Are byzantine Catholics allowed to join Roman third orders

Are byzantine Catholics allowed to join third orders such as Dominicans, Franciscan’s etc. or is that not allowed due to the canonical structure of the order. Wondering if anyone has experience or knowledge on this.


Short answer: yes.

Why it matters: The great patrimony of the faith that has come to us from the East is not negligible. The Carmelites were ‘born’ in the East, and one of the brightest stars in our constellation of saints was born in a Melkite family. The Discalced Carmelite friars embarked upon successful missions all over the Mideast. Today, the OCD friars serve in Oriental Rite parishes worldwide and our nuns are not exclusively Latin rite Catholics; we have Byzantine rite Discalced Carmelite nuns, also. Needless to say, wherever our friars serve the Oriental rite faithful, there you will find communities of the Secular Order (OCDS), too.


Are there are any third order movements specifically for Eastern Catholics?

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Carmelites were only born in the geographical east, not the liturgical/ritual east. It was founded in the latin Jerusalem kingdom (a western crusade state) by mostly latin rite catholics. There is not much particularly oriental about the carmelites.


I’m more curious about a group such as the Dominicans or Franciscans

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Thanks for your reply. Here’s what Saint Edith Stein wrote:

We who live in Carmel and who daily call on our Holy Father Elijah in prayer know that for us he is not a shadowy figure out of the dim past. His spirit is active among us in a vital tradition and determines how we live. […] Islam’s conquest of the Holy Land drove the hermit brothers from Carmel. […] The transition from solitude into the everyday life of Western culture led to a falsification of the original spirit of the Order. (“On the History and Spirit of Carmel”)

Here are scenes from the pilgrimage of the relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux in Egypt last December. That’s our beloved Father Patricio Sciadini, O.C.D. holding the small relic and distributing Holy Communion at the Coptic parish in Tanta. Even the Muslims came to venerate the Little Flower!


There’s Byzantines in Franciscan third orders. Here is one page showing some. I’m guessing that with the enormous number of Franciscans out there, there are many such groups.


Thank you for mentioning the Byzantine Franciscans! :heart::heart::heart:

About 4 years ago, my late mother and I went to the Pilgrimage for Peace which the Byzantine Franciscans had every year. They stopped it ~ 2 years ago because they have very few monks now. One of my late father’s good friends was a Byzantine Franciscan and he is buried on the monastery grounds. (I met him ~ a month before he died at the Dormition pilgrimage in Sloatsburg.) And iirc, Archbishop Skurla is a Byzantine Franciscan.

May St. Francis watch over his Byzantine spiritual sons!


I can’t think of how that would preclude one from the Dominicans.

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I’m going to share your question on Facebook with a good friend who is a former professor from the Byzantine seminary in Pittsburgh, he may have specific knowledge relevant to your question.

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I am writing in response to my friend who mentioned me.

I know both Byzantine Catholic Secular Franciscans and Ukrainian Catholic Secular Dominicans. This is very common. God keep all of you1

J. Michael Thompson


Thanks for posting, Professor Penguin! :penguin: Hopefully your reply is helpful to @Jragzz123

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Glory to Jesus Christ!

Welcome to CAF, Professor! It’s an honor to have you as part of our CAF family.

In Christ the King,

Margaret Ann

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I’m late to the conversation but I wanted to give my two cents, for what they are worth to anyone reading this. The Catholic Church is made up of more than two dozen Churches who use various rites to express the same Mysteries in different ways. Any of these Churches is equal to any other as all are Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church with seven valid and licit sacraments and the divine mission to spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. That said, most people spend their entire lives in one Church. Roman Catholicism is by far the largest of the Catholic Churches, exponentially so. Rome (or any of the Eastern Churches) is 100% self sufficient in the sense that they all possess everything one needs to attain Heaven.

All that being said, I find great value in pulling devotions from multiple traditions. I was a convert from protestantism who became Roman Catholic and almost immediately lost the faith due to the lifelessness I experienced in the multitude of Novus Ordo Churches I experienced in Illinois and now here in California. Thankfully, God answered my prayers and I now have the privilege of experiencing both the Traditional Latin Mass as well as the Divine Liturgy from a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church here on the Central Coast of California. I thank God for exposing me to the Byzantine Church as finding myself on the Roman frontlines trying to defend Christ and Tradition to an overwhelmingly modernist majority who simply doesn’t care anymore was disheartening and was sucking the zeal right out of me. Going to the Byzantine Church showed me that I did not have to become entrenched in the EF vs OF battle that is ongoing in the Roman Church (just as an aside, I have always held that the OF is both licit and valid sacramentally, as are the holy orders of priests ordained post vatican 2. I have never gone into sedevacantism. My gripes with the novus ordo and some of the conciliar documents has to do with the effect it had on the faithful, namely to drive them out in droves). It was nice to be able to attend the Divine Liturgy and just let go of all the weight I had been carrying and just give it all to God.

I have sidetracked more than a bit in my last paragraph so this is the TLDR summary. As a Roman Catholic I find much spiritual benefit from adopting Eastern Catholic practices/devotions. My family splits our time between the Traditional Latin Mass and Divine Liturgy. It has been very helpful to us. God gives His graces to all Churches that make up His One Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church. Make use of them!

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I knew a lady who was a Melkite who joined a Carmelite community made up of Latin rite Catholics.

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There is a Byzantine Carmelite Monastery of Nuns (OCD) in Sugarloaf, PA

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