3rd order vocations

Hello,

Hope everyone is good this evening. I am a new Catholic. Just joined in March. My wife and I have discovered the wonderful truth of the Catholic Church!!! Deo Gratias!!

Being new, I am looking at ways to grow my faith and develop a rock hard commitment to the church. I recognize Christianity now as a discipline. I pray the rosary daily, and have devotion to several saints that I make a priority to develop.

I am wondering about organizations like K of C, or even third order religious. And oblates, I don’t know if that’s the same thing as a third order or not.

I am interested in some opinions on third orders. I see many posts giving links to the various orders, and that is great but not what I’m looking for at the moment. I would like to hear experiences that posters have had with these organizations and would like to know:

  1. Do you recommend third orders or not?
  2. How could this organization help my faith and walk with the Lord?
  3. And is this something I would not get otherwise?

Thank you all for your input!

First: welcome aboard!:thumbsup:

Oblates are sort of like Third (aka Secular) Orders. Difference: they are attached to their monastery only, not all monasteries. In contrast, a Secular Franciscan is a member of his/her own order. Meetings are held at a specific church, but if an OFS (Secular Franciscan) moves, he can become a member of a fraternity in his new area (after some paperwork, although the receiving fraternity is not obliged to accept him as a member)

  1. Do you recommend third orders or not? I do. Really focuses you on the Catholic Faith, in my experience.
  2. How could this organization help my faith and walk with the Lord? Little harder to answer. Many perform the corporal works of mercy.
  3. And is this something I would not get otherwise? No. But you won’t get the particular “flavor” of the orders. For example Franciscan: loyalty to the Church/Holy Father, pray the Liturgy of the Hours, help the poor, teaches you not to be owned by your possessions.

Awesome! Thanks for the response. Also, I didn’t really mean to make this sound like its all about ME ME ME! I am discerning how to best please the Lord!

Also, I’d love to hear about your experiences with specific groups!

That came across quite clearly. :slight_smile:
BTW, there is no law that says that you can’t sit in on a few meetings with each group near you, and then decide. :slight_smile:

That’s something I haven’t thought of! I’ll look into it!

Ave Maria!

Here are some thoughts in answer to your questions. Perhaps later I can post some practical observations of the Franciscan Third Order of our community since I’ve become a friar these past few years.

  1. "Do you recommend third orders or not? "

-Absolutely. The religious life of the 1st order (friars/monks) and 2nd orders (sisters/nuns) are completely geared to a life of sanctification. For those who must be in the world, the third order is the next closest thing.

"grow my faith and develop a rock hard commitment to the church. I recognize Christianity now as a discipline. I pray the rosary daily, and have devotion to several saints that I make a priority to develop.

-This is exactly what the Third Order is for. It takes growth. It takes commitment. It takes discipline. It takes the daily Rosary. It makes saints.

  1. How could this organization help my faith and walk with the Lord?
    -By requiring what was already mentioned, the faithful grows and is fortified by public vows to the Church. Monthly conferences, meetings, activities, community Masses, catechesis, the support of your brethren, the support of the friars/monks/priests/sisters/nuns, etc. The religious priests of the order guide the community, as well as the experienced members. You pray with and for the community. Families of the members come and are also enriched on the journey home.

  2. And is this something I would not get otherwise?
    -It would be very difficult, next to impossible. The third order is a great gift that has made countless saints, from kings and queens to the poor alike. It is designed to build the kingdom of heaven in you, in your home, and to the rest of the world.

Basically, it’s a no brainer!

A bit more in depth history from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Ave Maria!

In the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Friar John Paul

There are a ton of great 3rd/Secular order threads on CAF if you take a bit of time to search. My suggestion is to start researching the different spiritual traditions in the Church and see what resonates with you. This might be a process of many months or even years, as you take the time to read, experience, and discern the different spiritual approaches to God. Then, see which communities who follow those spiritual traditions have a charism which resonates with you.

A woefully incomplete list of lay groups or secular orders of varying spiritual traditions is as follows:

Opus Dei
Benedictine Oblates
Secular Franciscans
Lay Dominicans
Secular/Third Order Carmelites
Lay Cistercians
Ignatian Associates
Servite Secular Order
Secular Augustinians

I am sure there are many others which I am missing, but that should give you something to go on to start looking into things.

+Pax

May be incomplete, but a great start! :slight_smile:

Eyesopening, you should be aware, though, that third orders are a bit different than other groups you may find in your parish or diocese. Entering a third order requires mutual (you and the local community) discernment, over a periods of years, that you do indeed have a vocation – not just to “a third order,” but to that particular order. So you will need to look into the different strains of spirituality – Carmelite, Dominican, Franciscan, etc. – and see whether one of them “calls” you.

Entering will be a serious commitment. For example, the Secular Discalced Carmelites, to which I belong, commit to monthly meetings; study of the writings of the Carmelite saints; daily Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, with the addition of Night Prayer being highly recommended; daily Mass as much as possible; and 1/2 hour daily mental prayer.
Many third orders, by the way, will not accept someone who has just entered the Church. We want you to have some time to settle in as a Catholic. :smiley:

Having said that, welcome! and do ask questions here, there are a lot of knowledgeable people at CAF.

Eyesopening: I agree with everything Agnes Therese said. I am a Lay Carmelite and we do all of the above.
I can’t imagine my life without it, and have been a Lay Carmelite since 1975 I had been attracted to the writings of the Carmelite saints prior to my even knowing there was such a thing as a Third Order! It has changed my life, and continues to do so. I so look forward to attending the monthly meetings.

Even though orders would have you wait a bit before thinking of joining them, it would be a good idea to get to sit in at meetings of a few different kinds to give you a taste of the various spiritualities. We all have different personalities and certain orders are more suited to some people.

My advice is same as that of an earlier convert in our group, “Don’t rush”

Relax, get to know the faith, explore it.

In time you will know what you should do.

Thank you all for your quick responses! I am only in the very beginning of this discernment and I have to process a lot of information. I am definitely not in a hurry, but willing to go wherever God leads!!! I will continue to research!

That sounds great! God’s blessings to you. :slight_smile:

Dorothy stated :


Even though orders would have you wait a bit before thinking of joining them, it would be a good idea to get to sit in at meetings of a few different kinds to give you a taste of the various spiritualities. We all have different personalities and certain orders are more suited to some people.

My take : Good comments - especially to sit in at meetings and “test the waters” - perhaps more than one meeting. Discernment is exactly what it means. There is a period of years, if one decides to go ahead and one is accepted, that are discernment years Discernment is exactly what it states - a period during which you, leadership and the community strive to discern if the particular Third Order is a place where you and the community including leadership can discern that The Lord is granting the newbie The Grace of a vocation and call to the particular community and religious order.

St Therese of Lisieux OCD (Carmelite nun):- “All is Grace” - in other words nothing that is good and positive is accomplished outside of God’s Grace.

Yhe Lord is “The Alpha and The Omega”, i.e. the source and origin of all that is good and the rightful objective of all goodness. Hence, all that is good and positive in our universe - from the smallest to the greatest good, has begun and ideally ends in God as actions, events, of adoration and praise of Him alone.

Hence all adoration, praise and thanks to God in all things good and positive in our universe.

John 15:5
“I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.”

Tigger (BarbaraTherese)

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