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“At the heart of the world with the heart of God “
[Pope Francis, describing members of secular institutes]

“The Church also needs you to give completeness to her mission. Be seeds of holiness scattered by the handful in the furrows of history.”
[St John Paul II, speaking to members of secular institutes]

secular institute of the Roman Catholic Church is a form of consecrated life where lay and ordained members live in the world, not in community as do members of the more common religious institutes. Members commit to a specific spirituality and lifestyle together with other members of their institute through a sacred bond recognized in Canon Law (1983 Code of Canon Law, Canons 710–730).

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,

928. "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."  

929. By a "life perfectly and entirely consecrated to [such] sanctification," the members of these institutes share in the Church's task of evangelization, "in the world and from within the world," where their presence acts as "leaven in the world." "Their witness of a Christian life" aims "to order temporal things according to God and inform the world with the power of the gospel." They commit themselves to the evangelical counsels by sacred bonds and observe among themselves the communion and fellowship appropriate to their "particular secular way of life."

Please click on the video below for an Introduction to a video series on secular institutes, commissioned by the United States Conference of Secular Institutes. Additional videos can be found in the Our Members section of this website.

Please see the World Conference of Secular Institutes webpage for more information and articles related to secular institutes.

This article from Vision magazine gives the essential facts about secular institutes.