Third Order or Secular
Third Orders signify in general lay members of religious orders, i.e. men and women who do not necessarily live in community and yet participate in the good works of some great order. St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), one the of Doctors of the Church, was a Third Order Dominican. A few are listed below:
***Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carmelites) [READ MORE]
***Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites [READ MORE]
***Third Order of St. Dominic (Dominicans)- Four Pillars of Dominican Life: Prayer, Study, Community & Apostolate [READ MORE]
***Third Order Society of St. Francis [READ MORE]
***The National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order – USA [READ MORE]
***Third Order of the Servants of Mary (Servites) [READ MORE]
***Secular Third Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercendarians) [read more]
The Catholic Church established this form of consecrated life in 1947 for people who wish to combine the contemplative and the apostolic life while living in the world. Secular institutes provide members with a community of like-minded people who put God first in their lives and everything else second.
There are over thirty secular institutes in the United States, each having its own rule and lifestyle, period of formation and ongoing animation. [READ MORE]
The Institute on Religious Life (IRL) promotes and supports the growth, development, and renewal of the consecrated life—particularly vowed religious life—as a gift to the Church and an evangelical witness to the world. For a list of women’s communities [read more] or men’s communities [read more].
“The custom of consecrating women to a life of virginity flourished even in the early Church. It led to the formation of a solemn rite constituting the candidate a sacred person, a surpassing sign of the Church’s love for Christ, and an eschatological image of the world to come and the glory of the heavenly Bride of Christ. [read more].
The vocation of consecrated widowhood is a way of life for consecrated widows that differs from religious life. It allows them to remain at the heart of their families, who need their help and presence in a real sense, yet still enables them to consecrate their life to Jesus. At this point in time, the Latin (Roman) Catholic Church has not re-established the Order of Widows/Widowers in its Canon Law. The Canons for the Eastern Catholic Churches do allow for the consecration of widows and widowers. [READ MORE]. See the Facebook page for the Catholic Consecrated Widows [FACEBOOK]. In the Roman Catholic Church, dedicated widows or singles who desire to live a Catholic, Roman/Latin Rite, Franciscan life together with a community of like-minded women, while living in the secular world in their homes may discern a vocation to The Family of Jacopa Association, a public association of the Christian Faithful in the Diocese of Stubenville. [READ MORE].
Public Associations of the Christian Faithful
The Church recognizes the work of the Holy Spirit among the faithful, inspiring various joint efforts to promote the Christian life, in general, and to promote specific aspects of our life in Christ, for example, the Sacred Liturgy, Catholic education, works of charity and Christian witness in the various fields of human activity and endeavor. The faithful are, in fact, encouraged to form associations among themselves for the sake of living the Faith more deeply and spreading the Faith to others more effectively. A couple are listed below. There are many. [READ MORE].
Consecrated Marian Catechist
Established by Father John Hardon, SJ, the mission of the Apostolate is to form and nurture catechists for the teaching and sharing of the Catholic Faith. Marian Catechists must be heroic souls whose spiritual and doctrinal formation equips them for active participation in the new evangelization of America. Father Hardon was elated when His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, then-Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin, decided to use Father Hardon’s home study courses to form catechists in his Diocese. Several years later, on December 12, 1999, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, then-Bishop Burke established the Marian Catechist Apostolate as a Public Association of the Faithful. The Apostolate has been placed under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of all America and Star of both the first and the new evangelizations. [READ MORE].
North American Lourdes Volunteers (NALV)
A Public Association of the Christian Faithful composed of volunteers, laity, clergy and religious, who lovingly serve the Immaculate Conception and her pilgrims both in the Sanctuaries at France and back at home through living and sharing the Gospel Message of Lourdes. Member of the Pilgrimage Medical Leadership Team accompany pilgrims with a variety of special needs providing supportive care to ensure they enjoy a comfortable, safe and meaningful pilgrimage experience. NALV is granted, by Apostolic Papal Decree, a Plenary Indulgence to the faithful making a pilgrimage to Lourdes or experiencing a Virtual Pilgrimage by fulfilling the usual norms and conditions between July 16, 2013 and July 15, 2020. [READ MORE].