Definitions

Women Religious (Sisters)

Congregation of the Divine Spirit 1These are women called by God to:

  • Commit themselves to Christ and to the Christian Community
  • Take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience
  • Live in a community patterned on the life and teaching of the founder of the community
  • Share possessions in common

Their ministry depends on:

  • The particular community to which they belong
  • The needs of the Church and its people

Examples of ministry are:

  • Social service
  • Education
  • Hospital/medical field
  • Faith formation

Lifestyle Definitions

2012 website OP MexicoActive Religious Lifestyle (Sisters)

Lived by women who:

  • Consecrate themselves to God through profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience
  • Embrace their community’s charism (see definition)
  • Live a life in common
  • Seek to love God and neighbor through prayer in community, and personal prayer and meditation
  • Serve God’s people through different forms of active ministry

Women Definitions CloisteredCloistered Lifestyle (Nuns)

Lived by women who:

  • Consecrate themselves to God through solemn profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience
  • Embrace their community’s charism (see definition)
  • Seek to imitate Christ in his prayer on the mountain
  • Listen to the Word of God in silence and solitude
  • Offer continuous prayer for the world
  • Embrace a life lived within an enclosed space not accessible to the outside world

Monastic Lifestyle (Nuns) 

Women Definitions MonasticLived by women who:

  • Leave behind life in the world in order to seek God in a stable form of life
  • Consecrate themselves to God through solemn profession of vows such as poverty, chastity, obedience, stability, conversion of life, etc.
  • Dedicate themselves to community life and a common rule
  • Strive to create a harmonious balance between the interior life and work
  • Live in persevering dedication to meditation on God’s Word, prayer and the celebration of the Liturgy

Monasteries continue to be eloquent signs of communion as well as schools of faith and true places of study, dialogue, and culture for the building up of the life of the Church.

Charism

A religious community’s charism is a special gift of the Holy Spirit given to the members to effectively carry out a specific service within the Church.

Contemplation

Contemplation is a form of prayer in which one simply ponders God accompanied by very few, if any, words or mental images.