christ and His message known through the witness of their personal lives and apostolic response to the needs of the hour. More than 1300 consecrated persons are members of this secular institute worldwide. Following the plan of holiness outlined in their rule, the DBVs receive spiritual direction and encouragement from Salesian Priests, who support them in their efforts toward personal holiness and apostolic activity.
Where Are They?
The Volunteers are scattered throughout the world. You will find them in different countries and in diverse cultures. They are in countries throughout Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia, the Philippines, Central and South American, the United States, Canada and among the African nations.
How Are They Organized?
The Volunteers are a part of the Salesian Family which comprises Priests, Brothers, Sisters, Cooperators, alumni; hence, the DBVs have great moral and spiritual assistance in their consecrated life. The Secular Institute itself is governed by a president general and her council, all duly elected. Their headquarters are in Rome. Constant communication is maintained by monthly letters which contain notes on spirituality, in addition to news coming from all areas of the globe where members are engaged in apostolic endeavors.
What Is Their Mission?
The Volunteers are committed to apostolic activity either in their own environment, or in the service of the local church, or within the Salesian family. Simply, the Don Bosco Volunteers brings Christ with them wherever they are.
The Apostolate of one’s environment is lived by aiming to reconsecrate earthly realities: “to restore all things in Christ.” It is in the workday world more than in any other environment that the Volunteer is able to represent the Church and its teachings, especially in the areas of social justice and peace. The DBVs can be found in diverse roles: executives, office managers, nurses, teachers, ordinary laborers, social workers, etc. Simply, their mission is to bring Christ with them where they are.
2. Local Church:
The call to build up the Body of Christ in one’s own parish is very important, and for those who are called to this vital and sensitive area, their response takes on a pastoral, community-oriented character. The DBVs become members of parish and diocesan councils. Many become involved in religious education, liturgical committees, charitable organizations. Others look after the sick of the parish and become ministers of the Eucharist. Still others give themselves to the development of youth organizations and senior citizen’s clubs.
3. Salesian Family:
The Apostolate in the Salesian family finds its fulfillment in schools, parishes, youth centers, Savio clubs, vocation clubs, missionary activities. Possibilities for apostolic work in our Family are very numerous. The decline in the number of other religious vocations makes it necessary to invite generous souls to come to our aid, especially in our work with young people.
To Become A Volunteer
Single, unmarried women who feel called to this style of consecrated life can apply to become members. Potential candidates must also possess the psychological and emotional maturity needed for apostolic mission as consecrated women. Likewise, they must be financially self-supporting.
Women aspiring to enter this Institute must undergo a period of preparation called the “aspirantate.” While attending to the refinement and development of their human qualities and to growth in their spiritual life, they are also trained for the consecrated and apostolic life in the Salesian spirit, according to the teachings and example of St. John Bosco.
After the preliminary formation, members consecrate themselves by the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. As full- fledged Volunteers, they continue to complete their formation in a three year period; during this time they become more fully involved in the life of the Institute. The initial consecration is temporary for the first six years; then the Volunteers are free to commit themselves for life or to wait another three years before making a perpetual commitment.
One of the features of the Don Bosco Volunteers is a spirit of reserve; they do not wear a particular habit nor carry any distinctive insignias; they even prefer not to be known, in the places where they live and work, as being consecrated women. “It is not,” explains the current president of the Don Bosco Volunteers, “simply a desire to have an easy way out or to avoid the commitment of an authentic witness to the Gospel. The reserve is dedicated by the fact that if people with whom the Volunteer lives and works should identify her as a consecrated person, they would feel that her response to any question is conditioned by her life-style.” It is a fact that the priest, for example, hears people tell him at times: You’re saying this or doing this because you’re a priest. “The effectiveness of our witness would be radically undermined,” explains the president.
Don Bosco Volunteers
The Volunteers claim their Salesian character, of course, by the very name of their institute. “The Volunteer describes herself before the Church and the world as a spiritual daughter of Don Bosco and as a witness of his charism,” as we read in their Constitutions. And the Institute is recognized — along with its necessary distinction and autonomy — as part of the worldwide Salesian Family. Therefore, its style is Salesian: “The Volunteer intends to live her entire mission in the spirit and in the style of Don Bosco.”
The Volunteers work with the young people, particularly the poor and the needy; likewise, they labor on behalf of the working classes, and seek to foster vocations for home and foreign missions. If they wish, the Volunteers may offer their services to the Salesians in foreign lands.
