- Society of Apostolic Life
A Society of Apostolic Life is a group of men or women within the
Catholic Churchwho have come together for a specific purpose. Unlike members of an Institute of Consecrated Lifeor 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 Claresor Cistercians.
A community needs the written approval of a
bishopto 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 Sulpicianswho 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
Missionaries of the Precious Blood
Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
Society of Saint-Sulpice
Oratory of Saint Philip Neri
Institute of the Good Shepherd
* [http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2G.HTM Code of Canon Law regulating Societies of Apostolic Life]
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