The Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, lists the international associations of the faithful in the Catholic Church that have been granted official recognition.It gives the official name, acronym, date of establishment, history, identity, organization, membership, works, publications, and website of the communities and movements.
The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life is a dicastery of the Roman Curia. Pope Francis announced its creation on 15 August 2016, effective 1 September 2016. It takes over the functions and responsibilities of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family. It has responsibility "for the promotion of the life and apostolate of the lay faithful, for the pastoral care of the family and its mission according to God's plan and for the protection and support of human life." The statutes governing this new body had been approved on 4 June 2016. A revised statue was published on 8 May 2018, effective 13 May. It added to its mission promoting "ecclesial reflection on the identity and mission of women in the church and in society, promoting their participation"; specified two undersecretaries instead of two and no longer required organization into three divisions; and both developing "guidelines for training programs for engaged couples preparing for marriage, and for young married couples" and guiding the care of couples in unorthodox marital situations.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Recognition of similar national associations as Catholic is granted by the country's Episcopal Conference, and it is for the local bishop to grant recognition to local associations.
The following is a list of the international associations that have received recognition, according to the Vatican website, which provides linked descriptions of each organization:
The Catholic Integrated Community (CIC) is an apostolic community within the Roman Catholic Church according to Decree Apostolicam actuositatem No. 18/19 of the Second Vatican Council. It is recognized by the church in several dioceses in Germany, Austria, Italy and Tanzania, and is canonically established by the respective local bishops.
The Christian Life Movement is a lay ecclesial movement, founded in 1985, in Peru. At that time, a number of initiatives from members of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae had already begun. Luis Fernando Figari, the Founder of the Sodalitium, conceived the idea of gathering those people and initiatives together in an ecclesiastic movement. The Christian Life Movement forms part of the Sodalit Family, which shares a common spirituality, called the Sodalit spirituality.
The Couples for Christ is an international Catholic lay ecclesial movement whose goal is to renew and strengthen Christian values. It is one of 123 International Associations of the Faithful. The organization is affiliated with the Vatican recognition from the Pontifical Council for the Laity. It is led by an International Council, which operates in the Philippines under the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines and can report directly to the Vatican. The community is made up of family ministries, social arms, and a pro-life ministry.
Although not yet included in the latest available edition of the Directory, the Neocatechumenal Way received its definitive approval from the Pontifical Council for the Laity on 11 May 2008.
The Neocatechumenal Way, also known as the Neocatechumenate, NCW or, colloquially, The Way, is a charism within the Catholic Church dedicated to Christian formation. It was formed in Madrid in 1964 by Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández.
Apostolicam Actuositatem is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. It was approved by a vote of 2,340 to 2 of bishops assembled at the Council, and promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 18 November 1965. The title is Latin for "Apostolic Activity", which is from the first line of the decree, as is customary with significant Catholic documents. The purpose of the document was to encourage and guide lay Catholics in their Christian service. In this decree the Council sought to describe the nature, character, and diversity of the lay apostolate, to state its basic principles, and to give pastoral directives for its more effective exercise. The specific objectives of lay ministry are: evangelization and sanctification, renewal of the temporal order, and charitable works and social aid. The decree quotes Colossians 3:17: "Whatever you do in word or work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him".
A pastoral council is a consultative body in dioceses and parishes of the Roman Catholic Church that serves to advise the parish priest or bishop about pastoral issues. The council's main purpose is to investigate, reflect and reach conclusions about pastoral matters to recommend to the parish priest or bishop as appropriate.
The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is a Roman Catholic Marian Movement founded in Germany in 1914 by Father Joseph Kentenich. Fr. Kentenich saw the movement as a means of spiritual renewal for the Catholic Church. The movement is named Schoenstatt, after a small village close to the town of Vallendar near Koblenz in Germany.
The Legion of Mary is an international association of members of the Roman Catholic Church who serve it on a voluntary basis. It was founded in Dublin, as a Roman Catholic Marian Movement by the layman and civil servant Frank Duff.
Lay ecclesial ministry is the term adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to identify the relatively new category of pastoral ministers in the Catholic Church who serve the Church but are not ordained. Lay ecclesial ministers are coworkers with the bishop alongside priests and deacons. In other contexts, these may be known as "lay pastoral workers", "pastoral assistants", etc.
The International Union of the Guides and Scouts of Europe - Federation of Scouts of Europe is a traditional faith-based Scouting organization with 20 member associations in 17 European countries and also in North America, serving roughly 65,000 members. The organization, headquartered in France, was founded in 1956 by a group of German and French Roman Catholic Scoutmasters as a faith-based Scouting movement, in order to reconcile the European peoples in the aftermath of the Second World War.
