Caritas Christi members are ordinary Catholic lay women who are committed to the Church and her teachings. They have a deep, abiding desire to incorporate the Gospel into their own lives in order to share the Good News of God’s love with everyone they meet.
"According to the wish of our founders, we renounce everything to live for Him alone in the world, in the life of the world, in order to save the world. We embrace the ordinary life faced by people in the world. We have no external sign such as a habit and no motherhouse. Ours is a consecration in the midst of the world."
Although Caritas Christi was co-founded by a lay woman and a Dominican priest, its members embrace many and varied forms of Catholic spirituality. Individuals are free to pray in whatever way the Spirit leads them. However, for its members, the heart of Caritas Christi is a life of deep commitment to the God of love in and through the Church.
Preparation: Remaining in the place where Providence has placed her, the candidate starts preparation lasting a minimum of 9 months. During this time she is given a sponsor and preparation bulletins. The candidate decides whether to apply to the institute.
Initial Formation: After reception into the Institute the aspirant starts three years of formation. During this time she studies the formation bulletins and constitutions. She is given a sponsor who helps and walks with her in her discernment.
Caritas Christi membership requires a deep and sustained formation. Monthly bulletins that refer to the Gospels and the Institute Constitutions provide the basic formation.
· A sponsor is appointed by the Institute to be a companion to another member walking the same journey.
· Monthly zoom meetings are held for continued doctrinal formation.
· Yearly retreats are also held. These help the members create friendships that deepen over the years.
Members are encouraged to participate fully in the Institute in the means that are available to them by attending our monthly zoom meetings and yearly retreats. Members are required to attend AT LEAST one retreat during formation and one retreat during their renewals before their Definitive Dedication.
First & Definitive Dedication: After 3 years of Formation the aspirant will make her first Dedication, offering herself to Our Lord, in Caritas Christi. This Dedication carries with it the vow of chastity and promises of poverty and obedience according to the Constitutions. It is renewed annually for four more years at least. The commitments of the Definitive Dedication are the same as those of the temporary Dedication. The Holy See alone can release her from these sacred bonds.
During the formation period but prior to the candidate’s First Dedication, she is required to take a formal psychological evaluation; the purpose of this is to ensure that the candidate is psychologically prepared, motivated, and stable for a life commitment to the Evangelical Counsels of chastity, obedience, and poverty. The cost of the testing would be the responsibility of the candidate.
Caritas Christi itself has no "organized" apostolic work but each member is pledged by her Dedication to be an "apostle" in its fullest meaning where God placed her in her providential circumstances.
As a member of secular institute she wants to remain fully secular and does so by not revealing to others her hidden life in Christ and the Church. She thus avoids any distinction that would differentiate her from her neighbors. A member can and does reveal membership if it will help to spread knowledge of the vocation or for a personal reason. However, she may not reveal the membership of another member without first obtaining the permission to do so.
Copyright © 2023 Caritas Christi Secular Institute - All Rights Reserved.