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Institute of the Incarnate Word

Province of the Immaculate Conception


The charism of the Institute of the Incarnate Word is the grace to know how to work concretely so as to extend the presence of Christ in families, education, the mass media, the scholarly, and in all other legitimate manifestations of human life.


We want to be anchored in the sacrosanct mystery of the Incarnation. Rooted in this mystery that is truly present among us, we want to fervently set out to restore all things in Christ (Eph 1:10).

Religious Family

The Religious Family of the Incarnate Word is made of the clerical order of Institute of Incarnate Word (IVE), the female branch of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara (SSVM), and the Third Order of the Incarnate Word.

Our Province

Under the patronage of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, our province spans over four countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Guyana. You can access our Provincial Map and Directory by clicking on the link below.

+ Map and Directory

Institute of the Incarnate Word

About Us:

The Institute of the Incarnate Word was the first branch of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word to be founded by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela in 1984. The Institute which draws its spirituality from the mystery of the Incarnation, was founded on none other than the Solemnity of the Annunication, March 25th, 1984 in San Rafael, Argentina. A few years later Fr. Buela would also found a female branch (Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, SSVM), and a secular Third Order.

A Religious Order

Our founder wanted our Institute to be named “of the Incarnate Word”, in order to honor the greatest event of history, an event which cannot be surpassed by any other: the Incarnation of the Son of God.

By means of the profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we want to imitate and follow more closely the Incarnate Word in his chastity, poverty and obedience. In addition, we profess a fourth vow of Marian slavery, according to the spirit of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. By means of this vow, we consecrate our whole lives to the Blessed Virgin Mary. As religious of the Incarnate Word, we want to be anchored in the mystery of the Incarnation which, as our spiritual father, St. John Paul II has said, “is the first and fundamental mystery of Jesus Christ.” From this mystery, we want to undertake “to reestablish all things in Christ” (Eph 1:10), seeking to be as another Incarnation of the Word in order to make Him incarnate in all that is human. We are aware that, as St. Irenaeus teaches, “that which is not assumed is not redeemed”. Thus, nothing that is authentically human is foreign to us, because the life of grace that Jesus Christ came to bring to the world must be brought to everything and everyone.

A Missionary Order

This gives rise to our specific and singular end which is the evangelization of the culture, that is, to work "through the power of the Gospel, to transform: mankind's criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration, and models of life" (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 19). Therefore, the charism of the Institute of the Incarnate Word is the grace to know how to work concretely so as to extend the presence of Christ in families, education, the mass media, the scholarly, and in all other legitimate manifestations of human life. "We believe that one of the most important ways to attain the Institute's purpose is through work focused on key areas of culture, namely: families, education (especially in seminaries, universities, and colleges), the mass media, and thinkers or intellectuals" (IVE Consitutions, 29). In addition, in order to always seek the greater glory of God and the universal good, we prefer to send missionaries where there is a greater need, either because of the lack of missionaries or because the faithful are in urgent need of them (cf. Constitutions, 186). Basically, we want to go to those missions where no one else wants to go. We firmly believe that the silent sacrifice of those who give their lives for Christ, going where no other man wishes to go, will never go unrewarded; these sacrifices are an enormous source of blessing for the entire Institute and for the Universal Church.

In order to be able to help the Christians of the Eastern Churches (Coptic and Byzantine rites) who form part of the indivisible patrimony of the Universal Church, we also have an eastern branch. Thus, we breathe with two lungs, so to speak, just as the Church does. “One cannot breathe as a Christian, even less, as a Catholic, with only one lung; there must be two lungs, that is to say, the Eastern and the Western” (St. John Paul II, June 8, 1980).

The Secular Third Order, or the lay order of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word, is an association of lay faithful who, though living in the world, participate in the spirit of our Religious Family, in order to seek Christian perfection in a more secure and efficacious way. They do so in the wide sphere of the lay vocation and by carrying into effect the sanctification of all men by means of the works of apostolates that are associated both with the IVE and SSVM communities.

A Religious Family

Finally, united by the same faith, the same ends, the same mission, the same founder, the same charism, and the same spirit, the religious of the IVE (priests, seminarians, monks, and co-adjutor brothers) and the SSVM, together with the IVE Third Order wish to form one family so as "to live and to make others live under the action of the Holy Spirit". As St. Paul wrote, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor 3:17).

An IVE Priest:

1. Prolongs the Incarnation of Christ

According to the specific charism of our Religious Family, he must "work in supreme docility to the Holy Spirit and according to the example of the Virgin Mary, so that Jesus Christ will be the Lord of all that is truly human, even in the most difficult situations and under the most adverse conditions.

