Offices

Office for Consecrated Life

Eucharistic Revival 2022-2024

Eucharist | St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

https://www.usccb.org/resources/Revival%20Web%20Intro%20PDF%20FINAL.pdf

The Eucharist | USCCB
Prayer for the Revival

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You!
I beg pardon for those who do not believe, nor adore, nor hope, nor love You.

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly.
I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ,

present in all the tabernacles of the world
in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended.
And, through the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

I beg of You the conversion of sinners. Amen.    

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” 

John 6:51  

Month of May, Mary’s Month

Mary, Mother of God

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church and therefore the example, as well as the guide and inspiration, of everyone who, in and through the Church, seeks to be the servant of God and man and the obedient agent of the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, as Pope Leo XIII reminded us, is the soul of the Church: All the activity and service of the members of the Church, beginning with the supreme participation of the Blessed Mother in the work of the Church, is vivified by the Holy Spirit as the body, in all its activities, is vivified by its soul. The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete, Advocate, and Comforter which Christ Himself sent to be our consolation in the sorrowful mysteries of life, our source of moderation in the joyful mysteries of life, our added principle of exaltation in the glorious mysteries of life.

So He was for the Blessed Mother; so also He is for the least of us; so also He is for the rest of the Church, even for those who are its unconscious but conscientious members.

Wherever there is faith there is the example of Mary, because she lived by faith as the Scriptures remind us….

If, then, piety is the virtue which binds us to the sources of all life, to God, to our parents, to the Church, to Christ, certainly Christian piety binds us, in grateful love, to Mary — or our acceptance of Christ and of the mystery of our kinship with Him is imperfect, partial, and unfulfilled.

— Cardinal John Wright

9 Ways to Celebrate the Month of Mary

9 Ways to Celebrate the Month of Mary

Many things can be said about Catholics, but it can never be said that we don’t honor our Mother! In addition to the myriad feast days honoring Our Lady in her many titles and virtues, the entire month of May is especially given to her praise.

May, when the earth blooms in springtime beauty, is an ideal time for our thoughts and sentiments to be directed towards this supremely lovely Queen of Heaven and Earth, who busily labors from her heavenly throne to conquer hearts, minds, and souls for the greater glory of her Son.

In the words of Pope Paul VI, May is “a month which the piety of the faithful has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God.”

So, how can you honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in a special way this month, and allow her to conquer your own heart? Here are nine ideas.

1. Flower Your Mary Statue

May crownings are one of the most popular ways to celebrate the month of Mary. Make a crown of flowers for your Mary statue and adorn your indoor and outdoor Mary statues with fresh blooming flowers this month. Add a candle too for an extra touch. If you don’t have a Mary statue, now would be a good time to get one. Even if it’s just a small statue for your desk or nightstand, no Catholic should be without it!

Even if you live in a town home or apartment, you can have a Marian garden on your porch! This creative display is pretty and portable...you don't even need a yard to maintain it.
Mary, Mother of Grace, Pray for Us!

2. Pray a Novena to Our Lady

Sometime during the month of May, pray a novena to the Blessed Mother for a particular intention that you want to entrust to her Immaculate Heart, for yourself or for someone else. If you don’t already have a favorite novena to Our Lady, try one of these three Novenas to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Novena Prayers

3. Spread Devotion to the Rosary

Outside of the Mass, there is no prayer more pleasing to Our Lady and more efficacious for her intercession than the Holy Rosary. If you don’t already have the spiritual discipline, make an effort to pray the rosary daily.

If you already do this, consider encouraging others to do the same throughout this month. Get inspired by reading Our Lady’s fifteen promises to those who pray her rosary and hand out rosaries with Rosary instructions to others as the opportunity arises. There are many graces to be gained for those who preach the power of the holy rosary!

knotted cord rosaries

4. Learn About a New Marian Devotion

Our Lady is the Mother of the Universal Church. There are many ways she has affected Christians in various times and places during these nearly 2,000 years since she walked the earth. It is fascinating to read the stories behind each one, and many are associated with miracles, apparitions, saints, and holy images. Will one of them touch you in a special way?

This month consider researching and adopting a special devotion to Mary under one of her many titles (find a short list here). For example, Our Lady of Fatima (whose feast is May 13th), Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady Undoer of Knots, Our Lady of Guadalupe, or Our Lady of Perpetual Help. This could be

come an annual tradition for you and your family to learn about a new Marian devotion each May. There are more of them than years in your life!

