Resources on the Religious Life
Catechism of the Catholic Church
No. 871-945 on Religious Life
Perfectae Caritatis Pope Paul VI
Decree of Second Vatican Council on Religious Life
Papal Documents, Homilies, and Addresses
1984 Apostolic Exhortation Pope John Paul II to men and women religious on their consecration in the light of the mystery of the redemption.
Vita Consecrata Pope John Paul II
Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II On the Consecrated Life and its Mission in the Church and in the World, 1996.
Address at Vespers to Priests, Religious, Deacons, and Seminarians
Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the foundation of the Shrine of Mariazell, Austria, Sept. 8, 2007
John Paul II, Homily for the first World Day of Consecrated Life, 1997
John Paul II, Homily for the II World Day of Consecrated Life, 1998
John Paul II, Homily for the III World Day of Consecrated Life, 1999
John Paul II, Homily for the IV World Day of Consecrated Life, 2000
John Paul II, Homily for the V World Day of Consecrated Life, 2001
John Paul II, Homily for the VI World Day of Consecrated Life, 2002
John Paul II, Homily for the VII World Day of Consecrated Life, 2003
John Paul II, Homily for the VIII World Day of Consecrated Life, 2004
Benedict XVI, Homily for the X World Day of Consecrated Life, 2006
Benedict XVI, Homily for the XIII World Day of Consecrated Life, 2009
Other Magisterial Documents
Essential Elements in the Church's Teaching on Religious Life
1983 Document of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes “Essential Elements in the Church’s Teaching on Religious Life as Applied to Institutes Dedicated to Works of the Apostolate”
Fraternal Life in Community
1994 document of the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
The Service of Authority and Obedience
2008 Instruction of the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Starting Afresh From Christ
2002 Instruction of the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. “Starting Afresh from Christ: a Renewed Commitment to Consecrated Life in the Third Millennium”.
Books (not available on the web)
The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision
Author : Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious
The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious has maintained the historical form of religious life, with sisters living in community and wearing the habit. While many religious orders are currently facing marked decline in novitiates and the aging of their members, the communities of the CMSWR are experiencing growth on a worldwide scale.
In this collection of foundational articles, the CMSWR articulates how its perspective is in keeping with the vision set forth by Vatican II, suggesting that its commitment to a more visibly countercultural life and ministry is what sustains its orders and attracts young women to the CMSWR communities.
The Foundations of Religious Life is ideal reading for sisters and those in formation, for their counterparts in men’s communities, for diocesan priests and for lay people interested in learning about religious life.
Christian Totality: Theology of Consecrated Life, Paul Conner, O.P. and Basil Cole, O.P., third impression, St. Paul Editions, Bombay, India 1992; revised 1997; also published by Alba House, Staten Island, New York 1997; published in Polish as Plenia Chrzescijanstwa, Anna Maria Nowak and Danuta Dowjat (trs.), W Drodze, Poznan 1997. French translation by Wilfred-Marie Hueto, submitted to Desclee de Brouwer April 7, 2007.