Who We Are
The mission of the IRL is to proclaim and explain to the world the true nature and essential value of Consecrated/Religious Life as a radical following of Jesus Christ and its vital importance for the welfare of the Church and the salvation of souls.
We include and engage bishops, clergy, religious, consecrated and lay faithful in a collaborative apostolate, guided by the magisterial teachings and rich heritage of the Church.
Our Guiding Principles
- Fidelity & Obedience: We are guided and animated by the magisterial and pastoral teachings of the Church on religious and consecrated life.
- Unity & Solidarity: We are a lived expression of the principle of solidarity, bringing together Catholic faithful of all vocations and states of life for a common purpose.
- Witness & Example: We believe that the profession of the evangelical counsels and religious in distinctive habits can inspire, sanctify and give powerful witness to the world.
- Tradition & Progress: As religious communities remain faithful to their charism, so we too build upon our rich heritage while responding to the signs of the times.
- Prayer & Service: It is by prayer and service that consecrated men and women imitate Christ and lead others to Him.
Servant of God Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J., established the IRL in 1974 and inspired its work in response to the Holy See’s plea to help save religious life in the United States. He was aided by outstanding co-founders and by early collaborators, including Bl. Mother Teresa, Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, and many others. Today, the IRL has expanded to meet the needs of established orders and a growing number of emerging religious communities and other institutes of consecrated life. We seek to show all, especially young people and families, the beauty, value and hope that religious bring to the world. We pray and work for the day when religious will be back in all of our schools, parishes, hospitals, nursing homes, monasteries and cloistered convents.