Who Are We?
We are a sign of the Church that loves to be among the people! Members of secular institutes are “in the world and not of the world, but for the world.” We live in whatever providential circumstances God gives us, but we wholly consecrate our lives to God through the evangelical counsels of poverty, obedience, and celibate-chastity. We are the newest vocation in the Catholic Church, and many say we are the vocation of the new millennium. Each secular institute bears the unique charism of its founders and traditions, and each celebrates its “communion” by annual retreats, meetings, common daily prayer, and friendships that evolve quite naturally from living a similar life in God despite differences in profession or work in the world. A web of connectedness grows over time, linking the members to one another inextricably. For all consecrated seculars, the vocation undergirds all they undertake because it becomes the essence of what they are in God’s eye.
What Is Secular Consecration?
On February 2, 1947, Pope Pius XII gave official approval to secular institutes as an original form of consecrated life within the Catholic Church. Members have the special mission “to work for the sanctification of the world from within” (Provida Mater Ecclesia).
Members of secular institutes belong to consecrated life. They profess a life of poverty, chastity and obedience, the evangelical counsels, so named because Jesus gave us this advice for happiness in the Gospels.
Poverty: means that we do not rely on material possessions for our happiness, but trust in God to provide what we need. We free ourselves from the excess baggage of worrying about accumulating money or possessions.
Chastity: is built on love, respect and concern for everyone we encounter. We are free from the exclusive love that marriage requires so that we can share our love more fully with many people.
Obedience: requires that we be available to do whatever God may ask of us. Obedience frees us from personal ambition.
Everyone should follow this advice, but consecrated persons make public promises to God and the Church to make this their full time career. Their main ministry is not a job; their main ministry is love
Members of secular institutes: where are they?
They are in the marketplace, tilling a field, in the home anywhere, everywhere who live fully for Christ. They are the heartbeat of the Church in everyday life. Consecrated seculars live like their co-workers, but their hearts belong first to the Lord who called them to total commitment and who sustains them in their jobs where they bring their love of the Lord to others.
How To Discern My Vocation?
- PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!
- Seek guidance from a Spiritual Director
- Participate frequently in the Sacraments
- Talk to men and women in Consecrated Life
- Check out our directory and learn more about our institutes
Discerning our vocation is about journeying together with God. Allowing the one who loved us first to speak in the depths of our heart.