Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE)

does anyone have any knowledge of this community and what they are like?

They staff a parish nearby, Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the IVEs. The priests are personable, very well-formed, good homilists, and have a very practical, virtue-oriented spirituality. The sisters are outgoing, cheerful, and the kids love having them for CCD. They are all consistently orthodox and striving for sanctity.

Love 'em!!! :thumbsup:


They also staff a parish near me. I can’t do any better than Meg’s description, so I’ll just quote it and say that I agree…

Maybe there are some near you and you could go for a visit?

From the looks of it they are growing…

Founded in 1984…

Currently, the Institute over 300 priests (among them, about 100 have received their Licentiate degree and 10 have received their Doctoral degree, and many more are studying to obtain either their Licentiate or Doctoral degrees), 240 seminarians, 100 minor seminarians, and more than 75 novices.
The Institute has seminaries in Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Italy, and the United States. The Institute also provides priests for the formation of seminarians at seminaries in Peru, Brazil, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, the Ukraine, Egypt, Ecuador and Papua New Guinea. The Institute has been blessed with many vocations who enter our novitiates in Chile, Peru, Brazil, Italy, Tajikistan, Egypt and the United States. Some of the members of our Institute live contemplative life. There are contemplative monasteries of the I.V.E. in Argentina, Spain, Italy, Peru and Israel.

Looks aren’t everything… but it looks like they did not get the memo that we are in a “vocations crunch” and that “nobody wants to be a priest or religous these days”…

I have heard some rather positive things about these folks… No personal experience with them.

Aren’t they a picture of youth and joy!..and dont they look just absolutely beautiful!..thank you for posting the pic…

There was a cool pic of the seminarians that I saw on this thread that somehow got deleted–here it is again…

Everything I’ve ever seen about this order in Washington DC has been awesome–faithful and joyful.

Their vocations website ( certainly has good information about them.

The Institute of the Incarnate Word also has a third order. More information on them can be found here:

These guys seem amazing!

Your profile indicates that you live in Northern Virginia. You could easily visit the order, which has a major presence in the Washington, DC area!

Apparently one of my friends at school is a friend with one of their seminarians so he is trying to arrange a way for us to meet. I’m really looking forward to that.

Also, check out the Sol Institute in Washington, DC. This is a ministry that supports those discerning vocations in the Washington, DC area.

If you liked the pictures earlier in this thread, you’ll love this video of the Institute of the Incarnate Word celebrating at the March for Life…

I had never heard of this order before attending the March For Life. I attended the youth rally and mass at the verizon center before the march and the IVE seminarians and sisters were there. The seminarians were very cool, all of them wore cassocks and had a mosh pit going in the center of the floor during the rally. At the march itself many of the seminarians were there with drums and various musical instruments. This is defiantly an order to keep and eye on in the future.

The IVE sisters had drums and musical instruments too. :wink:

Fortunately, the IVE keeps the drums in the march, and sings proper sacred music during the mass! Check out this online album of Gregorian Chant from their seminary…

I would be very wary of the IVE. Be sure to get 3rd party advice (ie. talk to other orders) and do plenty of discernment on your own before entering - be careful with their advice because they are always going to say “yes, you should join.”

They were kicked out of Argentina, they’ve been investigated by the vatican twice, the founder has been forced to step down twice… They put on a good veneer and they recruit heavily, but there’s no retention. The Majority of the argentinean priests leave, the majority of the US seminarians leave… same goes for the sisters. The numbers they quote you on number of priests aren’t real. It’s more like under 100, not the 350 they advertise. Too many similarities to the Legionaires of Christ.

