Order of Friars Minor Conventual, St. Bonaventure Province
Carmelite Nuns of Port Tobacco
La Plata, MD
Discalced Carmel of Cristo Rey
San Francisco, California
Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George
Abbey of the Genesee
Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne
Poor Clare Nuns
Welcome to the Institute on Religious Life
Since 1974, the IRL has been a collaborative effort of Catholic bishops, priests, religious and laity to foster and strengthen vocations to the consecrated life. All members of the Church can participate in the IRL’s mission. As Pope St. John Paul II wrote, every Christian is responsible for the consecrated life, and for supporting vocations.
We hope you find this site helpful, whether you are just beginning to discern your calling in life, or you have lived the consecrated life for many years, or you are simply interested in seeing the consecrated life flourish once again. Imagine authentic religious in every parish, school, convent and monastery! Become an IRL member and you can help make this happen.
2017 Vita Consecrata Institute
A program of graduate level studies, the Vita Consecrata Institute (VCI) centers on various aspects of the theology of the consecrated life, as reflected in the mission and life of the Church. Held at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, the VCI is an intense, yet rewarding, academic program rooted in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the magisterial teaching of Pope John Paul II, and the rich historical tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.
The VCI consists of 2 two-week sessions and is ideal for priests, religious and other consecrated persons wishing to pursue further academic studies, those interested in a brief sabbatical experience, religious in formation, and those preparing for perpetual vows. This program is designed to assist all participants grow in a deeper understanding and appreciation of the consecrated life as "a gift of the Father to His Church through the Holy Spirit" (VC, no.1).
"My time at the VCI is one of the most valuable investments our community has made. Not only the quality of the courses, but the inspiration and camaraderie has been one of the most edifying experiences of my life."
To download the Summer VCI 2017 brochure: Click Here
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The Holy Rosary is a precious gift in our vocational journey. In meditating upon and contemplating its mysteries, we can grow closer to Mary, our mother, intercessor and model of every vocation. We can delve deeper into the heart of the Trinity, which is the final end of all devotions. In light of the mysteries we penetrate, we can grow in knowledge of ourselves and begin to see where God might be leading us next in our vocations.
The IRL is making available a free e-book devotional, Vocational Discernment Rosary: Discovering God's Purpose and Plan for Your Life. This small booklet will help you find, follow and fulfill God's calling for your life by meditating upon the mysteries of the Rosary. To obtain a copy: Click Here
We have just celebrated the Feast Day of St. Jane Frances de Chantal on Saturday, so it is wonderful to learn of the recent election results from the Assembly of the First Federation of the Order of the Visitation held on July 26-28, 2017. Meeting at the Visitation Monastery in Rockville, Virginia, the Assembly participants … Continue reading First Federation of the Visitation Order Elect New President & Council →
The major religious orders of the first millennium of the Church were monastics. They sought stability outside the false order of the city. Hence, they did not live in cities. But mendicant orders did. They sought to transform the order of the city into the order of Christ, something they witnessed to in radical poverty … Continue reading St. Dominic and the Salvation of the City →
Right after the announcement of his resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reflected on the role of Peter at the Transfiguration. The lesson of the Transfiguration is the primacy of prayer and communion, the center of all activity. All this comes prior to activity. Contemplative religious are witnesses to this hierarchy. On this Feast of the … Continue reading Feast of the Transfiguration: The Primacy of Prayer →