The lay apostolate is made up from laypeople and consecrated religious who exercise a ministry within the Catholic Church. Lay apostolate organizations cooperate with ecclesiastical authorities. They operate "under direction of her pastors" but are not members of the official Church hierarchy nor in Holy Orders. Apostolates operate with the permission of the local Ordinary of a Diocese, but often without material support. In many cases, where the priests are unable to function in specialized situations, like dealing with computer technology, medical care, or broadcast equipment, a lay apostolate may be formed to provide those specialized technical skills.
In the Roman Catholic Church, a secular institute is an organization of individuals who are consecrated persons and live in the world, unlike members of a religious institute, who live in community. It is one of the forms of consecrated life recognized in Church law.
A secular institute is an institute of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful living in the world strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world especially from within.
In the Catholic Church, an association of the Christian faithful or simply association of the faithful is a group of baptized persons, clerics or laity or both together, who according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law jointly foster a more perfect life or promote public worship or Christian teaching, or who devote themselves to other works of the apostolate. These associations are not necessarily established or even praised or recommended by the Church authorities.
This a list of organisations covering Catholic laity. It aims to list ecclesial movements of unspecified standing. For international Catholic movements that have received official approval by the Catholic Church, see Directory of International Associations of the Faithful.
An apostolate is a Christian organization "directed to serving and evangelizing the world", most often associated with the Anglican Communion or the Catholic Church. In more general usage, an apostolate is an association of persons dedicated to the propagation of a religion or a doctrine. The word apostolate comes from the Greek word apostello, which means to "send forth" or "to dispatch". The Christian origin of the word comes from the twelve apostles who were selected by Christ; they had a "special vocation, a formal appointment of the Lord to a determined office, with connected authority and duties". An apostolate can be a Christian organization made up of the laity or of a specific Christian religious order.
Union of Catholic Apostolate is a Catholic association established by a Roman priest St. Vincent Pallotti in 1835.
Catholic Marian movements and societies have developed from the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary by members of the Catholic Church. These societies form part of the fabric of Mariology in the Catholic Church. Popular membership in Marian organizations grew significantly in the 20th century, as apparitions such as Our Lady of Fátima gave rise to societies with millions of members, and today many Marian societies exist around the world. This article reviews the major Marian movements and organizations.
An apostolic exhortation is a type of communication from the pope, the head of the Catholic Church. It usually encourages a community of people to undertake a particular activity but does not define Church doctrine. It is considered lower in formal authority than a papal encyclical, but higher than other ecclesiastical letters, apostolic letters and other papal writings.
Christifideles laici is a post-synodal apostolic exhortation of Pope John Paul II, signed in Rome on December 30, 1988. It is summary of the teaching that arose from the 1987 synod of bishops on the vocation and mission of the laity in the church and the world. The document's subtitle was: On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World. Its primary scriptural texts were the parable of the workers in the vineyard and the story of the True Vine and branches. In Christifideles laici, John Paul summarized many of his still-developing ideas regarding new evangelization.
Catholic laity are the ordinary members of the Catholic Church who are neither clergy nor recipients of Holy Orders or vowed to life in a religious order or congregation. The laity forms the majority of the estimated over one billion Catholics in the world.
Teams of Our Lady is a Roman Catholic lay organization recognized by the Holy See under the Pontifical Council for the Laity. It is a movement of "Married Spirituality" which brings together Christian couples united by the Sacrament of Marriage; and who wish, together, to deepen the graces of the Sacrament of Marriage. The movement is active in 75 countries.
The Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE) is a Roman Catholic faith-based, outdoor youth movement in Canada and the United States of America based on the methods of Lord Robert Baden-Powell and Venerable Jacques Sevin, SJ. It was founded in 1999 and serves more than 1100 members in 31 active groups throughout North America. The association is a member of the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe. However, due to fundamental differences in the values and ideals of the FNE and those of scouting as it has developed in North America, the FNE program stresses that they are Explorers and not scouts.
The World Movement of Christian Workers is the Catholic Church's officially recognized association for Catholic workingmen and women. It is a member organization of Vatican's Conference of International Catholic Organizations. The World Movement of Christian Workers (WMCW/MMTC) does not have individual members but is a federation of various national movements. The affiliate in the United States is the Catholic Labor Network. In the UK, it is the Movement of Christian Workers.