Consecrated Life - Four Main Lifestyles
There are four main lifestyles within Consecrated Life – contemplative, apostolic, monastic and evangelical - four different but rewarding ways of sharing the love of Jesus.
Contemplative religious live in a monastery or convent. They live hidden in God, work with their hands, keep silence, and remain solitary for the most part but live within a community. They have a structured daily schedule providing a foundation for a life devoted to prayer. Their prayer is both an apostolate and a mission.
Apostolic religious live an active apostolic religious life characterized by flexibility, the ability to deal with change, and ministry influencing schedule. This is accomplished by action for justice, for peace, for love, best fulfilled with other people and supported by living in community and prayer, especially contemplative prayer.
Monastic Religious live a life of common prayer, reading and service. They do this by taking root in a particular place and, through the culture and needs of a specific location, serve to witness God’s glory in all things. Some pursue an enclosed life, while others are involved in the local church and society through education, parochial ministry, evangelization, publication, health care, etc.
Evangelical Religious live a life based on St Francis of Assisi’s desire to follow the Gospel way of life. Franciscans are neither apostolic nor monastic, are itinerant by nature, not bound to property or a common ministry. Instead, they are free to serve God’s people wherever there is a need. Because Franciscans recognize God in all of creation they often serve in areas that address environmental and social justice issues. Franciscans witness to God’s goodness at work everywhere; not solely through their ministries, but by their daily living in community.