each religious order. Generally associates feel drawn to the charism—the
spirit and mission—of the community and pledge to carry out prayer
and works of service according to
this charism and their own abilities.
Associates commit themselves to
integrating the community’s spirit
into their way of life. They usually
take part in some activities of the
A list of more than 100 religious
orders that have associates is available on the website of the North
American Conference of Associates
and Religious: nacar.org. Look for
the community member’s directory.
Secular third orders
Secular third orders—such as the
Lay Carmelites, the Oblates of St.
Benedict, and the Third Order of St.
Francis—are associations of laypeople who follow the inspiration and
guidance of a religious order while
living in the world. Third order
members are usually received into
the religious community in a particular ceremony and pledge themselves
to certain prayers and religious
practices. For more information on
secular third orders, inquire with
individual communities that have
them. These communities tend to be
community’s spirit into
their way of life.