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Opus Dei

(548 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (“God’s Work,” officially: Praelatura personalis Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei), is one of the most influential and at the same time most controversial institutions within the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1928 in Madrid by the Spanish priest Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer (Saint, 1902–1975) as an association for laymen (in 1930 a strictly separate women’s branch was founded), for the sanctification of work and the Christianization of society; in 1941 it was approved as pia unio. In order to have their own clergy, the “Priestly Society of the Holy Cros…

Family, Order of the Holy

(338 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Influenced by the veneration of the Holy Family (Family, Holy), especially as such manifested itself in Canada, 105 communities of the Holy Family emerged between 1650 and 1986 which had mostly female members and which were active in numerous areas of the apostolate and charity. Communities include: 1. Missionaries of the Holy Family (Missionnaires de la Sainte Famille; MSF), established in 1895 by the people's missionary Jean-Baptiste Berthier (1840–1908) in Grave (Holland) to support those receiving a late calling; during the 20th century, it ¶ also engaged in m…

Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Societies, Orders, and Congregations of

(943 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The rise of Catholic orders whose apostolate is connected to the veneration of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and is borne by the associated spirituality, is directly related to the spread of the public and liturgical cults of the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary as they prevailed from the 18th century, especially in France. With reference to the Heart of Mary societies, the dedication of the world to the Heart of Mary – a goal envisaged since the 19th century and attained in 1…


(265 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The Order of Poor Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools (Scolopi, Escolapios, Ordo Clericorum Regularium Pauperum Matris Dei Scholarum Piarum), was founded in 1602 in Rome by the Spanish priest José de Calasanz (saint, 1556/1557–1648; deposed as general in 1642), and elevated to an order in 1621. It is characterized by Marian (Mary, Veneration of: I) and Ignatian (Ignatius of Loyola) spirituality and a centralized constitution. Special vows are taken for the upb…

Reclusive Orders

(82 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (eremitic orders, anchoritic orders). Most of these orders, of both men and women, were established in the 11th century; their traditions go back to the early Christian anchorites. Unlike monastics living a common life (Cenobites), their members largely lived in isolation, requiring a special monastery complex ( eremitorium), highly developed among the Camaldolese and Carthusians. Reclusive strains are also found among the Celestines, Carmelites, and Servites. Manfred Eder Bibliography K.S. Frank, “Einsiedler, Eremit,” LThK  3 III, 1995, 557–559 (bibl.).

Sisters of Saint Dorothy

(95 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (cf. St. Dorothy). Two Italian congregations that arose from the Women’s Union of St. Dorothea (founded by Don Luca Passi, 1789–1866) with educational and social missions: (1) the teaching sisters ( maestre) with motherhouses in Brescia, Venice, Rome and Vicenza; and (2) sisters ( suore) dispersed around the world and numbering approx. 1,600 members with motherhouses in Rome and Cemmo near Brescia. Manfred Eder Bibliography ¶ G. Rocca & C. Vianelli, “Maestre di Santa Dorotea,” DIP V, 1978, 840–843 G. Rocca et al., eds., “Santa Dorotea, Suore di,” DIP  VIII, 1988, 677…


(338 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Servants of Mary, Fratres Servi S. Mariae, Ordo Servorum Mariae, OSM), a clerical order associated with the mendicants, founded in Florence in the first half of the 13th century as a group of hermits; documented in 1249 as Servi S. Mariae (“Servants of Mary”). After difficult initial years, they slowly expanded throughout Italy; in the 13th century they reached Germany (13 houses in 1404: first in Halle, 1257; then Germersheim, Halberstadt, and Himmelgarten). In the 15th century, they reached France, Spain, and Portuga…

Orders, Catholic

(2,640 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Concept and Definition – II. History – III. Membership I. Concept and Definition Orders are organized associations of religious communities. The constituent element of belonging to an order ( status religiosus) is a longterm commitment to a particularly close discipleship to Christ (Discipleship, Christian) to the glory of God, the edification of the church, and the salvation of the world ( CIC/1983, c. 573). This way of life is usually set (c. 575) by the evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection (Perfection, Counsels of; poverty, c…


(303 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] 1. Marists (Societas Mariae, SM), founded at Belley (near Lyon) in 1816 by Jean-Claude-Marie Colin (1790–1875) as a congregation of priests for comprehensive pastoral ministry with a Marian focus. Since 1836 they have been a missionary presence in Oceania. They have extended their ministry throughout Europe (in Germany since 1900: missionary training center at Ahmsen near Meppen in northwestern Germany), North America, and Australia; since 1945 they have also worked in Africa and L…

Paul, Orders of Saint

(752 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] While the Minims trace their German name Paulaner (today best known as the name of a brewery with roots in the order’s history) to Francis of Paula, the hermit congregations of the Pauline Fathers are named for their founder, Paul of Thebes, and in Spanish-speaking areas the Lazarists are also called Paules after their founder, Vincent de Paul; several other important religious orders take their name from Paul, the prince of the apostles. I. Angelic Sisters of Saint Paul ( Sorores angelicae S. Pauli), an order founded in 1530 during the pre-Tridentine reform mov…


