Societies of Apostolic Life
In addition to the options of religious life, secular institutes and consecrated virginity, there are new ‘movements’ or ‘communities’ in the Church that have members that choose celibacy– either individually or in community. As per Canon Law, these are called “societies of men or women who live in common without vows” and fall under a collective group called the Societies of Apostolic Life.
As per the Catechism (CCC 930) “… 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, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions. Among these, there are societies in which the members embrace the evangelical counsels, according to their constitutions.”
As stated, the vows, conditions of life, charisms, ministry etc., all vary depending on the community and its respective requirements. However, the members remain single, take some form of commitments/vows and seek to be ‘leaven’ in the world.
Examples of Societies of Apostolic Life
A few examples of such Societies are given below:
- Focolarini in Focolare (present in India)
- Numeraries in Opus Dei (present in India): Opus Dei is not really a Society for Apostolic Life. It is a ‘Personal Prelature‘ but for the purposes of this explanation, it is being included here.
- The Emmanuel Community
- Memores Domini (women’s wing of Communion & Liberation)
- Regnum Christi
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