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CAVA Chicago Archdiocesan Vocation Association

The Chicago Archdiocesan Vocation Association (CAVA) is a membership organization of Vocation Ministers representing various religious congregations who minister within the Archdiocese of Chicago. In association with the Archdiocesan Office for Religious, CAVA is committed to minister collaboratively women and men religious, diocesan priests and laity for the promotion of all church-related vocations.

With an advisory board, CAVA has four standing committees, which organize vocation events and offer support for individual vocation ministers. These committees are the Parish Vocation Awareness Committee, the Campus Ministry/Young Adult Committee, the CAVA Latina Committee and the Education Committee. For more information on membership go to or at

Forms of Consecrated Life in the Church

The Consecrated Life

In the Church, which is like the sacrament- the sign and instrument - of God's own life, the consecrated life is seen as a special sign of the mystery of redemption. To follow and imitate Christ more nearly and to manifest more clearly his self- emptying is to be more deeply present to one's contemporaries, in the heart of Christ. For those who are on this "narrower" path encourage their brethren by their example, and bear striking witness "that the world cannot be transfigured and offered to God without the spirit of the beatitudes." The Catechism of the Catholic Church – 932 *

Religious Institutes

“Religious institutes are societies in which members pronounce public vows (perpetual or temporary), live in community and share financial sustainability. Religious render a public witness to Christ and to the church which entails a separation from the world proper to the character and purpose of each institute”. *

Religious institutes can be separated into apostolic and contemplative congregations. Apostolic congregations are devoted to apostolic and missionary activity and to the many different works inspired by Christian charity outside of the cloister. Contemplative congregations live a life of cloister, constant prayer, offering of self, and the daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours. See Canon 607 *

Societies of Apostolic Life

One of the distinguishing characteristics of these societies is that they are defined by their apostolic goal. They are bound by simple vows, renewed annually, rather than perpetual vows which are professed for life. Societies of apostolic life live in community with their lifestyle and spirituality in support of their apostolic goal. i.e. Paulist Fathers , Vincentians, Daughters of Charity, etc. See Canon 731 *

Secular Institutes

A secular institute is an organization of consecrated persons professing the Evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience while living in the world, unlike members of a religious institute who live in community. Secular institutes represent a form of consecration in secular life, not religious life. See Canons 710 & 712 *

Consecrated Virgins

The call to a life as a Consecrated Virgin is distinct from other forms of consecrated life in that it is entered by virtue of the Prayer of Consecration rather than by vows or promises. Characterized by a spousal spirituality with Christ, the consecrated virgin lives individually under the direction of the diocesan bishop, dedicates her prayer to the mission of the Church and the people of God, wears a ring of consecration, and earns her own living See Canon 604 *

For anyone interested in pursuing a call to consecrated virginity in the Archdiocese of Chicago please contact Sr. Joan McGlinchey, Vicar for Religious at .

Private Vows in Lay Movements

Lay associations also known as “ecclesial associations” are relatively new groups in the church. Members profess private vows in the name of the Church to a legitimate superior, live in community and put their salaries into the community of goods. i.e. Focolare, Regnum Christi etc. See Canon 1192 *

The Eremitic Life – Diocesan Hermits

An ancient form of consecrated life begun in the third century, a hermit lives under norms prescribed in Canon Law under the direction of the diocesan bishop. The diocesan hermit publicly profess poverty, chastity and obedience before the bishop, devote themselves to prayer, penance and solitude and earn their own living. See Canon 603 *

* Center for the Study of Religious Life, “Kindling”, Volume 7 Issue 2, Winter 2006