We’ve put up more info here in case you are interested:

Hmmm “iveinfo”… It’s kind of strange to dredge up a 5 year old thread! And I can’t help but be skeptical of someone who clearly made an account here for the sole reason of making that post, and whose handle makes clear that they are only about the IVE (presumably discrediting it). I am actually an IVE seminarian–I often read but really don’t post on the threads here. Still, I just saw this comment and couldn’t help but respond! :mad: So here goes…

The IVE has not been “kicked out of Argentina”–we have a number of parishes, homes for the handicapped, orphanages, schools, etc there. And we also run the largest seminary in the whole country. Here is a list of the IVE/SSVM locations in Argentina–it gives 15:

The IVE’s founder (Fr. Buela) did indeed step down a couple years ago (I think this has more to do with difficulties in Church politics than anything else–he is extremely outspoken and perhaps not universally beloved), but unlike the terrible story of Fr. Maciel, he was certainly not accused of any type of sexual abuse/impropriety of any kind. And he was not banished to a monastery to do penance for his sins. He lives in Rome and is still very involved in the order. As regards Vatican investigations: I believe that about 15 years ago or so we were accused of being ultra-rightist/Lefebvrite/fascists by certain people in the Church who didn’t like that we were trying to be absolutely and totally faithful to the Church and the Magisterium. All I can say is that the Holy See must have concluded that things were just fine, since our houses of formation are going great guns and our formation plan is the same as it always has been.

In every order some people leave during the formation process (that is a normal part of discernment, etc.). And some may even occasionally leave after final vows–that is a shame, but we live in a fallen world. But regarding numbers: if the IVE has fewer than 100 priests, how can they have as many different mission locations as they do? That is, in over 40 countries? (Especially since there are almost always at least 2 priests in each place, and often more.)

Surely the list of places I gave above where the IVE is located (and which provides contact information) is not fabricated? Anyway, I know for a fact (i.e., I could probably name them all) that we have about 50 priests just in this province, and our largest presences are in Argentina and Italy. In any case, that would be a very strange thing to lie about–what does it really matter how many members an order has?

Regarding the Legionaries of Christ: I’m not even going there.

Bottom line for all you readers out there: beware of anonymous detractors of anyone or anything…


We’d like to respond to some of the issues you brought up:

Is it strange to post to a 5 year old thread? No, because it still shows up in search engines. You responded, so it’s still relevant to you at least.

Is it strange to sign up to post to IVE specific threads? No, in fact, that’s exactly what you yourself have done.

Should discerners be suspicious of us? Yes, be suspicious of us. Read everything we have put up with a critical and discerning eye. Ask questions, get 3rd party opinions, etc. Do all of that and use that same suspicion when you speak with the IVE.

As for the rest of the points, do your own research. We’ve given a different perspective. You are all adults and can arrive at your own conclusions.

“We” would like to post a reply? :confused: But anyway…

If you look at when I joined this site, you will see that it was about 9 months ago. As I mentioned, I haven’t really posted anything since joining, since I usually go just to read about the topics on these forums. You, however, clearly joined this website yesterday with the express purpose of making the post you first made–namely, trying to discredit my religious family, and posting a link to a website you (presumably) made, one full of anonymous accusations, petty grievances, thinly veiled allusions to sinister goings-on, etc. All with regard to an order that is remarkably transparent, faithful, joyful, and whose members are really striving for holiness and trying to live for the Church.

It was on account of this anonymity more than anything else that people should be suspicious of you–indeed, we can’t even know if you are one person or not! I absolutely agree that one should be “discerning” about whatever religious order or diocese that they he or she is considering. However, I don’t think that someone who is discerning should be “suspicious” by default. To those who are curious about the IVE or SSVM, I would encourage you to visit us and see how we live, pray, converse, and engage in our apostolates, and then come to your own conclusions.

Of course, you are right in at least one regard: people should look, read, and pray about their vocation. They should speak with people that they really trust to guide them, and should always remember to consider the authority of their sources of information. And anonymous sources have no intrinsic authority, because there is no way of verifying their claims or holding them accountable for falsehood.