“Come, Follow Me”
Prospective candidates will do well to reflect on some of the advantages of joining the Don Bosco Volunteers: a wide variety of apostolates as Christian leaven in the great mass of secular society, the assurance of regular spiritual direction and a sounding board from outside one’s immediate environment, deep personal friendships with persons of similar convictions, mutual support fostered by monthly recollection days and yearly retreats geared to people having the same ideals, the graces proper of those who are faithful to their profession of the evangelical counsels.
Family of Mary of
the Visitation (FMV)
For: Women | Founded: 1976 |
Purpose: help people protect their faith
FAMILY OF MARY OF THE VISITATION
Founded: Saigon, Vietnam, 1976; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, 1993.
Purpose: As faith-filled vowed women, help people to protect their faith and meet social needs, with a preferential option for the poor.
Maria Do Thi Lien
615 S Euclid St. # I-2
Santa Anna CA 92704
For: women | Founded: 1964 |
Purpose: Evangelization, veneration of Mary
FR KOLBE MISSIONARIES OF THE IMMACULATA
Founded: Bologna, Italy, in 1954, by Fr. Luigi Faccenda, OFM Conv; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, Mar. 25, 1992.
Purpose: Live the fullness of baptismal consecration, strive for perfect charity and promote the knowledge and veneration of Mary.
531 E Merced Ave
West Covina CA 91790
Institute of the Heart of Jesus
For: women | Founded: 1791 |
Purpose: live Gospel radically
INSTITUTE OF THE HEART OF JESUS
Founded: Foundation stems from the Institute of the Heart for laywomen, founded in France in 1791. Approved as secular institute of pontifical right on April 4, 1999.
Purpose: Single women or widows consecrate themselves to God through the evangelical vows, prolonged prayer, mutual support in regular gatherings for discernment and accountability. Formation is fundamentally Ignatian but members may embrace spiritualities of other Catholic traditions.
PO Box 501
Conception, MO 64433
Madonna della Strada/
Our Lady of the Way
For: women | Founded: 1936 |
Purpose: Christianize secular world
MADONNA DELLA STRADA / OUR LADY OF THE WAY
Founded: In Vienna, Austria, 1936; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, 1953.
Purpose: Members pursue individual apostolates, seeking to manifest Christ in life and work with Mary and St. Ignatius in the spirit of thanksgiving with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Mary Ann Tady
12750 North Star Drive
North Royalton, Ohio 44133
Mission of Our Lady of Bethany
For: women | Founded: 1948 |
Purpose: love the rejected
MISSION OF OUR LADY OF BETHANY
Founded: In Plesis-Chenet, France in 1948; approved as a secular institute of diocesan right in 1965.
Purpose: To bring the mystery of redemptive love to the most rejected of society – the imprisoned and the prostitute – in a true fraternity of love and hope to help the Church to build the kingdom of Christ.
109 Rollins Rd
Nottingham, NH 03290
For: women | Founded: 1919 |
Purpose: witness Gospel values
MISSIONARIES OF THE KINGSHIP OF CHRIST
Founded: Founded in Assisi, Italy, 1919, by Agostino Gemelli and Armida Barelli as a Franciscan secular institute for women; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, 1948.
Purpose: To give witness to Gospel values in work, family, civic, social, and spiritual environments in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.
435 W 57th St Apt 16N
New York NY 10019-1748
Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate
For: women | Founded: 1952 |
Purpose: live charity of Christ
OBLATE MISSIONARIES OF MARY IMMACULATE
Founded: In Canada, July 2, 1952; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right on March 24,1984.
Charism: A constant availability to the Will of the Father to live the charity of Christ everywhere through service, with the help of Mary.
Mission: Like Christ, to manifest the unconditional love of God the Father to everyone by revealing the signs of his presence at the heart of daily life.
Identity: Women who remain in their milieu while continuing to exercise their trade, their profession; who are consecrated laypersons, in the service of the mission, here or elsewhere; of various cultures.
56 Brookfield St
Lawrence, MA 01843
Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
For: women | Founded: 1926 |
Purpose: Marian, renewal of society
SCHOENSTATT SISTERS OF MARY
Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary International Website
Founded: In Germany, Oct. 1, 1926, by Fr. Joseph Kentenich; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, May 20, 1948.
