spirit and mission—of the community and pledge to carry out prayer andworks of service according to thischarism and their own abilities. Associates commit themselves to integrating the community’s spirit into theirway of life. They usually take part insome activities of the community.
A list of more than 100 religiousorders that have associates is available on the website of the NorthAmerican Conference of Associatesand Religious: nacar.org. Look forthe community member’s directory.
Or you may search for the keyword“Associate” in the online VISIONCommunity Search.
Secular third orders
Secular third orders—such as theLay Carmelites, the Oblates of St.
Benedict, and the Third Order of St.
Francis—are associations of laypeople
who follow the inspiration and guid-
ance 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 or-
ders, inquire with individual commu-
nities that have them. These commu-
nities tend to be Franciscan, Carmel-
ite, Benedictine, and Dominican.
Permanent deacons are men, usually
35 or older and self-supporting, who
are ordained to minister in a diocese
after a formal period of formation
and training that the diocese over-
sees. The ministry of the deacon is
threefold: service, the word (such as
preaching, catechesis, retreat work,
or counseling), and liturgy, including
leading certain parts of the Mass and
presiding at Baptisms and weddings.
Deacons may also be involved with
parish pastoral ministry. Although
a permanent deacon may be mar-
ried at the time of ordination, if he is
single at ordination, or if his wife dies
afterward, he is expected to remain
celibate. For more information: usccb.
This relatively rare form of lifeinvolves living a life of prayer andcontemplation in solitude. A bishopmust be willing to accept the formalpetition of a person who wants to be adiocesan hermit, and official paperwork is involved. This eremitical wayof life is an ancient tradition and isdescribed, in part, in canon law as follows (Canon 603): “A hermit is one
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