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

5. Share the Miraculous Medal

When Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure and gave her the vision of the Miraculous Medal in 1830, she promised great graces to those who would wear the medal. It was called “Miraculous” by the faithful for good reason, as it became the means of conversion for even the most hardened of atheists to the truth of the Catholic faith. Consider buying a 25 pack of Miraculous Medals and have them blessed with this Blessing and Investiture of the Miraculous Medal, and distribute them as the Holy Spirit leads. Mary changes lives through the power of her sacramentals!

25 Pack of Miraculous Medals

6. Memorize a Marian Prayer or Hymn

You may already know the Memorare and the Hail Holy Queen by heart, and this month you can add more Marian hymns and prayers into your mental index. These prayers and hymns become a great solace during trying moments and can be recited often.

You can memorize this beautiful Prayer of Praise to Our Lady composed by St. Ephraim, or learn to sing traditional Marian hymns such as the Regina Caeli and the Salve Regina (the Hail Holy Queen in Latin). The below video is an excellent guide to learning to sing the Salve Regina for those who didn’t grow up knowing it. It is an incredibly beautiful melody, and supernaturally consoling. Then you can sing this prayer after finishing your rosary instead of reciting it; and, as St. Augustine says, “He who sings prays twice.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/1B91RUv2lI8?feature=oembed

7. Get Invested in the Scapular

If you haven’t been invested in the scapular, Mary’s month is a good time to do it. A scapular is basically a mini religious habit for the laity, an outward symbol of your consecration to the Blessed Mother, that you wear daily underneath your clothes.

The original and most common scapular is the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel which has special prayers and graces associated with it, namely the famous “Scapular Promise” that those who die wearing Our Lady’s scapular will not spend eternity in hell. Most scapulars come with the proper prayer for investment (or enrollment) that the priest prays for you while blessing the scapular; if not, you can find it at the link immediately above.

8. Read a Book About Mary

The best way to increase your devotion to the Blessed Mother is simply by reading more about her. There is no shortage of great Catholic books on Mary that unpack the mysteries of her life, virtues, and perfect union with her son, Jesus, and the treasures of grace this unfolds in the life of every Christian who turns to her in faith. Make a goal to read one this month.

Books on the Blessed Virgin Mary

9. Pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is like the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) in that it is comprised of prayers said at various hours throughout the day, but different in that they are all in praise of Our Lady.  Once upon a time in Church history the Little Office was the preferred way to pray the Hours for the laity. You can find a link to pray the Little Office online in our daily Morning Offering email, which you can sign up for at MorningOffering.com.




 

Visit with the Poor Clares in Langhorne, PA, a monastic Community

serving the Church in Prayer

 

(click on and follow link)

https://youtu.be/PpEBFhLDtHY

https://youtu.be/j8nnIgo2PfY

What is Consecrated Life?

Home - Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious  No photo description available.

Sisters share their thoughts with the other sisters at their tables after a keynote speaker at the 2018 Leadership Conference of Women Religious annual assembly, held Aug. 7-10 in St. Louis. (GSR file photo)Temporary Vows – Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration

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Caritas Christi
St. Catherine of Siena

Secular Institutes

Who are the Oblate Missionaries | Secular Institute
The Oblates Missionaries of Mary Immaculate

St. Philip Neri, Father of Societies of Apostolic Life

Apostolic religious life is a form of consecrated life within the Church wherein the members profess vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience within a congregation or community approved by the Church. Shared community life is an integral part of this form of consecrated life. In professing vows and living within community, the members individually and as a whole witness to a life of communion with Christ, the Church, and one another.

Apostolic religious congregations develop their own traditions based on the original vision of their founders or foundresses, while continuing to focus their ministries to meet the needs of the Church today. While every religious congregation is unique, together they form a rich source of inspiration for the entire Church.