Purpose: For the moral and religious renewal of society, to be Mary for our world today. Members practice a Marian spirituality as a means of growing in love for God and consecrating the world to him.
W284N404 Cherry Ln
Waukesha, WI 53188
Servite Secular Institute
For: women | Founded: 1947 |
Purpose: contemplation and service
SERVITE SECULAR INSTITUTE
Single or Widowed Women
Founded: 1947, by Joan Bartlett, OBE, in London, England; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, 1979.
Purpose: To be genuine leaven in the world for strengthening and enlarging Christ’s body by contemplation and service in kindness, compassion, and hospitality.
44 Stirling Ave
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 1P8 Canada
For: Priests| Founded: 1920 |
Purpose: sanctification of professional work
COMPANY OF ST. PAUL
Lay People and Priests
Founded: Milan, Italy, 1920; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, June 30, 1950.
Purpose: To practice the evangelical counsels as an expression of consecration to God. Professional work becomes the main means of the apostolate.
Fr. Stuart Sandberg
52 Davis Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Institute of the Heart of Jesus
For: priests | Founded: 1791 |
Purpose: diocesan priestly life
INSTITUTE OF THE HEART OF JESUS
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Founded: By a Jesuit priest in Paris, France, 1791; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, Feb 2, 1952.
Purpose: For diocesan priests who wish to pursue holiness through the evangelical vows, prolonged prayer, and fraternal support. Formation is fundamentally Ignatian but priests may embrace spiritualities of other Catholic traditions.
Fr. Enrique Sera
1964 Orange Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Opus Spiritus Sanci
For: priests – deacons | Founded: 1950 |
Purpose: for a New Pentecost
OPUS SPIRITUS SANCTI
Founded: In Germany in 1950; approved as a secular institute of diocesan right, April 1970.
Purpose: To live our charism in fraternal community, stamped by the character of the Easter-Pentecost event. Priests work and pray for a new Pentecost through lives shared with one another, by our hope-filled vision, reconciling love, and missionary zeal.
Fr. Dan Guenther
PO Box 658
Cherokee IA 51012
For: priests | Founded: 1965 |
Purpose: to promote Schoenstatt
Founded: In 1965, but with roots back to Oct. 18, 1914, founding day of the Schoenstatt Movement by Fr. Joseph Kentenich; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, June 24, 1988.
Purpose: To serve the needs of the Schoenstatt Family in all their different communities, promoting and cultivating Schoenstatt’s original spirituality with priestly inspiration and guidance.
Fr. Patricio Rodriguez
225 Addie Roy Rd
Austin, TX 78746
For: priest, men, married couples | Founded: 1958 |
Purpose: serve the Church everywhere
VOLUNTAS DEI INSTITUTE
Priests, Laymen, Married Couples
Founded: In Trois-Rivieres, Canada, on July 2, 1958, by Fr. Louis-Marie Parent, OMI; approved as a secular institute of pontifical right, 1987.
Purpose: Members share in the Church’s mission that has been sent by Christ to make known and to communicate to all peoples God’s unconditional love.
Father Anthony Ciorra
244 Fifth Ave, Suite P250
New York, NY 10001
For: men | Founded: 1940 |
Purpose: serves particular apostolate of institute
Priests and Single Laymen
Associate members are priests, single lay men and women, and married couples
Founded: Founded in New Hampshire, 1939; approved in Quebec, Canada, as a secular institute of diocesan right, 1959.
Purpose: Totally dedicated to the evangelization of the working class by our presence in the world through apostolic works and bringing the Gospel to all.
Fr. Marcel Caron
27 Cove St
Goffstown, NH 03045
The Community of St. John
For: men | Founded: 1945 |
Purpose: Remaining with Christ at the heart of the world
The Community of St John
For: Men Founded: 1945
Purpose: Remaining with Christ at the heart of the world.
Dr William Schmitt
465 Langen Rd
Lancaster MA 01523
For: men | Founded: 1960 |
Purpose: formation of young people
Founded: 1947 in Madrid, Spain; approved as a secular institute of diocesan right, 1988.
Purpose: To focus on the formation of young people toward integrating the spiritual with the secular through application of Ignatian spiritual exercises with Marian devotion.
