Secular institutes are
- a form of consecrated life in the Catholic Church
- for single lay Catholics
- making a life-long consecration to God
- in poverty, chastity, and obedience
- working and living in ordinary circumstances
- manifesting their institute’s particular charism
- in fidelity to the baptismal vocation shared by all Christians.
In the secular world
- God’s creative action continues
- Jesus’ mission unfolds
- the laity are the Church at work in the world.
“The newest vocation in the Church” was
- originated by St. Angela Merici in 1535
- formally designated “secular institute” by Pope Pius XII in 1947
- called “the vocation of the new millennium.”
The US Conference of Secular Institutes
- networks secular institutes in the USA
- links institutes to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops
The kingdom of God is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.
– Luke 13:20-21
Every member of a secular institute has “full responsibility for a transforming presence and action within the world, in order to mold it…in a more just and human order and thereby to sanctify it from within.”
– Pope Paul VI
To proclaim that Gospel-living according to the Beatitudes can be realized in the ordinary circumstances of daily life… To proclaim that He is the center of our lives and the only true meaning of the existence of every person. For this purpose we put the visibility of our humanity at the service of the God who is silent, invisible, hidden.
– Maria Rosa Zamboni, former president of the Italian Conference of Secular Institutes