2018 Vita Consecrata Institute

Click Here to download the 2018 VCI Brochure


Session I (July 2 – July 13, 2018)

CONL 624 The Vows According to St. Thomas Aquinas

Rev. Brian Mullady, O.P.

This course will present the rich scholastic tradition on the consecrated life as presented by St. Thomas Aquinas. It will examine questions in the Summa Theologiae as well as other works of Saint Thomas on consecrated life such as On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life and the Contra Retrahentes. It is intended to give a unified theological vision of the nature of the consecrated life as it relates to all theology.

SPIR 632 Christian Prayer and Contemplation

Rev. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem.

Prayer has always been seen as an essential means to Christian perfection. But what is Christian prayer and how does it differ from non-Christian prayer? What forms and expressions does it take and how do we grow in prayer. These questions and many more will be answered in this course. This course will first look at prayer as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It will then treat the Interior Castles of St. Teresa of Avila and look at mental prayer beginning with meditation and culminating in infused contemplation. It will also illustrate how growth in the spiritual life is effected and manifested by growth in prayer.


Session II  (July 16 July 27, 2018)

SPIR 635 Spiritual Direction

Rev. Thomas Acklin, O.S.B. & Fr. Boniface Hicks, O.S.B.

This course will show the place of spiritual direction in the Christian spiritual life. It will discuss what is spiritual direction and how it differs from spiritual accompaniment and psychological counseling. It will cover various topics such as the qualities that should be found in spiritual directors and those directed, the role of retreats and religious experiences in spiritual direction, the discernment of spirits and vocational discernment. It will also give practical advice for the ministry of spiritual direction.

CONL 710 The Institutes and Conferences of St. John Cassian

Rev. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B.

This course will present the ancient monastic wisdom of the Desert Fathers as presented in the Institutes and Conferences of John Cassian. It will examine the key conferences and books of the Institutes and draw from them practical lessons on how to live the consecrated life today. It is intended to convey the pristine spirit, fervor and teaching on the consecrated life as lived and taught by the Desert Fathers.



To Register
For more information and to register online for the summer program, go to the Christendom College website or call the Graduate School at 703-658-4304.

First-time students should begin by contacting the IRL at 847-573-8975, or email the IRL staff: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you are a first-time VCI participant, in addition to registering with the Graduate School of Christendom College, please submit to the Institute on Religious Life the following three items:

Letter of recommendation/permission from your religious superior or ordinary stating: (a) express permission for you to attend; and (b) how he or she foresees you may personally benefit from the program and how it might enrich your community.Brief history of your vocation (2-3 paragraphs on a separate sheet of paper). Brief summary of your educational background and/or ministerial experience (2-3 paragraphs on a separate sheet of paper).

IRL Blog

Vocation Blog

A blog about vocations to the consecrated life.
  • The IRL is very delighted to welcome a new affiliate: The Dominicans Nuns of Our Lady of Mount Thabor Monastery in Ortonville, Michigan (Archdiocese of Detroit).  The contemplative community lives the joy-filled monastic life of prayer, work, silence, and study… all for the sanctification of souls! The foundation of the Monastery began in 1969 when … Continue reading New Affiliate: The Dominican Nuns of Our Lady of Mt. Thabor Monastery in Ortonville, Michigan →

  • It was with great joy and gratitude that the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus learned in January that their foundress, Mother Clelia Merloni, will be beatified, after a miracle attributed to her intercession was approved by the Vatican. The date for the beatification has not been set yet but it will take place  … Continue reading Mother Clelia Merloni, Foundress of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, To Be Beatified! →

  • Formation in Spiritual Discernment That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels. From a reflection by Rev. William Blazek, S.J.,  the director of The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network:: Do I pause to reflect, meditate and ask the Lord to guide me in the major … Continue reading The Holy Father’s March 2018 Intentions →