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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. (See Can. 731 §2.) However, unlike members of an institute of consecrated life (religious institute or secular institute), members of apostolic societies do not make religious vows—that is, "public vows."
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 and largest 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 is the Holy See.
The Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, called in English the Daughters of Charity or Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent De Paul, is a Society of Apostolic Life for women within the Catholic Church. Its members make annual vows throughout their life, which leaves them always free to leave, without need of ecclesiastical permission. They were founded in 1633 and state that they are devoted to serving the poor through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
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.
This type of organization is defined in the 1983 Code of Canon Law under canons 731-746. Under the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which preceded the current one, this manner of life was referred to as a society of common life.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law, also called the Johanno-Pauline Code, is the "fundamental body of ecclesiastical laws for the Latin Church". It is the second and current comprehensive codification of canonical legislation for the Latin Church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. It was promulgated on 25 January 1983 by John Paul II and took legal effect on the First Sunday of Advent 1983. It replaced the 1917 Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Benedict XV on 27 May 1917.
The 1917 Code of Canon Law, also referred to as the Pio-Benedictine Code, was the first official comprehensive codification of Latin canon law. It was promulgated on 27 May 1917 and took legal effect on 19 May 1918. It was in force until the 1983 Code of Canon Law took legal effect and abrogated it on 27 November 1983. It has been described as "the greatest revolution in canon law since the time of Gratian".
While members of apostolic societies have some community life, the mission of the community is given emphasis.According to Robert P. Maloney CM, community life should be strong enough to be supportive to those who have pledged to pursue the same apostolic purpose, and flexible enough to allow members to respond to the urgent needs of those they serve. In community, apostolic societies must maintain a balance between prayer and active works.
The work of various apostolic societies differs significantly from one another. They may focus on preaching, teaching, health-care, seminary education, foreign missions, retreat work, advocacy for justice, and many other objectives. Almost all apostolic societies had their origins in a need to be addressed that their founders recognized. Most apostolic societies focus on one or more aspects of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.Vincent de Paul's, Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity belong to a group of societies founded in the 16th and 17th century to respond to increasing poverty in France. De Paul chose not to establish the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul as a religious order, as at that time, women religious were "enclosed" (cloistered), and that state was "not compatible with the duties of their vocation".
Works of mercy are practices considered meritorious in Christian ethics.
Vincent de Paul was a French Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He was canonized in 1737. He was renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity. Founder of Congregation of the Mission and Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.
Congregation of the Mission is a vowed, Roman Catholic society of apostolic life of priests and brothers founded by Vincent de Paul. It is associated with the Vincentian Family, a loose federation of organizations who claim Vincent de Paul as their founder or Patron. They are popularly known as Vincentians, Paules, Lazarites, Lazarists, or Lazarians.
A community needs the written approval of a bishop to operate within his diocese. Clerics of a society of apostolic life are usually incardinated into the society and not the diocese, unless specified otherwise in its constitution (e.g. the Sulpicians who are members of both the Society and diocese). Each community has a right to its own oratory.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.
Incardination is the formal term in the Catholic Church for a clergyman being under a bishop or other ecclesiastical superior. It is also sometimes used to refer to laity who may transfer to another part of the church, from say the Western Latin Church to an Eastern Catholic Church or from a territorial diocese to one of the three personal ordinariates for former Anglicans.
Members of a Society of Apostolic Life are allowed to own personal property, but must normally live in community with one another.
Canon Law (canon 731) speaks of such societies as being "comparable to institutes of consecrated life". They are regulated by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life 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.
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Society of Mary
In the Catholic Church, a religious order is a type of religious community characterised by its members professing solemn vows. According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, they are classed as a type of religious institute.
The Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri is a pontifical society of apostolic life of Catholic priests and lay-brothers who live together in a community bound together by no formal vows but only with the bond of charity. They are commonly referred to as Oratorians(Oratorian Fathers). This "Congregation of the Oratory" should not be confused with the French Oratory, a distinct congregation, the Society of the Oratory of Jesus, founded by Pierre de Bérulle in 1611 in Paris.
The Vincentian Family comprises organizations inspired by the life and work of Vincent de Paul, a 17th-century priest who "transformed the face of France."
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life of pontifical right in communion with the Holy See of the Catholic Church. The institute has the stated goal of honoring God and the sanctification of priests in the service of the Catholic Church and souls. An integral part of the institute’s charism is the use of the traditional Latin liturgy of 1962 for Mass and the other sacraments. It has undertaken the restoration of a number of historic church buildings.
The Society of the Divine Word, popularly called Verbites or the Divine Word Missionaries, and sometimes the Steyler Missionaries, is a missionary religious congregation in the Latin Church, one of the 24 sui iuris churches which make up the Catholic Church. As of 2006 it consisted of 6,102 members composed of priests and brothers. It is the largest missionary congregation in the Catholic Church. The superior general is Paulus Budi Kleden who hails from Indonesia.
Consecrated life is a state of life in the Catholic Church lived by believers who wish 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."
Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), or Sodalitium of Christian Life is a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, according to the Code of Canon Law which governs the Latin Rite branch of the Catholic Church. It was founded in Lima, Peru, by Luis Fernando Figari on 8 December 1971. It acquired its present canonical form when Pope John Paul II gave his Pontifical approval on 8 July 1997. The Sodalitium was the first male religious society in Peru to receive papal approval. By 1997 there were Sodalit communities in several countries.
The Archdiocese of Davao is an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. It is a metropolitan see in southern Mindanao. The archdiocese comprises the city of Davao, The Island Garden City of Samal, and the municipality of Talaingod, Davao del Norte in Davao del Norte.
The Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle, better known as the Paulist Fathers, is a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life for men founded in New York City in 1858 by Servant of God Isaac Thomas Hecker in collaboration with George Deshon, Augustine Hewit, and Francis A. Baker. Members of the society are Paulists, and identify themselves as such by the use of the initials C.S.P. after their names, for the Congregation of St. Paul. The Society's mission is to evangelize—preach the gospel or give information with the intention of converting people to Catholicism—the people of North America in a manner suited to the continent's culture.
The Diocese of Saint Thomas of Mylapore, presently in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, was a suffragan Roman Rite Catholic diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the primatial See of Goa in India, under the Portuguese patronage. It was founded at 1606 and extincted at 1952.
The Vincentian Studies Institute of the United States (VSI), at DePaul University, Chicago, is a Roman Catholic organization to promote the Vincentian Family.
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.
A religious brother is a member of a Christian religious institute or religious order who commits himself to following Christ in consecrated life of the Church, usually by the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He is a layman, in the sense of not being ordained as a deacon or priest, and usually lives in a religious community and works in a ministry appropriate to his capabilities. A brother might practice any secular occupation. The term "brother" is used as he is expected to be as a brother to others. Brothers are members of a variety of religious communities, which may be contemplative, monastic, or apostolic in character. Some religious institutes are composed only of brothers; others are so-called "mixed" communities that are made up of brothers and clerics.
This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church.
The Religious Congregations of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church are divided in Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches as Monasteries, Hermitages, Orders, Congregations, Societies of Common Life in the Manner of Religious, Secular Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life.
The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus, also known as the Comboni Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, the Verona Fathers, or the Sons of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and originally called the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is a male religious institute of papal law: the members of this congregation, known merely as Comboni, bear the letters MCCI. It was founded on June 1, 1867.