Fr. Buela celebrating Mass in Canada.

This charism is the grace to know how to work concretely so as to extend the presence of Christ in families, education, the mass media, the scholarly, and in all other legitimate manifestations of human life. It is the gift of making each person like a new Incarnation of the Word, thus fulfilling our essential call to be missionaries and Marian" (Constitutions, 30-31).

The focus on the Incarnation also means that, for him, all that is authentically human is open to the Gospel. Just as the Word, in assuming a human nature, united to Himself all that was authentically human, so the IVE priest must also work in such a way that no apostolate is foreign to him.

2. Professes vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and Marian slavery

An IVE Priest seeking to "follow Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit", must consecrate himself totally through the profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience....

+ Read More about the Essential Characteristics of an IVE Priest

IVE Vocations

Information to help you discern whether or not God is calling you to join the IVE. Read More

Spiritual Exercises

Find out when the next retreat will take place near you. Read More

IVE Press

Order books in English and Spanish published by the IVE. Read More

Mission Volunteers

Click here to find out how you can take part in a volunteer mission trip. Read More
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Inculturization of the Gospel

Sanctification of Souls

The Institute of the Incarnate Word takes on the works of aposotolate most conducive to the inculturization of the Gospel. Since evangelizing the culture seeks to first and foremost achieve the sanctification of individual men and women, priests of the IVE dedicate themselves to the preaching of the Spiritual Exercises according to the method and spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and to spiritual direction.

Intellectual Apostolates

Besides the spiritual dimension of inculturization, the Institute also dedicates her priests to the intellectual dimension. In this regard the Institute gives priority to: priestly formation in seminaries, education on all levels, the formation of lay leaders by means of courses in Catholic culture, and the media. Of particular interest to the Institute is its own "Cornelio Fabro Project" which is currently working on translating, gathering articles, and diffusing the thought of the Thomistic philosopher Fr. Cornelio Fabro.

Pastoral Dimension

Since no work of evangelization is complete without a pastoral dimension, priests of the Institute also commit themselves to preaching, celebrating the Mass, and the administration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Another priority is the outreach mission in parishes and in rural areas according to the method and spirit of St. Alphonsus Ligouri, in all its forms: intensive mission, on-going mission, youth and childrens missions, missions to the sick, to factory workers, etc. Also, in response to Bishops' requests, the Institute can accept the direction of parishes, preferably in missionary areas or those in greater need.

Works of Mercy

Finally, the Institute gives priviledged attention to the poor, sick, and all those in need, practicing concrete works of mercy. We recognize that in order to evangelize the culture, charity is essential, for it is both the end of the one who works and the end of the work itself; otherwise, the civilization of love will not be reached. For those who would like to collaborate in this particular aspect of our apostolic work please click on the following link to:

IVE Mission for the Poor


Upcoming Events

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Provincial News

  • Apostolic Visit to the USA

    Banner of St. Junipero Serra hanging in front of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where members of the IVE participated in the Canonization Mass.

    The Apostolic Visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the United States from September 22-27 has officially come to a blessed close. Millions of Americans, believers and non-believers, were captivated by the Holy Father’s presence and many were touched by his healing words. Priests and seminarians of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) were among those who were able to participate in several of the events highlighted on the pope’s itinerary.

    Read more ...  
  • Guyana Mission 2015

    After Mass at the IVE summer mission trip in Guyana
    Fr. Humberto Villa, IVE priest and pastor of Charity Community, and Fr. Juan Pablo Palacio, IVE priest and mission preacher, pose for a photo with missionaries and altar servers.

    This past August, Fr. Humberto Villa asked recently ordained Fr. Juan Pablo Palacio to give a Popular Mission at one of his rural parishes in Guyana, the smallest country in the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE). The mission this year was held at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Catholic Church, a small parish which sits on the banks of the Pomeroon River and is about two hours by boat from the town of Charity. Fr. Juan Pablo’s team of missionaries included Fr. Fernando Flores (also recently ordained), three seminarians, nine religious sisters, and seven lay missionaries.

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  • Beginning of the Academic Year and Universa Exams

    An IVE seminarian of the Ven. Fulton Sheen House of Formation takes his "Universa" exam, which is a cumulative exam taken after completing all three years of philosophy studies in the seminary.

    After having returned home from a summer full of missions, oratories, Spiritual Exercises, studies, vacations, and countless other apostolates and activities, the priests and seminarians of the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) convened once again at the Venerable Fulton Sheen House of Formation to usher in the beginning of a new academic year.

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