[quote="mbrazell, post:1, topic:238163"]
What is the process for starting and creating a new order?
The first thing to say is that no-one can establish a new 'order': there have been no new orders since medieval days. The correct generic term for a religious grouping is 'religious institute,' although many people mistakenly use 'order' as a generic term - including me, occasionally.:o
With that bit of shameless pedantry aside; the relevant canons from the 1983 Code of Canon Law regarding the creation of a new institute are:
*Can. 576 It is for the competent authority of the Church to interpret the evangelical counsels, to direct their practice by laws, and by canonical approbation to establish the stable forms of living deriving from them, and also, for its part, to take care that the institutes grow and flourish according to the spirit of the founders and sound traditions.
Can. 579 Diocesan bishops, each in his own territory, can erect institutes of consecrated life by formal decree, provided that the Apostolic See has been consulted.*
So you would need to answer several questions to your satisfaction and that of the bishop, who in terms of canon law is the authority whose permission is required to erect a religious house at the diocesan level; and he in turn will have to satisfy CICLSAL, the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
The questions would include:
Why? (What's the purpose of the institute?).
Where? (Which diocese, which town, which building?).
What? (Enclosed life, apostolic endeavour, eremitical solitude?).
How? (What are the arrangements for meeting costs, managing demands made on the local population or clergy, recruitment of new members?).
In addition, you will need a clear sense of the charism, statutes and constitutions of the new institute. You wouldn't be expected to have all of this information from day one, but it would difficult to proceed without knowing most of the answers to these questions in some form at least. The church is full of institutes that are receiving few if any vocations: you would have to justify why another is needed.
Often it is easier to begin by forming a private association of the faithful, with possible progression to a public association and later to an institute over time. But there is nothing inevitable about this, and the bishop may be disinclined to offer support for a number of reasons - the onus is on you to persuade him that your proposal offers something unique, valuable and viable.
The canon law regarding private and public associations can be read at:
So really the first step is to pray and discern, hopefully with some like-minded people. You could also consider contacting the vicar for religious at your local diocese, but it is possible that they will be unable to offer you any real help until you have something concrete to offer - it's not their job to do the work for you - and there are no guarantees that your efforts will be received positively.
Hope this is helpful and not too discouraging. Prayers and best wishes.