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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. It is regarded as a form of consecrated (or "religious") life.
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".
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.
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".
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.
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.
A society of apostolic right can be approved by the Pope.
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The diocesan bishop must consent to the "erection of a house and establishment of a local community", and must also be consulted concerning its suppression.
Can. 733 §1. The competent authority of the society erects a house and establishes a local community with the previous written consent of the diocesan bishop, who must also be consulted concerning its suppression.
The Congregation of the Mission abbreviated CM and commonly called the Vincentians or Lazarists. is a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life of Pontifical Right for men founded by Vincent de Paul. It is associated with the Vincentian Family, a loose federation of organizations who look to St Vincent de Paul as their founder or Patron.
Vincent de Paul, CM, commonly known as Saint Vincent de Paul, was a French Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor.
Joseph Rosati was an Italian-born Catholic missionary to the United States who served as the first bishop of the Diocese of Saint Louis between 1826 and 1843. A member of the Congregation of the Mission, in 1820 he was appointed Provincial Superior over all the Vincentians in the United States.
In the Catholic Church, a religious order is a community of consecrated life with members that profess solemn vows. They are classed as a type of religious institute.
The Confederation of Oratories of Saint Philip Neri abbreviated CO and commonly known as the Oratorians is a Catholic society of apostolic life of Pontifical Right for men who live together in a community bound together by no formal vows but only with the bond of charity.
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 Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, formerly called Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, is the dicastery 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 Society of the Divine Word, abbreviated SVD and popularly called the Verbites or the Divine Word Missionaries, and sometimes the Steyler Missionaries, is a Catholic clerical religious congregation of Pontifical Right for men. As of 2020, it consisted of 5,965 members composed of priests and religious brothers working in more than 70 countries, now part of VITA international. It is one of the largest missionary congregations in the Catholic Church. Its members add the nominal letters SVD after their names to indicate membership in the Congregation. The superior general is Paulus Budi Kleden who hails from Indonesia.
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. It includes those in institutes of consecrated life, societies of apostolic life, as well as those living as hermits or consecrated virgins/widows.
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.
A religious congregation is a type of religious institute in the Catholic Church. They are legally distinguished from religious orders – the other major type of religious institute – in that members take simple vows, whereas members of religious orders take solemn vows.
The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette are a religious congregation of priests and brothers in the Latin Church. They are named after the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette in France. There is also a parallel religious community of sisters called the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette. A lay fraternal group of associates also works in cooperation with the vowed religious. The Missionaries are dedicated to making known the message of Our Lady of La Salette, a call to healing of inner brokenness and personal reconciliation with God, especially as found in the first three commandments. The missionaries are popularly known as "the La Salettes."
In the Catholic Church, a secular institute is a type of institute of consecrated life in which consecrated persons profess the Evangelical counsels of celibate-chastity, poverty and obedience while living in the world, unlike members of a religious institute who live in community. Secular institutes represent a form of consecration in secular life, not religious 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.
The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) is one of two associations of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. As of December 2020, CMSWR includes the leaders of 112 religious congregations which have a total membership of approximately 5,700 women religious in the United States.
The Missionaries of the Company of Mary is a missionary religious congregation within the Catholic Church. The community was founded by Saint Louis de Montfort in 1705 with the recruitment of his first missionary disciple, Mathurin Rangeard. The congregation is made up of priests and brothers who serve both in the native lands and in other countries. The Montfortian Family comprises three groups: the Company of Mary, the Daughters of Wisdom and the Brothers of Saint Gabriel.
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.
This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church. Some terms used in everyday English have a different meaning in the context of the Catholic faith, including brother, confession, confirmation, exemption, faithful, father, ordinary, religious, sister, venerable, and vow.
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.
A religious institute is a type of institute of consecrated life in the Catholic Church whose 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".
Michael O'Farrell, an Australian suffragan bishop, was the fourth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, New South Wales. O'Farrell was consecrated by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Cattaneo in 1920 and served until his death in 1928. O'Farrell was the first Vincentian bishop in Australia.