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Mariannhill Missionaries

(209 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Congregatio Missionariorum de Mariannhill, CMM). In 1882 the Trappist Franz Pfanner (1825–1909) founded the monastery (after 1885 abbey) of Mariannhill near Durban (Natal, South Africa), where he sought as abbot to combine strict Trappist observance with evangelization and comprehensive development aid. Following disagreements within the community and order, Pfanner, who had founded the Mariannhill Sisters (Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood, CPS) in 1885, was suspended in …

Kolbe, Maximilian Maria

(366 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (baptized Rajmund; Jan 8, 1894, Zduńska Wola near Lodz, Poland – Aug 14, 1941, Auschwitz concentration camp), a Catholic martyr (IV). Kolbe joined the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (OFMConv, known as the Conventual ¶ Franciscans) in 1910, studied in Rome from 1912, earned his Dr.phil. in 1915, was ordained to the priesthood in 1918, and received his Dr.theol. in 1919. In 1917, together with six brothers from the order, he established the Marian prayer community Militia Immaculatae (M.I.) as a spiritual militia a…


(316 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Pietro del Morrone (later Pope Celestine V) founded the male branch (Hermits of St. Damian, Fratres de Spiritu Sancto, Coelestini, OSBCoel) between 1240 and 1243 as a strictly ascetic monastic community following the Rule of Benedict (supplemented with Constitutions). It was confirmed by pope Urban IV in 1263 and spread quickly in Italy and, after 1300, in France; with a few monasteries also in Spain, Belgium, and Germany (Oybin near Zittau, Prague, …

Peter, Catholic Orders of Saint

(269 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] There have been few orders of St. Peter; most no longer exist or have few members. Three deserve mention. 1. Congrégation de St-Pierre. The congregation was founded in La Chênaie (Brittany) in 1828 by Jean-Marie-Robert de La Mennais (1780–1860) and his brother Hugo-Félicité-Robert (1782–1854). Intended to replace the suppressed Jesuits, it had as its guiding principle absolute loyalty to the successor of St. Peter. Within a few years, it had over 60 members (including J.B.H. Lacordaire, P.L.P. Guéran…


(205 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Prêtres du Clergé, Congregatio Sulpitiensis, Societas Presbyterorum a Sancto Sulpitio, PSS), a congregation of secular priests (without vows) founded in 1641 by Jean-Jacques Olier (1608–1657), pastor of St.-Sulpice in Paris, for the education and spiritual formation of seminarians and priests in the spirit of the Tridentine decree on seminaries. It is named after Archbishop Sulpicius II of Bourges (615–647). Their spirituality is christological, eucharistic, and Marian and was st…

Love/Charity Orders, Religious

(641 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Many religious communities have the word love or caritas ( carità, charité, charity, etc.) in their name, referring to love of ¶ God and neighbor and usually further qualified as love of Christ, love of Mary, and so on (Merciful Brothers and Sisters of, Borromeans, Grey Brothers and Sisters, Good Shepherd Sisters, Rosminians, Vincentian Sisters). Frères de la Charité (Brothers of Charity; Congregatio Fratrum a Caritate, FC), founded as a lay congregation in 1807 in Ghent (Belgium) by the priest Pierre- Joseph Triest (1760–1836); today…


(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…

Schönstatt Movement

(247 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] This movement of spiritual renewal emerged in 1914 from the educational work of Father J. Kentenich at the seminary of the Pallottines in Schönstatt (today a district in Vallendar am Rhein); it became independent in 1964. It seeks to provide support for a humane Christian life in a pluralistic society, through a spirituality and teaching ministry emphasizing the biblical notion of a covenant (V), pursuit of “everyday holiness,” and an apostolic mindset. Its goal is ultimately to t…


