United States Conference of Secular institutes

2017 Fall Mountaineer

Secular Institutes

Dear Friends,
Our annual meeting of USCSI was a wonderful weekend of support and
sharing among our secular institute members. I think we were all in awe of
the richness of the charisms of our respective founders and foundresses and
amazed at the diversity of the inspirations from the Holy Spirit.
The choice of the theme The Charism of Secular Institutes as Seen
through the Eyes of Our Founders was influenced by the 70th
anniversary of Provida Mater Ecclesia which set the stage for the approval of
secular institutes in the Church, and the recent publication of a document
on the identity of secular institutes by the Congregation for Consecrated
Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Through the lens of each founder’s charism we looked at the uniqueness of
our institutes as is expressed in each one’s mission and lifestyle. It was
fascinating to hear of the various situations that set the stage for each
institute to be birthed. The presentations and discussions were also an
invitation to understand our own founders better and to be able to
articulate what makes our institute unique and needed in today’s world.
As we work to make the vocation of secular institutes more widely known
and accepted in the Church, it is imperative that we have the broad view of
how secularity is expressed in institutes other than our own. We need all
forms of secular institutes to enrich the Church. One way is not sufficient.
Our institutes reflect the pluralism of our culture and openness to the needs
of the time. Today we also find numerous crises in society that urge us to
consecrate the world to God. This is our task, to lift the world up to God.
We are called to give other laypersons an example but also to draw down
grace upon the world to answer the crying needs.
May Mary, our Mother, bless each of you richly during this month dedicated
to her rosary and the 100th anniversary of the miracle of the sun at Fatima.
May she work miracles for you today.
Marcia Vinje

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