Resources – Consecrated Life

Spiritual Discernment Retreat by Father Hirsch (Click to Listen)

Resources for parishes, schools, DREs

Church Documents on the Priesthood, Consecrated Life, Vocations and Related Subjects
Arranged chronologically (most recent document first) within each category.

Pope John Paul II

Vocation to Service  [Message for 40th World Day of Prayer for Vocations (5/11/03), 10/16/02]
Rosarium Virginis Mariae [On the Most Holy Rosary] [Apostolic Letter, 10/16/02]
Holy Thursday Letter to Priests [Letter, 3/21/02]
Address to the Clergy of Rome [Focusing on the Vocation Crisis][2/14/02]
The Vocation to Holiness  [Message for 39th World Day of Prayer for Vocations (4/21/02), 11/23/01]
To the Plenary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life [Message, 9/27/01]
To Priests for Holy Thursday 2001  [Letter, 3/25/01]
Address to the Participants in the International Congress of Sacred Music [1/27/01]
Novo Millennio Ineunte [At the beginning of the new millennium] [Apostolic Letter, 1/6/01]
Life as a Vocation  [Message for 38th World Day of Prayer for Vocations (5/6/00), 9/14/00]
Thank God for This Extraordinary Gift! [Homily at Mass celebrated with 6,000 priests, 74 Cardinals and Patriarchs, 250 Archbishops and Bishops for the Jubilee of Priests and the Holy Father’s 80th birthday, 5/18/00]
Model Your Life on Mystery of the Cross [Homily at an Ordination Mass for the Diocese of Rome, 5/14/00]
Eucharist is Joined to Ministerial Priesthood [Homily at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, 4/20/00]
Priests, by Ordination, Share in Christ’s Mission [Homily at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, 4/20/00]
‘This is My Body, This is My Blood’ [Homily, 3/23/00] [During private Mass with the Ordinaries of the Holy Land and Cardinals and Bishops of his entourage at the Chapel of the Cenacle during his Holy Land Pilgrimage]
Proclaiming Christ in the Media [Message for the 34th World Communications Day (6/4/00), 1/24/00] [published in l’Osservatore, Romano, 1/6/00]
Eucharist, Source of All Vocations  [Message for 37th World Day of Prayer for Vocations (5/14/00), 9/30/99]
Monasteries are “Powerhouses” of Spiritual Energy   [Angelus reflection, 7/18/99]
Take Holy Pride in Being “Other Christs” [Message to Priests, 6/19/99]
Jesus, Model of Every Priest [Meditation before leading the recitation of the Regina Coeli, 4/28/99]
Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists [4/4/99]
Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 1999 [3/14/99]
Priests Are Conformed to Christ the Head [Address at the plenary session of the Congregation for the Clergy, 10/15/98]
The Lord’s Day [Dies Domini] [Apostolic Letter, 5/31/98]
Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 1998 [3/25/98]
For the I World Day for Consecrated Life [Message, 1/6/97]
The Consecrated Life  [Vita Consecrata] [Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, 3/25/96]
Tertio Millennio Adveniente [As the third millennium draws near] [Apostolic Letter, 11/10/94]
On the Formation of Priests [Pastores Dabo Vobis] [Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, 3/25/92]
Pastor Bonus  [The Good Shepherd] [Apostolic Constitution, 6/28/88]
Redemptionis Donum [To Men and Women Religious on Their Consecration in the Light of the Mystery of the Redemption] [Apostolic Exhortation, 3/25/84]



On the Renewal of the Religious Life According to the Teaching of the Second Vatican Council [Apostolic Letter of Pope Paul VI, 6/29/71]
The Celibacy of the Priest [Sacerdotalis Caelibatus] [Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 6/24/67]
On the Holy Eucharist [Mysterium Fidei] [Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 9/3/65]
On Promoting Devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ  [Sanguis Christi] [Apostolic Letter of Pope John XXIII, 6/30/60]
On St. John Vianney [Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia (From the Beginning of Our Priesthood)] [Encyclical of Pope John XXIII, 8/1/59]Vatican II Council
Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests  [Presbyterorum Ordinis] [12/7/65]
Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life  [Perfectae Caritatis] [10/28/65]
Decree on Priestly Training [Optatam Totius] [10/28/65]


We Have Dialogued Enough! We Have Experimented Enough! Bishop James C. Timlin [SB on Consecrated Life, 10/2-20/94]


CB = Congregation for Bishops
CC = Congregation for Clergy
CCE = Congregation for Catholic Education
CDF = Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
CDWDS = Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
CEP = Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
CICLSAL = Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic  Life (formerly SCR and SCRIS, see below)
COC = Congregation for the Oriental Churches
SCR = Sacred Congregation for Religious
SCRIS = Sacred Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes

