Saturday, February 3, 2007

Vocations: Religious Family of the Incarnate Word

I like to profile traditional religious orders that are Eucharistic, Marian, and in communion with the Holy See - for those searching for such communities. Communities which lean towards more new age, or a strictly social focus, imho, tend to be doctrinally challenged. All it takes is to challenge one Church teaching and the community is out of focus. Mother Teresa proved to the world that one can be devout, Marian and Eucharistic while serving the poor. In fact, without those things, she would be the first to say that had she worked around the clock, she would never have accomplished what the grace of God aided her with by her devotion.

Reader Javier in Argentina has sent me several links on the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word. While it originated in Argentina, they have provinces in other countries, including the US and Canada, among others. In the US, the Province of the Immaculate Conception has a website that is available in English and in Spanish.

Like other emerging traditional orders, this was recently founded - appropriately, on March 25, 1984. Like the other communities I've been profiling, the only apparent vocation "crisis" is that they are booming with young people. Their founder is the Rev Carlos Buena, who is the Superior General of the clerical branch. Pictured at left is the founder with Pope John Paul II.

There are three branches as outlined in the above link:
Institute of the Incarnate Word - the clerical branch of priests. This branch also includes brothers, and there is a contemplative arm of priests and brothers, as well. There are three houses of formation here in the US: The Bishop Sheen Residence (you gotta like that name) in Chillum, MD; St. Isaac Jogues Novitiate, Mount Rainier, MD; and, the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH. I had difficulty linking so go to the home page and click on "Houses of Formation")

Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matara (SSVM) is made up of active and contemplative nuns. Here you see sisters gathered from the numerous countries from which they come. They too have a province in the US of the same name. Click around this website for a real treat.

Here you see their habit and you can read more on these sisters in their "about" page.

The apostolic sisters are visiting the contemplative sisters of the "Edith Stein Community" in Brooklyn, NY.

Finally, the Family of the Incarnate Word has is a Third Order.


The Third Order of our Religious Family of the Incarnate Word is an Association of the Faithful whose Members, living in the world, desire to participate in our spirit. For this reason, this Secular Association commits itself to form with the Members of this Religious Family, a unique family united by the same faith, goals, charism, and spirit. The Third Order is an essential part of our Religious Family because it is a prolongation of our works in their own environment.

Something else that may be of interest to all is that they have a retreat center, and make available the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. They don't have their 2007 calendar up yet, but keep checking or contact them should you desire to to go.

If you are in the Secular branch or are familiar with these priests and sisters, feel free to discuss your experiences in the comment box.