What are the Orders and what do they do?

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Just curious: What are all the religious orders and what are their missions? And if you absolutely have nothing better to do with your time [grin] could you tell me a bit about how they started?

Or, direct me to a good book. You know me. Always eager to read!

-- Anonymous, June 15, 1998


Wow! What a question!


There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of religious orders, each with their own special mission.

The more famous ones are:
7the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus -- SJ) founded by St Ignatius of Loyola
7the Benedictines (the Order of St Benedict -- OSB) founded by St Benedict (Monastic)
7the Franciscans (the Order of Friars Minor -- OFM) founded by St Francis of Assisi
7the Capuchins (another Franciscan order -- OFM.Cap)
7the Dominicans (the Order of Preachers -- OP) founded by St Dominic
7the Discalced Carmelites (OCD) founded (I think) by St John of the Cross

They're the main ones that have been around for centuries. Some of the newer "recent" orders include:
7the Divine Word Missionaries
7the Legionaries of Christ
7the Holy Ghost Fathers
7the Oblates of Mary Immaculate
7the Passionist Fathers

There are so many more: Trappists, Pallatine Fathers, Vincentians, Augustinians, Marist Fathers, Fraternity of St Peter... and that's just the orders for Priests. You have all the orders of Brothers and Nuns as well....

You would probably find descriptions of a lot of these orders in the Catholic Encylcopedia at www.knight.org/advent/

-- Anonymous, June 18, 1998

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