Looking in to some third orders


I feel a strong desire to join a third order as a wingle person.

the main ones in my area are the secular Franciscans, OCD and OCARM

any lovely CAF members part of these and can provide some information?

in practical terms, what is the difference between OCD and OCaRM. I can’t really seem to distinguish them besides the fact tha tone was reformed.

also, in regards to the promises, how does the promise of poverty work? is ti different for each order? does someone chech how much you are spending or what you are buying? are you allowed to go on a vacation still, for example? or save up money to give to your friends and family who need it more?

any lived experiences would be appreciated

I am a single person though with no desire to marry? but I don’t feel a desire to be a religious sister either, just a tertiary, but they are very close to being the same thing. I am very confused as to why I feel strongly about one or not the other. are third orders supposed to be more for people who can’t become religious because they are married? thanks for any input. I will also contact our new vocations director that our diocese just got, maybe that will help.


PM sent/


Look for ones that don’t discriminate against wingle people. Some are so closed minded! :rotfl:


sorry, typo, that was supposed to be single


I love a good typo that can make me laugh. The other day I read a post from someone who said he had to "zero in some nuns. It made me laugh as he meant to say “zero in some guns.” Hunters will know what he meant as I do, coming from a family of a bunch of hunters. Nevertheless, it cracked me up. Love a good typo!:smiley:


I did some digging:


It looks like the OCD Carmelites focus on Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila than the O.Carm ones. The FAQ states that there does not seem to be much of a difference in the formation of a Secular Carmelite versus a Third Order Carmelite.


yeah, that is what i found as well. not sure what becomes the deciding factor then.

also, is there a cost associated with the formation program? does anyone know?


It looks like what it comes down to it is which is more available, or maybe you like the people in the OCD community more than the O.Carm, or vice versa. What you probably should do is visit both and decide that way.

As for costs, I can’t really think of any costs involved, except for books used during formation. Maybe you’ll have to buy your own scapular for when/if you enter the novitiate?



Here are the actual Constitutions of the OCD secular order. You may wish to scroll down to the actual constitutions in #6 and #9 for a general idea. The Rule of St.Albert is not followed in the Secular Order, but is more or less for the religious of the Second Order. . ocd.pcn.net/ocds_Aen.htm


**The Historical Third Orders Secular **(and all are still in existence):

Secular Franciscan Order (Third Order of St. Francis)

Lay Dominicans (Dominican Third Order)

Third Order Secular of the Carmelite Order

Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (Discalced Carmelite Third Order)

Third Order Secular of Most Holy Trinity (Tertiaries of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives)

Mercedarian Third Order (Tertiaries of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy)

Servite Secular Order (Third Order of the Order of the Servants of Mary)

Secular Augustinians (Third Order of the Augustinian Order)

Secular Augustinian Recollects (Third Order of the Augustinian Recollect)

Minims Third Order

Premonstratensian Third Order


Yes a spiritual director can assist you too in discernment.

The tertiary vocation is a particular vocation within the lay vocation. (unless of course one is a Priest - then within the secular Priestly vocation).


The Rule of St. Albert would be part of the secular orders life…but lived as such not as a religious (one would look to the sec. orders constitutions) - similar to how other religious rules are looked to by tertiaries (living the spirit of such in their lay vocation).


Hi B.C.,

The reason I stated my post as I did, was not to confuse the reader who may wrongly believe that St. Albert’s Rules are part of our secular vocation. For instance St. Albert’s rules 5-10, 12, 16-17, etc., certainly would not apply to a lay Carmelite, who must live in the world as married or single people, and would not be bound by such.


Yes I understand.




How do “oblates” (as of St. Benedict specifically) differ from third orders, or do they? And does anyone have any information on the Benedictine spirituality for lay people?


Third Orders (tertiaries) arose from the Orders began in the 12th and 13th Century.

Oblates are similar but they are attached to a particular monastery (usually Benedictine) not to an Order.


This is correct.

Plus side: no national to pay dues to

Negative side: if you move, you start over with a new monastery (usually).


Thank you for the information; have been looking into the possibility and was getting confused!

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