(112 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Istituto della Carità, Fathers of Charity, IC), founded by A. Rosmini-Serbati in 1828 on Monte Calvario near Domodosolla in northern Italy. The members of the congregation take simple life vows and retain their personal assets. The congregation includes priests and lay brothers, who engage in educational work, apostolate to intellectuals, care for emigrants, and mission. As of 2001, there were some 400 religious in Italy, England, Ireland, the United States, India, and Africa; th…


(216 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The Sylvestrine order ( Congregatio Silvestrina Ordinis Sancti Benedicti, CSilvOSB) was founded in Montefano (near Fabriano, in Italy) in 1231 by the hermit Silvestro Guzzolini (c. 1177–1267) as a reformed Benedictine congregation; it was recognized in 1247 by Innocent IV as Ordo S. Benedicti de Montefano. The Benedictine Rule (Benedict, Rule of Saint) was made more strict by eremitic and mendicant provisions (small houses, manual labor, and begging). The order, limited to central Italy, was reoriented by its fourth prior ge…

Fey, Klara

(187 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Clara; Apr 11, 1815, Aachen – May 8, 1894, Simpelveld, The Netherlands) was the daughter of a factory owner. Heavily influenced by her teacher L. Hensel, she found her way to charitable work at an early age. With the help of two friends, she opened a school for abandoned and neglected girls in 1837, for whose care and education she founded the congregation of the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus in 1844. The mother-house in Aachen as well as many subsidiary houses having been disbanded in the wake of the Kulturkampf , the founder of the order and lifel…

Joseph, Orders of Saint

(848 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Men's Orders – II. Women's Orders Originating in Germany – III. Women's Orders Originating outside Germany Between 1517 and 1982, 172 orders (51 male and 121 female) named themselves after St. Joseph, the patron of workers and craftsmen, most of them in America (30), France (25), and Italy (24). I. Men's Orders 1. The Congregazione di S. Giuseppe (CSI; Giuseppini del Murialdo) was founded in 1873 in Turin by Leonardo Murialdo (St., 1828–1900) to educate and train the youth; today it is also active in Latin America and in 2005 had 621 members (generalate: Rome). 2. Obla…

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…

Comunione e Liberazione

(124 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (CL; “Community and Liberation”) is a church renewal movement founded in 1954 in Milan by the Catholic student minister Luigi Giussani (born 1922) and now spread to over 40 countries (primarily Italy and Switzerland). The fraternity of Community and Liberation and the “Memores Domini” community, which follow the counsels of perfection, are papally approved lay associations. Community and Liberation strives for the recognition of the presence of the Mysterium Christi among individuals, a presence that must become visible in the unity and solidarity of believers (c o…

Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC)

(185 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Ger. Dernbacher Schwestern [Dernbach Sisters]), founded in 1851 by the maidservant Katharina (Maria) Kasper (1820–1898; beatified in 1978), in her hometown of Dernbach (Westerwald; today the general mother house), for the care of the sick and the poor, for the education of girls, and work in orphanages. They were recognized as a society by papal right in 1870; in 1890, the regulations based on the rule of St. Vincent de Paul were approved. The Dernbach Sisters, who at the founder…

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…


(424 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Ordo Sanctae Ursulae, OSU), the most important women’s religious institute for the education (V, 2) of young girls. The order was founded by St. Angela Merici (c. 1470–1540) in Brescia (northern Italy) as a women’s congregation with vows of chastity and a rule but without living in community. Its most important sponsor was C. Borromeo, who saw to a revision of the original rule and in 1576 ordered settlement of the Ursulines, who had been working in Milan since 1566, in all the d…


(110 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The Johannesbund at Leutesdorf (Rhine) was founded in 1919 by Johannes M. Haw (1871–1949) as an initiative on the part of lay people and priests to spread the kingdom of God after the example of John the Baptist. Its members work in cooperation with the Sisters of St. John the Baptist and the Missionaries of St. John the Baptist to support charitable and educational institutions in Germany, Portugal, Mozambique, and India; they also have a press apostolate and conduct retreats (Exercises, Spiritual). Manfred Eder Bibliography J. Fleckenstein, Über die Idee und die h…