In his Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, Pope John Paul II described the apostolic religious communities as “a splendid and varied testimony, reflecting the multiplicity of gifts bestowed by God on founders and foundresses who, in openness to the working of the Holy Spirit, successfully interpreted the signs of the times and responded wisely to new needs. Following in their footsteps, many other people have sought by word and deed to embody the Gospel in their own lives, bringing anew to their own times the living presence of Jesus, the Consecrated One par excellence, the One sent by the Father. In every age consecrated men and women must continue to be images of Christ the Lord, fostering through prayer a profound communion of mind with him (cf. Phil 2:5-11), so that their whole lives may be penetrated by an apostolic spirit and their apostolic work with contemplation.”

Cloister Life

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“Your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

-Colossians 3:3

“Heaven and Earth in Little Space”

The mystery of the contemplative life is woven tightly with the mystery of the Incarnation. This mystery finds an especially vivid expression in the life of a cloistered nun, when a woman chooses to spend her whole life within the walls of a monastery, hidden from the world for the sake of intimacy with God. The cloister is a shocking thing, and sometimes non-Christians (and Christians!) are scandalized by it. But even more shocking is the idea that an infinite God chose to take on a finite human nature, to confine Himself within the limits of the created world, which, to Him, must have seemed far, far smaller than the bounds of a cloistered monastery!

Papal Cloister

Papal cloister is the strictest form of enclosure, in which a nun does not leave the boundaries of the monastery except for serious reasons. The norms defining papal enclosure are given by Rome. The most recent instruction on papal cloister is the 2018 document Cor Orans, which implements what Pope Francis outlined in his 2016 Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere. Cor Orans states: “The law of papal cloister extends to the dwelling and to all the interior and exterior spaces of the monastery reserved exclusively for the nuns in which the presence of strangers can be admitted only in case of necessity. It must be a space of silence and recollection, facilitated by the absence of external works, where the permanent search for the face of God can develop more easily, according to the Institute’s charism.”

Some of the orders which traditionally practice papal cloister are: Carmelite NunsPoor ClaresDominican NunsVisitandinesHoly Spirit Adoration Sisters, and Handmaids of the Precious Blood.

Constitutional Cloister

Constitutional cloister is a form of cloister defined by the norms in the Rule and Constitutions of the individual order. It is generally less strict than papal cloister. This type of cloister is practiced if the community’s charism joins to their life of contemplation some kind of apostolic or charitable work. They are still cloistered nuns, but they may have an apostolate attached to the monastery–such as a retreat house–which would be impossible to carry out if they practiced papal enclosure. Cor Orans says of constitutional cloister: “It must be a space of silence and recollection, where the permanent search for the face of God can develop, according to the charism of the Institute, in consideration of the works of apostolate or charity exercised by the nuns” (n. 205).

Some of the religious orders which traditionally practice constitutional enclosure are: Passionist NunsSisters Adorers of the Precious Blood, and Norbertine Canonesses.

Monastic Cloister

Monastic Cloister is “a special expression of the constitutional cloister” (Cor Orans n. 211), one of the most ancient forms of contemplative lifeMonastic cloister refers to forms of contemplative life which have always had a charism of hospitality, such as those stemming from the Benedictine tradition. This means guests may be invited to stay at the monastery, and the nuns interact with them much more freely than nuns who practice papal cloister. “For monasteries of contemplative nuns, the monastic cloister, while retaining the character of a more rigorous discipline than the common one, makes it possible to associate the primary function of divine worship with wider forms of reception and hospitality” (Cor Orans n. 210).

Some of the religious orders who traditionally profess monastic cloister are: Benedictine NunsCistercian/Trappistine NunsSisters of Mary Morning Star.

Vows

The three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience are the vows that are professed by members of religious congregations. Together, they form the basis for living a life of radical consecration to God for the good of the Church. The vow of chastity frees the sister to give herself in love totally to Christ and His Body and is marked by aliveness and a spirit of joy. The vow of poverty frees the sister to dispossess her possessions in order to grow into a deeper spirit of self-giving. In living the vow, the sister depends on the community for her needs as all things are held in common. The vow of obedience frees the sister to do the will of God as expressed by her superiors who seek always what is best for the sister and for the community as a whole.

Pope John Paul II in Vita Consecrata describes the evangelical counsels in light of the Trinity:

“The chastity of celibates and virgins, as a manifestation of dedication to God with an undivided heart (cf. 1 Cor 7:32-34), is a reflection of the infinite love which links the three Divine Persons in the mysterious depths of the life of the Trinity, the love to which the Incarnate Word bears witness even to the point of giving his life, the love ‘poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit’ (Rom 5:5), which evokes a response of total love for God and the brethren.

