In every age there have been men and women who, obedient to the Father’s call and to the prompting of the Spirit, have chosen this special way of following Christ, in order to devote themselves to him with an “undivided” heart (cf. 1 Cor 7:34). Like the Apostles, they too have left everything behind in order to be with Christ and to put themselves, as he did, at the service of God and their brothers and sisters. In this way, through the many charisms of spiritual and apostolic life bestowed on them by the Holy Spirit, they have helped to make the mystery and mission of the Church shine forth, and in doing so have contributed to the renewal of society.
VITA CONSECRATA – Pope St. John Paul II
There is a great verity of religious life in the Church, and indeed in our diocese, ranging from contemplative orders like the Cistercians and Poor Clares to the active apostolic life of the Little Company of Mary and the Dominicans. Each Order, and each spiritual tradition, has its own particular charism, the gift that it brings to the Church, to which people are called by God. However even within the great diversity of religious traditions in the Catholic Church there is a common thread that runs through all of them. A person embarking on the religious life seeks to follow the poor, chaste, and obedient Christ – modelling their lives on the poverty chastity and fidelity to the Father that our Saviour portrayed in his own earthly life. It is a radical call to follow in the footsteps of Christ, emulating his humanity so as to share in his Divinity.
Below are listed some of the larger orders to be found within the Diocese of Nottingham, but religious calling does not exist in the same diocesan structure as secular priesthood. It is not uncommon for a person to follow that call across a country, or even to a different continent. A fuller database of religious life in England and Wales can be found on the National Vocations website for Religious Life. If you are discerning a call to the religious life one of the best places you can start is by talking to your parish priest who will help guide you in your decision and suggest people you might talk to, or communities you might visit.
PERFECTAE CARITATIS (Decree on the Adaption and Renewal of Religious Life)
Vatican Council II on 28th October, 1965
EVANGELICA TESTIFICATIO (On the Renewal of Religious Life)
Apostolic Exhortation of Bl. Pope Paul VI on 29th June, 1971
VITA CONSECRATA (On the Consecrated Life)
Apostolic Exhortation of Pope St John Paul II on 25th March, 1996
Orders in the diocese
MARY POTTER HERITAGE CENTRE (Little Company of Mary, founded in Nottingham)
32 Regent Street, Nottingham, NG1 5BT
t. 0115 950 5167
POOR CLARE MONASTERY (Colettines)
Brooklyn Road, Bulwell, Nottingham, NG6 9ET