Thank you for replying. Our intention is not to smear, but to point out items that seem to be problematic as a heads up to those who are considering the order. Much of the information we have on our site is information readily available on spanish language search engines, but not in English. We thought those discerning deserved access to this information and we are making it available to them on our site. However, upon reflection, we can see how a couple of the statements in our original post here could be seen as speculative. We realize that and apologize. *

The 100 priests number was a very low guess on our part, it was arrived at without a lot of information except the understanding of around 50% attrition.We do not claim to have the correct number and can only work with the information given to us. Looking at it from another perspective, using your total number of parishes (96),averaging 2 priests a parish (some have one but we thought this would be a good number), and adding a few for the seminarieswe come closer to 200 current priests. This gives an attrition rate of 40% based on the 350 priests number which has been used for several years. It seems from your two replies that this is something you are willing to discuss, so can you tell us if this information accurate? * If not, let us know the number and we’ll correct it. *

And “Kicked Out” was vernacular for the founder being exiled and Argentine Bishops refusing to ordain IVE candidates (there were no ordinations for 3+ years because of this, correct?) and the headquarters being moved out of Italy and other surrounding information as found on the spanish language web (links provided on our site.) *So the HQ, founder, and leadership having to leave could reasonably be referred to as “kicked out”, but if you prefer different language, that is fine. **Let us know what you would suggest in its place.

Also, you responded using a fair number of generalities. If the institute is as transparent as you make it out to be, perhaps you could clear some things up for us with specifics? For instance, what were the reasons for the investigations? Why was Fr. Buela forced to step down? Why did Argentine bishops refuse to ordain IVE candidates for so long?

Also, you responded using a fair amount of generalities.* If the institute is as transparent as you make it out to be, perhaps you could clear some things up for us with specifics?* * For instance, what were the reasons for the investigations?* Why was Fr. Buela forced to step down?* Why did Argentine bishops refuse to ordain even transitionary deacons? * (Especially because this is a grave violation of Canon Law. Bishops could not do that without a grave reason: “Can.* 1030 Only for a canonical cause, even if occult, can the proper bishop or competent major superior forbid admission to the presbyterate to deacons subject to him who are destined to the presbyterate, without prejudice to recourse according to the norm of law.”)

If you say it is because of your orthodoxy, then why do you associate with a Cardinal who has such a sordid past and reputation? One of the sources for this description of the Cardinal is EWTN”s own Raymond Arroyo - as we point out on our site (Note, EWTN is the owner of Why associate with such a liberal Cardinal if you are so orthodox? Why not find a more traditional, conservative Church leader in the US to support you and do your ordinations (The Cardinal performs them both here and in Argentina, correct?) These are reasonable questions to ask, are they not?

With regard to anonymity, there are couple obvious reasons for anonymity. *One of those reasons is evident in your obsession with our identity and your “attack the messenger” approach. You are free to deny or dispute any of our accusations, but it would be better if you spoke about the accusations instead of the person writing them.

You are right about credibility being problematic for anonymous sources. This has always been a problem for those who fear retribution for pointing out errors. Yet we are not trying to argue from a position of personal authority. This is why we make every effort to back up all of our posts with objective evidence. For example when we state that the Institute does not always follow its constitutions we are able to provide an example of this by showing paragraphs from those constitutions and then showing several pictures them being disobeyed - by the founder no less. When we comment on the history of the order we provide links to the Argentine sources we are summarizing. In these cases we are simply aggregating information already made available, but not readily accessible to those on the English language web. In other cases we outline common practices that any discerner could verify through his or her own experience by visiting and asking questions - and we encourage them to do so. There are many examples of this on our site.

We can understand how some of the ideas we share can be hurtful or could easily anger a member of the IVE. We also appreciate your encouragement to readers to discern correctly and we have no doubt you believe it, and that you are trying to live a holy life. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that the IVE’s practices we outline on the website - especially in the area of recruiting - deserve to be made available to those considering the Institute so they can make an informed decision.

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