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DEDICATED CHURCH VOCATIONS

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VOCATIONS
[Deacon]     [Diocesan Priest]    [Religious Order Priest]      [Religious Order Brother]    [Religious Order Sister]     [Secular Institute]     [Association of the Faithful / Apostolic Institute]

Some Christians are called to serve the Church in a special and dedicated way – as deacons, priests, members of religious communities, secular institutes, associations of the faithful or apostolic institutes.  Each of these callings is discussed briefly below.

 DEACON   

There are two kinds of Deacons.  A transitional Deacon is a man who is preparing for the priesthood.   He is ordained Deacon and serves in that capacity for about a year prior to ordination as a priest.

The second kind of Deacon is a permanent Deacon, who intends to remain such  for the rest of his life.   A permanent Deacon is a married or single man who is ordained in the sacrament of Holy Orders.   He is called to serve in administration of sacraments, teaching and preaching the Word of God, and performing acts of Christian service. Deacons may preach at Mass, baptize, witness marriages, teach, and participate in a variety of other ministries   Justice and advocacy for the poor are primary in the deacon's vocation.  The Deacon promises obedience to his Bishop, and typically serves within a specific diocese.  If the Deacon is married, his  wife becomes  an important and integral partner in his ministry.   To learn more about the vocation to the permanent Deaconate, click on the following links:  

PRIEST

DIOCESAN PRIEST

The Diocesan priest works to bring God to people and people to God through sharing of the Gospel and the celebration of the Sacraments of the Church. He usually serves in a parish within his particular diocese. 

The Diocesan priest  promises:  

Celibacy:  He chooses not to marry and refrains from sexual activity as a means for sharing love in service of others.

Obedience:  The diocesan priest promises to obey his Bishop, chief shepherd of the diocese.

For more information about the Diocesan priesthood, click on the links below:

 RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY PRIEST

 Some priests choose to live a particular lifestyle called "religious life." They  join a community that follows a specific tradition of spirituality patterned after the life and teaching of the community’s founder.  They take vows of poverty (by which they voluntarily renounce their right to the private ownership and use of possessions), chaste celibacy (by which they choose not to marry) and obedience to the superiors of their community.  Some well-known religious communities of religious priests are the Claretians, Norbertines, Jesuits, Benedictines, etc.   To learn more about religious communities of priests, click on the following link:  

Religious Communities of Priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

BROTHER

 A brother is a single layman who joins a praying community that follows a spirituality patterned after the life of the community’s founder.  The Brother dedicates himself to serving those around them. He takes vows of poverty, chaste celibacy and of obedience to his religious superiors. Flexibility in service is the hallmark of his ministry.   He may be a nurse, teacher, lawyer, campus minister, etc.  Some religious orders with Brothers are the Marianists, Hospitalers of St. John of God, Claretians, Jesuits, Christian Brothers, Benedictines, etc.

 

To learn more about the vocation and work of Brothers, click on the following links:  

SISTER

A Sister is a  member of a religious community with a specific tradition and spirituality.  She takes vows of poverty, chaste celibacy and obedience.  Sisters work in a wide variety of capacities – teachers, attorneys, nurses, social workers, etc.   To learn more about religious communities of Sisters, click on the following link:  

Religious Communities of Sisters in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

MEMBER OF A SECULAR INSTITUTE

Members of Secular Institutes take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  They are a leaven in society, and quietly bear witness to Christ “in the marketplace” - wherever they are employed.  They are consecrated laity mingling  in the secular world.   Generally members live alone or with their families and manage their own finances. They do not live in community as do members of religious orders.  Periodically, they come together for retreats, meetings and renewal.  In 1947 Pope Pius XII gave official approval to Secular Institutes as an original form of consecrated life within the Church.   Since that time, the number of Church-approved Secular Institutes worldwide has grown from 40 to 200, with a membership of nearly 60,000.  There are 26 institutes in the United States which have been formally approved by the Church.  To learn more about Secular Institutes click on the following links:

MEMBER OF AN ASSOCIATION OF FAITHFUL OR APOSTOLIC INSTITUTE

Members are dedicated men and women who belong to organizations which are neither religious orders nor secular institutes.  Many Associations wish to remain this way - as lay associations or apostolic groups.  Some others aspire to become religious orders or Secular Institutes. 

For a better understanding of Associations of the Faithful,  click on the following links:  

CHURCH VOCATION RESOURCES

If you are considering  a dedicated church vocation, you are invited to participate in programs, groups and other events which will help you  discern God's call.   Click on the following link for more information.

Dedicated Church Vocations

To learn more about Church vocations, you can also explore the following links:

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VOCATIONS
Marriage
   Single Life   Deacon    Diocesan Priest    Religious Order Priest    Brother     Sister     Secular Institute    
Association of the Faithful / Apostolic Institute

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DEDICATED CHURCH VOCATIONS

Church Vocations
Orders of Sisters
Orders of Priests
Orders of Brothers
Secular Institutes
Associations Faithful