Religious Life

Religious Life is a public way of life following the characteristic features of Jesus who was poor, chaste, obedient and lived completely for the Father.

Although everyone is called to follow Jesus with their whole heart, some men and women have a special call from God. With a special gift of the Spirit and through the experience of God’s love, these men and women sense the need to respond with the total gift of themselves to the Lord in Religious Life. These people are called ‘Religious’.

By taking the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Religious not only make Christ the whole meaning of their lives, but also strive to reproduce in themselves the pattern and image of Jesus. They desire to live the pure love of Christ in chastity, to receive and give everything back to the Father in poverty, to live out the will of the Father in obedience.

Religious men and women, by following Christ closely in this way, become totally free for the service of the Gospel. Their whole life reflects the life of Christ that was totally directed toward the love and service of others and doing the work of the Father. Religious live together in communities and feel called to share everything in common. They share not only their material goods, but also their talents, a life of prayer and apostolic works. By the witness of these communities, their lives shared in love and filled with joy and the Holy Spirit, the Church reveals her true face to today’s world.

John Paul II, in the Apostolic Letter, The Consecrated Life (Vita Consecrata) wrote to all Religious saying:

An immense task awaits you in the future. In a special way young consecrated persons, by witnessing to their consecration, can lead their contemporaries to a renewal of their lives. Our contemporaries want to see in consecrated persons the joy which comes from being with the Lord. You have the task of once more inviting the men and women of our time to lift their eyes, not to let themselves be overwhelmed by everyday things, to let themselves be captivated by the fascination of God and his Son’s Gospel. Do not forget that you, in a very special way, can and must say that you not only belong to Christ, but that “you have become Christ!”