Consecrated Persons and Their Mission in Schools [Reflections and Guidelines] [CCE, 10/28/02]
The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish  Community [Instruction] [CC, 8/4/02] 
Starting Afresh from Christ: A Renewed Commitment to Consecrated Life in the Third Millennium [Instruction] [CICLSAL, 5/29/02]
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy [Principles and Guidelines] [CDWDS, 12/01]
On the Sending Abroad and Sojourn of Diocesan Priests from Mission Territories [Instruction] [CEP, 4/25/01]
Liturgiam authenticam [On the Use of the Vernacular Languages in the Publication of the Books of the Roman Liturgy] [Fifth Instruction “For the Right Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council (Sacrosanctum Concilium, art. 36)][CDWDS, 3/28/01]
Responsa ad quaestiones circa obligationem persolvendi Liturgiam Horarum (Latin) [Concerning the obligation for reciting the Liturgy of the Hours] [Response to questions] [CC, 11/15/00]
Dominus Jesus (Latin)  or On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church (English)[Declaration] [CDF, 8/6/00]
Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani [CDWDS, original Latin edition as approved by Pope John Paul II on Holy Thursday, 2000 and provided on the NCCB web site]
Concerning the Integrity of the Sacrament of Penance [Circular Letter] [CDWDS, 3/20/00]
Consecrated Life within the Church, a Testimony to Christ
Yesterday, Today and Forever [Celebrative Booklet] [CICLSAL, Jubilee of the Consecrated Life, 2/2/00]
Instruction on the Contemplative Life and on the Enclosure of Nuns [ [Verbi Sponsa] [CICLSAL, 5/13/99]
The Priest and the Third Christian Millennium: Teacher of the Word, Minister of the Sacraments and Leader of the Community [CC, 3/19/99]
Inter-Institute Collaboration for Formation [Instruction] [CICLSAL, 12/8/98]
Priests of the Old Covenant [CC, 11/24/98]
Priests in the New Testament [CC, 11/24/98]
Priests in the Early Church and in Vatican II [CC, 11/23/98]
The Priest and the Bishop [CC, 11/23/98]
The Role of Priests in Catechesis  [CC, 11/15/98]
Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons [Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons] [CCE, CC, 2/22/98]
New Vocations for a New Europe: Pontifical Work for Ecclesiastical Vocations  [In Verbo tuo…] [CE, COC, CICLSAL, 5/5-10/97]
Instruction Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained
Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest: [CC, PCL, CDF, CDWDS, CB, CEP, CICLSAL, PCILT (see Pontifical Councils), 8/15/97]
Fraternal Life in Community [Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor] [CICLSAL, 2/2/94]

Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests [CC, 1/31/94]
Directives on Formation in Religious Institutes [Instruction] [CICLSAL, 2/2/90]
For Diocesan Priests in Churches Dependent on the Cong…. [Pastoral Guide] [CEP, 10/1/89]
Essential Elements in the Church’s Teaching on Religious Life as Applied to Institutes Dedicated to Works of the Apostolate [SCRIS, 5/31/83][Includes Letter of His Holiness John Paul II to the Bishops of the United States, 4/3/83]: Instruction on Certain Questions 4/3/83]: Instruction on Certain Questions 4/3/83]: Instruction on Certain Questions
The Contemplative Dimension of Religious Life [SCRIS, Plenaria of 3/4-7/80]
Directives for the Mutual Relations Between Bishops and Religious in the Church [SCRIS, 5/14/78]
Religious and Human Promotion [SCRIS, 8/12/80]  [Plenaria of 4/25-28/78]
Works of Art [Opera Artis] [Circular Letter on the care of the Church’s historical and artistic heritage] [CC, 4/11/71]
Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Scared Orders [SCR, 2/2/61]



PCF = Pontifical Council for the Family
PCILT = Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts
PCL = Pontifical Council for the Laity

Declaration re Canon 915 [PCILT, 6/24/00]
Care of the Most Holy Eucharist [re the Authentic Interpretation of Canons Dealing w/the] [PCILT, 7/14/99]
Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the
Morality of Conjugal Life [PCF, 2/12/97]National Conference of Catholic Bishops
English Language Study Edition of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani [Information on how to obtain a copy from the NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy]



The Canonical Establishment of a Religious Institute, [by Rev. Elio Gambari, S.M.M., who worked in the Congregation for Religious from 1946 to 1983. Published by Dominican Sisters of Divine Providence, South Amboy, NJ.]

Homosexuality and Gospel Truth: Toward Effective Pastoral Care [Fr. Robert A. Gabel, Jr. in l’Osservatore Romano, 7/14/99]
A Eucharistic Prayer [Bishop Eugene J. Gerber in Crisis, 6/99]