(178 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Ordo Clericorum Regularium a Somasc[h]a, CRS), an order of regular clergy founded in Somasca, Lombardy, in 1534 by the Venetian noble Gerolamo Miani (St. Emiliani, c. 1486–1537) in the spirit of Catholic reform as a Compagnia dei Servi deipoveri (“Society of servants of the poor”). It was to have a pastoral, charitable, and educational apostolate, focused especially on education of orphans. After a difficult beginning, the order consolidated but almost died out c. 1800. Later it experienced a slow revival, which las…

Sisters of Christ the King

(122 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( Societas Christi Regis, S.Chr.R.). Founded in Graz in 1917/1919 by the Catholic priests M.J. Metzger and Joseph Wilhelm Impekoven (died 1918) as the Missionary Society of the White Cross (male order terminated in 1944), the order was renamed the Society of Christ the King when the Solemnity of Christ the King was instituted. Its headquarters was moved to Meitingen, near Augsburg. The sisters (since 1969 a secular institute under diocesan law), located primarily in Germany, Austria,…


(958 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Pueri oblati – II. Adults – III. Oblate Institutes I. Pueri oblati Oblates (from Lat. oblati, “offered”) were already known in the Early Church. Parents or guardians dedicated children to a monastic vocation, thus – echoing the Old Testament example of Samson and Samuel – offering their most precious possession to God. The legal basis of this practice was the paternal right of disposal recognized by Jewish and Roman legal tradition. The early monastic rules make explicit provision for oblation…

Montfort Missionaries

(135 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Societas Mariae Montfortana, SMM), founded c. 1710 in Poitiers by Louis- Marie Grignion de Montfort (Saint; 1673–1716) as a ¶ congregation of priests, to strengthen the Catholic faith and promote the veneration of Mary (Mary, Veneration of). Under Gabriel Deshayes (superior: 1812–1841) the Montfort Missionaries expanded, and since 1871 they have carried out mission work abroad (in Haiti, Colombia, and elsewhere). Today they have 914 members in 30 countries (figures for the year 2008; headquarters in…


(156 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Societas Sanctissimi Sacramenti, SSS), founded in Paris in 1856 by the Marist Father Pierre-Julien Eymard (1811–1868; beatified 1962) to praise the Holy Eucharist in worship, proclamation and writing (the strictly contemplative female branch in 1858 in Angers: “Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament”) and was recognized as a congregation with papal rights in 1863. I…

Good Shepherd Sisters

(381 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The image of Christ as the Good Shepherd has been an obvious model and name for religious orders devoted to social and charitable work. The most important women's order of this nature is the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd (Soeurs de Notre Dame de Charité du Bon-Pasteur), a sizeable offshoot of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity (of the Refuge), founded at Caen in France by Jean Eudes (Eudist Fathers, Jesus and Mary, Congregation of) in 1644. The order was reco…

Sisters of Christian Charity

(112 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (SCC; Daughters of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception). The congregation was founded in Paderborn in 1849 by Pauline v. Mallinckrodt (1817–1881) for social and charitable work (initially primarily education of the blind, followed soon by education of girls and pastoral ministry). When they were expelled during the Kulturkampf (1873, return in 1887), they spread to the United States and Chile. Today some 700 sisters work in Germany, Italy, Uruguay, Argentina, and the Philippines. They are a congregation under papal law; their general council is in Rome. Manf…

Paulist Fathers

(183 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Societas Sacerdotum Missionariorum a Sancto Paulo Apostolo, CSP), founded in New York in 1858 by the convert I.T. Hecker (1819–1888; Redemptorist 1848–1857) for the purpose of winning ¶ as many Americans as possible to the Catholic faith. The rule of the Paulists is an adaptation of the rule of the Redemptorists, but without solemn vows. The Paulists represented a school of Catholicism open to modern culture and therefore became entangled in the “Americanism” controversy in the late 19th and early 20th cent…

Retraite, Sisters of La

(180 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] In 17th-century France, communities arose to facilitate spiritual exercises for women; soon afterward they began building retreat houses. An outstanding example was the house of the Filles de la Sainte-Vierge de la Retraite (Daughters of Our Lady of Retreat) in Vannes (1674); the sisters followed the Ignatian rule (Ignatius of Loyola) and took simple vows. These communities perished during the French Revolution, but the sisterhood was restored in the 19th century, transformed into…

John of God, Saint

(135 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (João de Deo, Juan de Dios; actually: João Cuidad; 1495, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal – Mar 8, 1550, Granada), canonized in 1690, founder of the Merciful Brothers and Sisters and innovator in the care for and assistance of those in need. Converted in 1539 by John of Avila, John devoted his life to the care of the sick (including the mentally ill) and the poor. In 1540, he established his own hospital in Granada, which became the prototype of the modern hospital because of the novel c…
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