Xaverian Brothers and Sisters

(252 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The missionary work of Francis Xavier, the apostle of India and Japan, and his great prestige, have made him the patron of various orders. I. Orders of Men Missionari Saveriani (Societas Xaveriana, SX), founded in Parma in 1895 by Guido Maria Conforti (1865–1935) for missionary work; they began in China in 1898. Today they work primarily in Africa, America, and East Asia. The Missionary Society of St. Francis Xavier (Pilar Fathers, SFX), founded in Goa (India) in 1887, reorganized in 1939 under diocesan law …

Immaculate Conception, Order of the

(438 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Numerous congregations of this name exist. Most of them were founded after 1854, the year in which the immaculate conception of Mary became a dogma. The largest congregations are (as of 2000): The Brothers of the Immaculate Conception of Maastricht ( Congregatio Fratrum Immaculatae Conceptionis Beatae Mariae Virginis, FIC), founded in Maastricht (the Netherlands) in 1840 by Ludwig Hubert Rutten (1809–1891) and Jacob Adrian Hoecken (1810–1880) for the training of young people and teachers as well as for social-educational work.…


(234 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The Marianists (Societas Mariae, SM; Society of Mary; also Brothers of Mary) were founded in Bordeaux in 1817 by Guillaume-Joseph Chaminade (blessed; 1761–1850) to establish and lead Marian congregations as well as for pastoral and educational ministry. They take a fourth vow of stability (daily renewal of their commitment to Mary). Since priests and lay brothers engaged in teaching and other work tend to live together as equals, the Marianists occupy a special place among the cle…

Relief Organizations, Catholic (Germany)

(301 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] These are predominantly internationally oriented organizations, which aim to offer aid through solidarity and partnership, to work for development and peace, mission and the proclamation of the gospel. In Germany, they include: Adveniat (Essen), diocesan action to support ministry among impoverished peoples in Latin America (est. 1961). Bonifatiuswerk (until 1967: Bonifatiusverein für das katholische Deutschland; Paderborn), for support of ministry amongst the Catholic diaspora in…


(404 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Missionaries of St. Francis of Sales (Missionnaires de St. François de Sales d’Annecy), a congregation founded in 1838 in Annecy (France) by Pierre-Marie Mermier (1790–1862) for pastoral and missionary ministry in the spirit of Francis of Sales. In 1845 the congregation was already working in India, where today more than 75% of its members live; as “Fransalians” they exercise a pastoral and educational ministry and engage in scientific research. Today there are over 1,200 members. Their generalate is in Annecy. II. Oblates of St. Francis of Sales (see Oblates: II…


(343 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Society of the Catholic Apostolate, Societas Apostolatus Catholici), founded in 1835 by St. Vincent Pallotti (1795–1850) in Rome as a community of priests and brothers, in order to spread and deepen faith. Its members take no vows, but promise to live in ¶ community according to the counsels of perfection, for a limited time, or permanently. Clergy promise furthermore not to seek church honors, or to accept them without permission. From 1854 to 1947 the society was known as the Pia Societas Missionum. It has missions in the Cameroon (1890), southern Brazil, no…

Kentenich, Josef

(233 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Nov 18, 1885, Gymnich near Cologne – Sep 15, 1968, Schönstatt) was the founder and leader of the Schönstatt movement. He joined the Societas Apostolatus Catholici (SAC) in 1909 (member until 1965) and was ordained to the priesthood in 1910. He founded the movement in 1914, further structuring and expanding it from 1919 onward. The movement grew out of educational work with the pupils of the Pallottines in Schönstatt near Vallendar on the Rhine. From 1941 to 1945 he was imprisoned by the Gestapo and sent …

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…


(358 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Congregatio Passionis Jesu Christi, CP) was founded in 1720 as a clerical congregation on Monte Argentario near Orbetello, in Italy, by the hermit and preacher of repentance Saint Paul of the Cross (Paolo Francesco Danei, 1694–1775); the original name of the congregation was Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Members take a special vow to venerate and preach the passion and death of Jesus Christ; they engage in a contemplative life, alon…