2001 Great Falls Street
McLean, VA 22101
Biography of the Founder:
Fr. Tomás Morales was born in Macuto, Venezuela on October 30, 1908. He studied at the school of the Jesuit Fathers in Chamartin (Madrid) and later, Law in the Central University of Madrid,coming first in his class. He actively lived the reality of university life at that time as President of the Catholic Students. He did his doctorate in Bologna, Italy, receiving the Victor Manuel II award. At the age of 23 he entered the Company of Jesus in Chevetogne, Belgium and was ordained on May 13, 1942.
In 1946, he returned to Madrid, where he began an intensive apostolate among workers. With them he founded the Home of the Worker, an apostolic movement of great vitality, which set in motion a number of social projects.
His fundamental vocation, where he put all his energies and his radical capacity for dedication, was working to reach the fully responsible incorporation of the laity into the evangelical mission of the Church. A fruit of his labor in this field was his most important work: the foundation of the Secular Institutes of the Crusade of Mary; the movement for married couples, Homes of Mary; and the apostolic youth movement, Militia of Mary. His experiences and educative approaches appear clearly in his books: Forge of Men – concrete points to direct the formation of apostles and movements of committed laity -, Laity on the Move – a series of encouraging principles to promote the apostolic action of the laity-, Hour of the Laity, reflections on the potential strength of the laity and on the greatness of the lay Christian vocation consecrated in Baptism.
Lately, as well as other spiritual writings, intended for the members of the institutes that he founded, he wrote Sketches of Witnesses to Christ for Modern Times, the lives of relevant saints, collected in twelve volumes, one for each month of the year.
God granted him a rich variety of human, moral and spiritual qualities; a very firm will; bravery and freedom; a capacity for hard work; intellectual capabilities and a great sensitivity; love for the individual man and for nature. Intrepid, in the beginning he took on the works founded on the supernatural virtues of faith, love of the Pope, of the Church, of Our lady, of prayer. From here sprung his appreciation and links with contemplative orders, especially with the Carmelites, and the notable number of vocations to this form of life which the Holy Spirit raised up through him.
His life has been a full and intense one, a life of total commitment to increasing and untiring apostolic work. Now, still present in another form, let us be more sensitive to his ideas and teachings, especially those of us who have seen his example.
Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute
For: women | Founded: 1950 |
Purpose: preserve the Faith
BLESSED TRINITY MISSIONARY INSTITUTE
Founded: Philadelphia, 1950, by Dr. Margaret Healy, according to the inspiration of Fr. Thomas Augustine Judge, CM; approved as a pious union, 1964.
Purpose: To preserve the faith among people who are spiritually neglected and to develop a missionary spirit in the laity.
Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute
Urb. Villa Aida A4
Cabo Rojo PR 11355
Franciscan Missionaries of Jesus Crucified
For: women/men | Founded: 1987 |
Purpose: life of holiness for persons with disabilities
FRANCISCAN MISSIONARIES OF JESUS CRUCIFIED
Founded: In 1987, in New York by Louise Principe; approved as an association of the faithful, 1992.
Purpose: To provide an opportunity for persons with disabilities, to live a life of total consecration in the pursuit of holiness, and the apostolate of service to the Church and to those who suffer in any way.
5717 Field Brook Dr
East Amherst NY 14051-258
Institute of the Heart of Jesus
For: men | Founded: 1791 |
Purpose: consecrate to God through evangelical vows, prayer, and fraternal discernment accountability
INSTITUTE OF THE HEART OF JESUS
Single Men and Widowers
Founded: By a Jesuit priest in Paris, France, 1791. The group was erected as an association of the faithful of diocesan right by Bp. William Weigand in 2008.
Purpose: For single men and widowers who consecrate themselves to God through the evangelical vows, prolonged prayer, and fraternal discernment accountability. Fundamentally formation is Ignatian but members may embrace other Catholic spiritualities.
6135 Verner Ave
Sacramento, CA 95841
Volunteers with Don Bosco
For: men | Founded: 1994 |
Purpose: in the spirit of St. John Bosco
VOLUNTEERS WITH DON BOSCO
Founded: In 1994, in Rome by Fr. Egidio Viganò, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco; approved in 1998 as an association of the faithful aspiring to become a secular institute.
Purpose: Drawing inspiration from the charism of St. John Bosco, members strive to imitate his pastoral style and follow Christ radically through consecration in secular life. Their aim is to build a better society following the Gospel and living the Salesian spirit.
Fr. John Puntino, S.D.B.
2851 Salesian Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804-1025
(510) 234-4433 x1511