Poverty proclaims that God is man’s only real treasure. When poverty is lived according to the example of Christ who, ‘though he was rich … became poor’ (2 Cor 8:9), it becomes an expression of that total gift of self which the three Divine Persons make to one another. This gift overflows into creation and is fully revealed in the Incarnation of the Word and in his redemptive death.

Obedience, practiced in imitation of Christ, whose food was to do the Father’s will (cf. Jn 4:34), shows the liberating beauty of a dependence which is not servile but filial, marked by a deep sense of responsibility and animated by mutual trust, which is a reflection in history of the loving harmony between the three Divine Persons” (par 21).

Charism

Each religious congregation is blessed by a unique gift of the Holy Spirit called a “charism,” which is an expression of the way the congregation is called to follow Christ. A religious community’s charism is expressed in its way of serving the Church in mission, its particular way of living community life and its distinct “culture.” A myriad of charisms forms a fabric of ministries within the Church to meet multitudinous needs.

Spirituality

Within the Catholic Church there is a variety of spiritualities stemming from spiritual leaders of the past. Dominican, Franciscan, and Marian spiritualities are three of the many that are known within the Church. These specific spiritualities refer to systems of values, ideals, and a unified manner of life passed down through the ages from St. Dominic, St. Francis, and St. Theresa.  Each spirituality focuses on specific virtues or spiritual priorities, which characterize the way of life of those living within the legacy of the spiritual leader.

The spirituality of a religious congregation makes present in a lived and vibrant way the spiritual values passed on to each generation from the original source. There are numerous spiritual approaches to living the truths of the Catholic Church and the vows of religious life.  Devotions, ways of prayer, priorities of mission, and lived expressions in daily life are manifestations of the spirituality embraced by a religious community.

Eremetic LifeWithout always professing the three evangelical counsels publicly, hermits “devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance.”

Consecrated VirginsFrom apostolic times Christian virgins, called by the Lord to cling only to him with greater freedom of heart, body, and spirit, have decided with the Church’s approval to live in the respective states of virginity “for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.”

What is the United States Association of Consecrated Virgins?

The United States Association of Consecrated Virgins (USACV) is a voluntary association for women in the United States who have received the Consecration of Virgins for women living in the world, according to the pertinent provisions of Canon Law. The Association is formed in accord with Canon 604.2, “Virgins can be associated together to fulfill their pledge more faithfully and to assist each other to serve the Church in a way that befits their state.”

The objectives of the association:

The USACV has as its primary purpose to foster communication, solidarity, and support among United States consecrated virgins. The USACV and International Resource Center for the Ordo Virginum (IRC) operate as one organization to offer educational materials and programs of education about the vocation, as well as to encourage study and growth of understanding of the vocation of consecrated virginity lived in the world.

Information Packet on the Vocation of Consecrated Virginity

Click here to download the full 2011 Information Packet

   The United States Association of Consecrated Virgins has prepared an Information Packet to facilitate the discernment process for the vocation to consecrated virginity for women living in the world.  The Information Packet was revised in May 2021 and is 416 pages in length.  Access a pdf of the 2011 version of the Information Packet above or order a bound, print copy of the 2021 version from the USACV through the online store or by completing and mailing the order form.

 

Secular Institutes–“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.” 

Societies of Apostolic Life–Alongside the different forms of consecrated life are “societies of apostolic life whose members without religious vows pursue the particular apostolic purpose of their society, and lead a life as brothers or sisters in common according to a particular manner of life.

Events for 2021-2022

Sunday, September 18, 2022

  • Jubilee and Religious Celebration
  • 11:00 a.m. Holy Mass Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul
  • Reception to follow

Saturday, December 10, 2022

  • Advent Day of Retreat
  • Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul/Drexel Hall
  • Speaker: Father Matthew Biedrzycki 

Details will follow for each retreat and celebration as we near the dates


Contact

Sister Gabrielle Mary Braccio, RSM
Delegate for Consecrated Life
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299
10th Floor Room 1029

Phone: 215-587-3795
Fax: 215-587-3790
Email: [email protected]

To assist those who feel called to the consecrated life, the Office for Consecrated Life lists those Congregations who serve in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Please see listing below.


Congregations of Women