Secular Orders and Associations are extensions of religious orders but are intended for those not taking holy vows. The purpose of these secular orders and associations is to unite laity, religious and priests who are called to follow Christ with examples set forth by their patrons. The Diocese of Gaylord has several opportunities and we invite you to find out more.
The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites
The members of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites are faithful members of the Church, called to live in allegiance to Christ “through a friendship with the one we know loves us” and in service to the Church. Under the protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in the biblical tradition of the prophet Elijah and inspired by the teachings of St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross, they seek to deepen their Christian commitment received in baptism. (OCDS Constitutions, 3)
The Life of a Secular Carmelite:
- Liturgical Prayer (Mass, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer)
- Meditation (Interior silence, solitude)
- Marian (Devotion to the Virgin Mary)
- Meetings (Monthly)
- Apostolate (Individual and Community Service to the Church)
Secular Carmelites are continually in formation, and study the works of Carmelite Saints including St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The Order of Carmel traces its roots to the prophet Elijah, who lived and prayed on the holy Mount of Carmel. Members of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) live their vocations in the world rather than in a monastery. They come from all walks of life: single, married, widowed, deacons and diocesan priests. They bring the fruit of their prayer to the world and promote awareness of God’s love and mercy to all.
For more information regarding the Infant Jesus of Prague OCDS Community in Traverse City, contact Amy Shank at 231-832-2678 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information regarding the Our Lady of Mount Carmel OCDS Group in Gaylord, contact Vicki Looker at 989-619-0307 or email@example.com. General information on the order may be found at www.ocdswashprov.org.
Brochure can be downloaded here.
FAITH magazine also has a featured story on the Secular Carmelites that can be found here.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Fraternity-Secular Franciscan Order
In the history of the order, there were lay men and women who wished to follow the ideal of St. Francis of Assisi but because of family responsibilities could not. Francis formed a simple rule for the "Brothers and Sister of Penance" and today they are known as the Secular Franciscan Order (prior to 1978 they were known as "The Third Order.") The OFS is more than another group in the Church. They are an order, whose fraternities are established according to Canon Law (303), and strive to follow the Gospel in their lives everyday -- lives of simplicity and service.
The Life of a Secular Franciscan is based on five key words:
Brochure can be downloaded here.
FAITH magazine also has a featured story on the Secular Franciscans that can be found here.
More information can be gained by contacting the following:
Barbara Marie Lubinski, OFS (Formation Minister): 1.248.625.2995 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Corpe, OFS (Secretary): 989.619.9014 or email@example.com
Regional Fraternity: Divinemercy.firstname.lastname@example.org
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
—St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis de Sales Association
A spiritual family for lay women, married, single divorced or widowed, who are seeking a deeper more personal relationship with God. The association is formally recognized as an international association of the faithful by the Dicastery for Laity Family and Life. It is not a secular third order. We are the lay branch of the Society of the Daughters of Saint Francis de Sales, founded in France in 1872 for laywomen as a school of continuing formation, for deepening conversion, in view of the apostolate. The Society eventually gave birth to a religious branch, the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI).
Salesian spirituality, rooted in love and the Gospel message offers a simple way of reconciling the often conflicting demands of home, family, career, church and community with growth in the spiritual life. St Francis reminds us that we are called to holiness (‘seeking friendship with God’) through the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives.
Themes of Salesian spirituality:
- God is love
- Living in God’s presence
- Holiness in daily life- Union with God in heart and will
- The Little Virtues
- The spiritual life is all about relationships
The Saint Francis de Sales Association provides a practical means of living a life devoted to God within a family of spiritual friends, united in a bond of love to support us along the way. Brochure can be downloaded here. Please feel free to contact Betty at 239.280.6434 or visit the website at www.sfdsassociation.org.
Mercy Associates are women and men, who respond to the Gospel invitation of Jesus, and the example of Catherine McAuley, to minister to God’s children who are experiencing poverty, illness, or lack of education by living out the spiritual and corporal works of Mercy. These values are incorporated into Mercy Associates daily lives and they share their unique mission of Mercy in their homes, workplaces, churches, and communities. While connected to the Sisters of Mercy, associates come from many different faith traditions but are respectful of, and comfortable with, Christian symbolism and prayer.
Associates actively participate in the life of the Sisters of Mercy and share in the unique charism of the Institute. Mercy Associates do not take vows (poverty, chastity, obedience, and service) like the Sisters of Mercy do. Instead, associates make a covenant (commitment) to be partners with the Sisters of Mercy and to share in their spiritual life and in their pledge of service to others and to our world. Mercy Associates work to extend the presence of Mercy to our sisters and brothers through prayer, solidarity, and volunteer projects.
There are more than 3,000 of us throughout the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Guam and the Philippines. The association process is generally about a year—occasionally meeting with other Associates and Sisters of Mercy for prayer, fellowship, support, learning about the Mercy Association, and discerning if it’s right for you. After this period of mutual discernment, a covenant ceremony marks the formal commitment to the Mercy family.
There are more than 3,000 Mercy Associates throughout the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Guam and the Philippines. The association process is generally about a year—occasionally meeting with other Associates and Sisters of Mercy for prayer, fellowship, support, learning about the Mercy Association, and discerning if it’s right for you. After this period of mutual discernment, a covenant ceremony marks the formal commitment to the Mercy family.
More information can be found at www.sistersofmercy.org