Catholic religious order

Catholic Religious Order

Catholic religious order

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Catholic religious orders are one of two types of religious institutes ('Religious Institutes', cf. canons 573–746 from Intratext), the major form of consecrated life in the Catholic Church. They are organizations of laity and/or clergy who take solemn vows (in contrast to the simple vows taken by the members of religious congregations) and who live a common life following a religious rule or constitution under the leadership of a religious superior. According to the Annuario Pontificio, there are four branches of religious orders:
* Monastic orders: orders founded by monks or nuns who live and work in a monastery and recite the divine office.
* Mendicant orders: orders founded by friars or nuns who live from alms, recite the divine office, and have active participation in apostolic endeavors.
* Canons Regular: orders founded by canons and canonesses regular who recite the divine office and generally are in charge of a parish.
* Clerks Regular: orders founded by priests who are also religious men with vows and have a very active apostolic life.


Their intention is to imitate Jesus more closely, mainly, but not exclusively, by observing evangelical chastity, poverty, and obedience, which are the three evangelical counsels of perfection (cf. canons 599–601 ). They bind themselves to this form of living by taking public vows in accordance with the norms of church law. They may additionally...
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