Did you ever think that maybe you want to serve the church in a unique way? Maybe not as a deacon or a priest? Do you like living in community? Then maybe a religious order way of life is the way for you.
Roman Catholic Orders and Religious communities are associations of men and women within the Roman Catholic Church who are dedicated to lives of prayer, service, and devotion. Many of these members commit themselves to specific communities in which they live a common life following a specific religious rule (a collection of guiding rules ordering community life and devotion) and under the direction of religious leaders. Religious Orders can include both clergy and laity. Most members of religious orders also make public vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity as acts of devotion and in imitation of Jesus. Many Roman Catholic orders are monastic, but many others are not. The Roman Catholic Church recognizes three different types of religious Orders:
- Mendicant (Friars),
- Canons Regular (priests living in a community and active in a particular parish).
The largest Monastic Order is the Benedictines and two of the most common Mendicant Orders include Dominicans and Franciscans. Female orders usually have fewer numbers in their communities than their male counterparts, but more female communities exist. Many of the female orders are dedicated to teaching and service. Even though many Roman Catholic orders trace their origins to the Middle Ages, some go as far back as the 6th Century AD (the Benedictine Order). Religious Orders all follow a particular religious rule. The most common include the Rule of St. Benedict, St. Augustine, or St. Basil, each of which stresses different aspects of religious life.
For a fun way to learn about different religious ways of life click here
In the Diocese of Rochester we are blessed with many Religious Communities below they are listed:
- For Women:
- For Men:
For More Religious Orders and Ways of Life Click Here
Here are some quick links to different orders that are not in the Diocese of Rochester but may interest you!
- Conventual Franciscans
- Franciscans of Primitive Observance
- The Salesians
- The Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
- Congregation of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters (The Pink Sisters)
- Franciscan Sisters of Saint Joseph (Started in Buffalo NY)
- Congregation of the Holy Cross (Notre Dame University)
- The Carthusians