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Provida Mater Ecclesia was an Apostolic Constitution by Pope Pius XI, that recognized Secular Institutes as a new form of official consecration in the Catholic Church.
Promulgated in June 1936, the constitution recognized secular consecration; that is, it recognized that lay men and lay women could, while remaining "in the world", live consecrated lives–which hitherto had been held to be possible only as a religious. The specific charism of secular institutes unites the elements of a consecrated life lived according to the evangelical counsels and living as a lay person not in a religious community. Pius described them as "societies, clerical or lay, whose members make profession of the evangelical counsels, living in a secular condition for the purpose of Christian perfection and full apostolate."
This way of life dates back at least to the sixteenth century and Angela Merici's Company of St. Ursula. Merici envisioned the members as consecrated to God and dedicated to the service of their neighbor, but to remain in the world, teaching the girls of their own neighborhood, and to practice a religious form of life in their own homes. In this, she anticipated the secular institutes that were approved centuries later.The members wore no special habit and took no formal religious vows. Merici wrote a Rule of Life for the group, which specified the practice of the evangelical counsels in their own homes. The Rule she had written was approved in 1544 by Pope Paul III.
While not living together under the same roof, members come together at meetings.Unlike apostolic societies dedicated to a particular work, secular institutes are organizations of like-minded Catholic laity or clerics who share a certain vision lived out personally.
Along with Primo Feliciter and Cum Sanctissimus the constitution Provida Mater Ecclesia provided the basis for Catholic secular institutes to receive their own legislation.
Augustinians are members of Christian religious orders that follow the Rule of Saint Augustine, written in about 400 AD by Augustine of Hippo. There are two distinct types of Augustinians in Catholic religious orders dating back to the 12th–13th centuries:
Angela Merici or Angela de Merici was an Italian religious educator, who is honored as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. She founded the Company of St. Ursula in 1535 in Brescia, in which women dedicated their lives to the service of the Church through the education of girls. From this organisation later sprang the monastic Order of Ursulines, whose nuns established places of prayer and learning throughout Europe and, later, worldwide, most notably in North America.
In the Catholic Church, a religious order is a community of consecrated life with members that profess solemn vows. According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, they are classed as a type of religious institute.
The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is a traditionalist Catholic society of apostolic life for priests and seminarians which is in communion with the Holy See.
In the Catholic Church, a religious profession is the solemn admission of men or women into consecrated life by means of the pronouncement of religious vows, typically the evangelical counsels.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, (CICLSAL) is the congregation of the Roman Curia with competency over everything which concerns Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, regarding their government, discipline, studies, goods, rights, and privileges.
The term Third Order signifies, in general, lay members of religious orders, who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order. Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism and Anglicanism all recognize Third Orders. They were a twelfth-century adaptation of the medieval monastic confraternities.
In the Catholic Church, a consecrated virgin is a woman who has been consecrated by the church to a life of perpetual virginity as a bride of Christ. Consecrated virgins are consecrated by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite. The consecrated virgins are to spend their time in works of penance and mercy, in apostolic activity and in prayer, according to their state of life and spiritual gifts.
Mystici corporis Christi is a papal encyclical issued by Pope Pius XII on 29 June 1943 during World War II. It is principally remembered for its statement that the Mystical Body is identical with the Roman Catholic Church, repeated by Pius XII in Humani generis (1950) in response to dissension. According to Mystici corporis, to be truly (reapse) a member of the Mystical Body one must be a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Other Christians who erred in good faith could be unsuspectingly united to the Mystical Body by an unconscious desire and longing.
A religious is, in the terminology of many Western Christian denominations, such as the Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, and Anglican Communion, what in common language one would call a "monk" or "nun", as opposed to an ordained "priest". A religious may also be a priest if he has undergone ordination, but in general he is not.
Consecrated life is a state of life in the Catholic Church lived by those faithful who are called to follow Jesus Christ in a more exacting way. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it "is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of life recognized by the Church". The Code of Canon Law defines it as "a stable form of living by which the faithful, following Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, are totally dedicated to God who is loved most of all, so that, having been dedicated by a new and special title to his honour, to the building up of the Church, and to the salvation of the world, they strive for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God and, having been made an outstanding sign in the Church, foretell the heavenly glory."
A society of apostolic life is a group of men or women within the Catholic Church who have come together for a specific purpose and live fraternally. There are a number of apostolic societies, such as the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, who make vows or other bonds defined in their constitutions to undertake to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. However, unlike members of an institute of consecrated life, members of apostolic societies do not make religious vows—that is, "public vows".
An institute of consecrated life is an association of faithful in the Catholic Church erected by canon law whose members profess the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience by vows or other sacred bonds. They are defined in the Code of Canon Law under canons 573–730.
In the Catholic Church, a secular institute is a type of institute of consecrated life. 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.
Precedence signifies the right to enjoy a prerogative of honor before other persons; for example, to have the most distinguished place in a procession, a ceremony, or an assembly, to have the right to express an opinion, cast a vote, or append a signature before others, to perform the most honorable offices.
A religious institute is a type of institute of consecrated life in the Catholic Church where its members take religious vows and lead a life in community with fellow members. Religious institutes are one of the two types of institutes of consecrated life; the other is that of the secular institute, where its members are "living in the world".
Primo Feliciter was a motu proprio issued by Pope Pius XII on March 12, 1948.
Cum Sanctissimus was an instruction issued on March 19, 1948, by the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes of the Catholic Church. The instruction clarified specific issues with respect to the approving religious institutes.
The Angelines, also known as the Company of Saint Ursula or officially the Secular Institute of Saint Angela Merici, is a secular institute of consecrated women in the Catholic Church founded in 1535 by Saint Angela Merici in Brescia, Italy. Their primary focus is the education of women and girls, and the care of the sick and needy. Their patron saint is Saint Ursula. They follow the original form of life established by their foundress in that they live independently, responsible for their own well-being, for which they often have secular jobs, but they formally dedicate their lives to the service of the Church. In 1572, some members formed a separate monastic order, the Ursulines.
Pious Association in the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church is the legal concept that describes an organization of Catholic persons, approved by the local ordinary, engaged in the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy in the name of and in accordance with the teachings of the Church.
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