Society of Apostolic Life


Society of Apostolic Life

A Society of Apostolic Life is a group of men or women within the Catholic Church who have come together for a specific purpose. Unlike members of an Institute of Consecrated Life or a religious order, members of apostolic societies do not make religious vows. This type of organisation is defined in the Code of Canon Law under canons 731-755.

While members of apostolic societies have some community life, the mission of the community is given emphasis; members can be re-assigned among the various communities of the society as needed, and this lack of stability distinguishes this kind of society from some religious orders, such as the Benedictines, Poor Clares or Cistercians.

A community needs the written approval of a bishop to operate within his diocese. Clerics of a society of apostolic life are usually incardinated into the society and not the diocese, unless specified otherwise in the its constitution (e.g. the Sulpicians who are members of both the Society and diocese). Each community has a right to its own oratory.

Members of a Society of Apostolic Life are allowed to own personal property, but must normally live in community.

Such societies are regulated by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Societies of Apostolic Life

* Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
* Maryknoll
* Missionaries of the Precious Blood
* Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
* Society of Saint-Sulpice
* Oratory of Saint Philip Neri
* Institute of the Good Shepherd
* Paulist Fathers

External links

* [http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2G.HTM Code of Canon Law regulating Societies of Apostolic Life]


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