Loreto, Sisters of

(284 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] 1. Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross, founded in 1812 in Hardin's Creek near Louisville (KY, USA) by Charles Nerinckx (1761–1824) for the education of the youth. It was the first female congregation in the United States that originated without the assistance of a European community. The sisters were active in the China mission from 1923 to 1951. Today, there are about 600 sisters (as of 1995) in the United States and Latin America (motherhouse: Nerinx, KY). 2. Loreto Sisters (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary), one of the five branches of the Ins…

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…

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…

Spirit, Orders of the Holy

(537 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] 1. Order of the Holy Spirit (Hospitallers). A lay brotherhood going back to the Hospital of the Holy Spirit founded in Montpellier c. 1170/1175 by Guido of Montpellier, which was recognized as an order in 1198 by Innocent III (following the Augustinian Rule [Augustine, Rule of Saint], with a special vow of hospitality and statutes based on those of the chivalric hospitallers); in 1204 the hospital of Santa Maria (later Santo Spirito) at Sassia in Rome was transferred to them. The o…


(142 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The Feuillants are a reform order of the Cistercians (separated 1592) named for the abbey at Feuillant (Lat. Fulium) near Toulouse and founded by abbot Jean-Baptiste de la Barrière O. Cist (1544–1600). It is characterized by rigorous intensification of the observance of the rule (going barefoot, sleeping on boards, kneeling to eat) and liturgical peculiarities. In 1630, it divided into a French congregation with 33 monasteries (abolished in the French Revolution) and an Italian congregation with 43…


(355 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] is a significant Marian pilgrimage site near Ancona (central Italy). According to legend, the sanctuary there (“Santa Casa”), a simple rectangular wall with no foundation surrounded by a magnificent hall church (1468–1587) and clad with marble (1513–1538), probably following plans by D. Bramante, is Mary's place of birth in Nazareth, the house in which the annunciation of the immaculate conception took place, and in which Jesus grew up. After the Muslim conquest of Akko in 1291, a…

Sisters of Elizabeth

(276 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] In the Middle Ages, the Sisters of Elizabeth of Hungary lived communally or semicommunally in Franciscan style; they were major supporters of the religious women’s movement and the semi-religious life. After Trent they usually lived in independent houses. In the 19th century, several congregations were organized, usually associated with a male Franciscan order, including: 1. The Order of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth (of Hungary), founded in Aachen in 1622 by Apollonia Radermecher (1571–1626). They spread through the Rhineland and Lux…

Mother of God, Orders of the

(425 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] 1. “Regular Clerics of the Mother of God” (Ordo Clericorum Regularium Matris Dei [OMD, CRMD], Leonardini), founded in Lucca by Giovanni Leonardi (St., 1543–1609) for the sanctification of its members and for teaching poor children; originated from the association called “Preti reformati della Beata Vergine” established in 1574. The congregation, which was elevated to become an order in 1621, soon spread rapidly in Italy (general motherhouse in Rome), but it declined considerably i…


(210 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( Congregatio Patrum Doctrinae Christianae, DC). The Congregation of Doctrinarians (Pères Doctrinaires) that exists today was founded in 1592 in Avignon by César de Bus (1544–1607) and arose out of ¶ communities of priests and laity for providing religious instruction (Confraternities of Christian doctrine). Combined with the Somaschi from 1616 to 1647, it was able to develop independently from that time as a Catholic …


(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…

Lefebvre, Marcel

(393 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Nov 29, 1905, Tourcoing, France – Mar 25, 1991, Martigny, Switzerland) studied at the Gregoriana in Rome from 1923 to 1930 (Dr.phil. 1925; Dr.theol. 1929), was ordained to the priesthood in 1929, and subsequently served as parish curate in a suburb of Lille. He joined the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spirit; Order of the Holy Spirit, CSSp, Spiritans) in 1931 (member until 1968) and worked as a missionary in Gabon from 1932 to 1947. In 1948, he was appointed apostolic delegate…

