Third OrderInstitute of the Incarnate Word

  • What is the Third Order?

    The Third Order is a group of lay members who, although do not profess public vows or live in community with a particular institute, search for Christian perfection and desire to participate in the apostolic work and spirit of an institute or congregation. They choose to live lives according to the constitutions of the Institute, participating in the evanlegical function of the Church and the Institute. They become witnesses through their Christian life in the world and by the ordering of temperol things to God, they so draw others to attractiveness to Christ.
  • Why should I become a Third Order Member?

    A Third Order shares in the twofold objective. The universal objective is to seek the greater glory of God and the salvation of all souls, thus looking for the sanctification of all its members and the sanctification of the whole world. The Incarnate Word Family (including the Third Order), has as its specific objective, the task of “inculurating’ the Gospel, it is to say to extend the Incarnation “to all men, in the whole man, and in all of the manifestation of man,” in accordance with the teachings of the magisterium of the Church.
  • How do I become a Third Order member?

    There are three levels in which a faithful can be considered a third order members of the IVE. The third level is by way of faternity to the Incarnate Word. They are friends or family members of a religious members of the institute or benefactors of IVE missions. The second level, associated faithful, they are lay members that unite to the institute by their apostolic work in missions. Lay faithful who freely devote themselves to the spirit and work of the Religious Family and through a private vow are acknowledged full third order members of the Institute of the Incarnate Word.
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Elements of Third Order

  • Objective +

    The Third Order shares our objective that is twofold. As a universal objective, it seeks the greater glory of God and the salvation of all souls, and through this primary end, we look for the sanctification of our Members and the sanctification of the whole world. The specific objective that the Third Order shares with us is the ‘inculturation’ of the Gospel. They commit all their strength to inculturate the Gospel, that is to say, to extend the Incarnation “to all men, in the whole man, and in all of the manifestations of man,” in accordance with the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church.
  • Apostolate +

    In order to adequately realize this objective this Association dedicates itself to evangelize in the key places of our culture: works of mercy, apostolate of prayer, catechism, popular mission, the proclamation of the truth through the media, politics, education, assisting the priest and religious, taking advantage of all that can be used in order that Christ may reign in the life of individuals, families and societies. Each member in the world must be a witness of the resurrection and the life of Christ, a true sign of the living God.
  • Consecration to Mary +

    With Christ, the laity of the Incarnate Word desire to manifest the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the world. They know that her presence is necessary to prolong the Incarnation in all of creation. For this reason, the Third Order deepens their spirituality in her life: following her teachings, and prolonging her mission. They accomplish all of their actions in Mary, for Mary, with Mary, and through Mary, consecrating their lives to her following the teachings of St. Louis Marie Grignion of Montfort as expressed in the True Devotion of Mary.
  • Secular Life +

    The Third Order is structured in levels according to the degree of commitment of the Members.

    The charism of lay people consists in looking for the kingdom of God in those temporal matters in which, by vocation, Third Order Members are united. These temporal matters must be arranged within the world in a Godly fashion so as to contribute to the sanctification of the world. Lay people have to transform the world by bringing the Gospel into their cultures, living their secular charism and the profession of the faith which they received in their Baptism and reaffirmed in their Confirmation.

  • Prayer Life +

    As worshipers of the Incarnate Word in “spirit and truth,” the principal prayer is the Holy Mass. By this prayer, Third Order Members unite themselves with the praying Church; and they will desire to habitually participate in it. Devotion to the Passion of Christ as practiced through the Stations of the Cross will manifest their heartfelt love for our Suffering Savior. Third Order Members wear the Cross of Matará as a sign of their devotion to the Mystery of the Passion and Cross of our Savior, in order to show that they are “friends of the Cross.” As imitators of the Blessed Virgin Mary, they have an unlimited trust in their good Heavenly Mother. As a sign of their devotion they make pilgrimages to her shrines, celebrate Saturdays in her honor, adorn her images, spread her devotion, and have a particular veneration of Marian prayers, especially the Angelus and, par excellence, the Holy Rosary.
  • Structure of the Third Order +

    The Third Order has three levels according to the union that our Members have with our Religious Family.

    1) The Fraternity of the Incarnate Word.

    The third level is made up of a wide variety of lay people, or diocesan priests, who are friends, or have a spiritual affinity with us, or are benefactors of our missions, or are families and relatives of our Religious Members. All who desire to share in the spirit of our Religious Family are actually a part of this Fraternity of the Incarnate Word. These are “life” Members of the Third Order who are united with us by prayer and charity. They share the same love for God and for the Congregation. Third Order Members manifest the Incarnate Word in their lives in their own environments, in their families, in their work, in their studies, in their Parishes, and in all other situations.

    2) Association of Faithful

    This second level is made up of several lay movements and an association of the faithful. Each one in this association can share in our apostolate and mission according to the possibilities and pastoral necessities that present themselves in our existing missions. These groups according to their own statutes and under the guide of an Incarnate Word priest can proclaim in all cultures the Good News that Christ brings.

    3) Consecrated Lay People

    In the first level of the Third Order of the Incarnate Word are those lay people who aspire to evangelical perfection according to our spirit. They participate in our mission by freely making private vows or another form of consecration. These faithful can make profession of the evangelical counsels—poverty, chastity and obedience—while at the same time preserving their original state of life. They are privileged members within the Third Order by virtue of their particular consecration. As lay people, they live in the world according to their lay state and with those obligations arising there from, and they manifest their particular consecration through the evangelical counsels. By this profession, Third Order Members dedicate themselves to intensive prayer, the reading of Sacred Scripture, participation in the Eucharist, frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance, spiritual direction, and the practice of the Spiritual Exercises.

  • Admission +

    Admission to the First Level is for those Third Order Members who desire to make a consecration by way of private vows or promises, accepted by the Superiors of the Institute of the Incarnate Word.

    Admission to the Second Level is for those who want to commit themselves to belong to the Third Order by way of group commitment with their own statutes approved by the Superiors of The Institute of the Incarnate Word.

    Admission to the Third Level is for those who manifest an explicit desire to belong to the Third Order. They enlarge the spiritual treasure of the Family of the Incarnate Word.

  • Duties and Rights of Third Order Members +

    These can be summarized in four points as expressed in Canon Law.1) The proclamation of salvation is a general obligation of the Third Order Members. They are to work to make known the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people in the particular circumstances in which they find themselves where no one else can do it. No member can excuse himself from this sacred duty of the apostolate.2) By their witness of life, Third Order Members must perfect the temporal order with the spirit of the Gospel. This obligation is incumbent on all lay people by the commandment of Jesus, “Go and teach.” (Matthew 28:19)3) Through the Sacrament of Matrimony, married lay people have an obligation to perfect their vocation in the building up of the People of God. Because they have transmitted life, married couples are responsible for the Christian education of children, according to the teaching of the Church.4) Members, in addition to defending, proclaiming and living the Christian Doctrine, have the right and duty to increase their own Christian formation by acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Catholic Doctrine.5) They have the right and duty to be involved in some apostolic work according to their own responsibilities, by practicing the works of mercy and helping out in the different apostolic initiatives of the religious family.
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