Consecrated Life

Religious Life

Seeking Holiness in the Religious Life

Religious life is a particular way of living out the grace of one’s baptismal call to holiness. It is a  life of consecration to God through publicly-made vows, usually of chastity, poverty and obedience in a specific Religious Congregation or Order. Each Order has its own way of following Christ, the chaste, poor and obedient Son of God, who was sent by the Father to be the living example of holiness. There are men or women religious. Men are usually monks, living in monasteries, while women become nuns (also known as sisters), living in convents.

Members of religious orders are either contemplative, dedicated to a life of silence and prayer, or active, whereby they live and work ‘in the world’.

The Church requires that the person making the vows be an adult making a free, non-coerced and informed commitment, that they are not already bound by other commitments (eg marriage), that they have the ability to undertake the way of life lived by the Order they seek to join, and are accepted by the Order to make vows, thus becoming one of its members.

(Photo: mazur/