Sisters of the Holy Redeemer

(216 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer was founded in 1849 by the mystically inclined Elisabeth (Maria Alfonsa) Eppinger (1814–1867) in Niederbronn (Alsace), with the assistance of the local pastor Johann David Reichard (1796–1867), for the care of the sick and the poor (fourth vow), and of children; it was ecumenically oriented from the outset. The congregation grew rapidly in Alsace, Germany (from 1852), Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, African countries (from 1931),…


(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…


(247 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Congregatio Missionis, CM; also Vincentian Fathers, Preti della Missione), founded in Paris in 1625 by Vincent de Paul to evangelize the rural French population through home missions (Mission to the People). Their apostolate soon expanded to include the training of priests, leading retreats (Exercises, Spiritual), spiritual guidance of the sisterhoods established by Vincent, pastoral care of prisoners and galley slaves, and foreign missions (after 1645; after 1697 in China, where…


(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…

Teutonic Order

(1,208 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Origins The origins of an Ordo fratrum hospitalis sanctae Mariae Theutonicorum Ierosolymitanorum are said to date back ¶ to a hospital of Mary in Jerusalem in the first half of the 12th century. The spiritual order of knights arose in 1198/1199 from a hospital brotherhood that was set up during the Third Crusade (1189/1190) near Acre by merchants from Lübeck and Bremen. Because they were supported both by German crusaders and the Hohen­staufen, most members came from the Empire, and their estates…

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…

Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus

(178 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Zusters van het Arme Kind Jesus, PIJ), founded as a congregation under papal law in Aachen in 1844 by K. Fey for the education of poor and abandoned girls. In 1872 there were almost 700 sisters in 25 houses, mostly in the Rhineland, with some 13,500 alumnae. As a result of the Kulturkampf, the mother house was moved to Simpelveld in Holland in 1878 (“Loretto House”). After they were readmitted in Germany in 1887, the sisters worked in higher education for girls and boarding schoo…

White Fathers

(251 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Missionaries of Africa; Missionarii Africae, MAfr; Patres Albi, PA), founded in 1868 in Algiers by its archbishop, C.M.A. Lavigerie, for missionary work in Africa; in 1869 he also founded the White Sisters (Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa). The organization and spirituality of the White Fathers is modeled on the Jesuits; their central mission was to build a church with indigenous clergy; therefore they attached great importance to training catechists and priests in schoo…

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…

Regular Clergy

(317 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( clerici regulares) in the broad sense are clerical members of an order or congregation, in contrast to secular or diocesan clergy ( clerici saeculares); in the Middle Ages and the early modern period, the term was extended to include canons regular. In the narrow sense, the term denotes the members of the new religious orders formed in the 16th and 17th centuries in the name of Catholic reform. They are characterized by life in community based on the counsels of perfection and solemn vows. Instead of r…

Confraternities of Christian Doctrine

(363 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Since the turn of the 14th to the 15th century, in the wake of Humanism and of J. de Gerson's pastoral work with children, youth fraternities and communities of Christian doctrine in northern Italy (e.g. in Florence and Bologna) had already begun to devote themselves to the main interests of the later Christian doctrine brotherhoods. The latter emerged in the second half of the 16th century as a reaction to the confessional conflicts of the time and aim…


(208 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( Clerici regulares ministrantes infirmis, MI; Ordo Sancti Camilli, OSC). The Camillians are the only clerical order of the Catholic Church devoted entirely to charitable service. The order was founded in Rome in 1582 by Camillo de Lellis (1550–1614) to renew the ministry of service to the sick (fourth vow: to serve the sick, regardless of mortal danger – hence grave losses during epidemics of the plague and cholera). After the demise of the Order of Servants o…
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