Apostolic Formation

About Us

IVE Crest

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, chastityand 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

Baptism in Charity, Guyana

This gives rise to our specificand singular endwhich 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).


Constitutions and Directory of Spirituality


Father Carlos Miguel Buela, IVE Founder

Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela, IVE, founder of the Institute of the Incarnate Word and the Institute Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara, was born in Buenos Aires on April 4th, 1941, into a deeply religious family. At the age of eight he received his First Holy Communion at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Parish on December 8th, 1949, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

At the age of 23, Carlos entered Villa Devoto Seminary in Buenos Aires and finished his studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in the city of Rosario. He was ordained a priest on October 7th, 1971, in the crypt of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes of the Holy Places in Buenos Aires. On the following day, he celebrated his First Mass in the main chapel of the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján.

After his ordination, he began to teach at various educational institutions and worked at various parishes in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. As a young priest he was mentored by two influential Argentine priests, Fr. Julio Meinvielle and Fr. Leonardo Castellani, S. J. He was also greatly influenced by the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II. After the Holy Father’s election in 1978, Fr. Buela began to follow very closely his writings and activities from his parish in Buenos Aires.

Fr. Buela Founds the Institute

The grace to found the Institute of the Incarnate Word—known as the “foundational grace”—came to him on May 3rd, 1981, while hearing confessions. Fr. Buela, himself, relates it as such:

On March 25th, 1984, the day that Pope John Paul II consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Msgr. Leon Kruk, Bishop of San Rafael in Mendoza, Argentina, approved the foundation of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. A few years later, in 1988, Fr. Buela also founded the Sisters of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, the female branch of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word. He also founded the IVE Secular Third Order.

Apostolic Endeavors

Fr. Buela has been a prolific author who has published dozens of titles. His book Youth of the Third Millennium was recognized as best book on Religion and Spirituality in the International Book Fair in Buenos Aires. Other recent works have been San Ignacio Hoy, Ars Participandi, and El Arte del Padre.

Fr. Carlos Buela, founder of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word preaches in Italy.

A major promoter of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, he has also been a tireless preacher, preaching retreats to over one hundred groups of retreatants throughout his priesthood. He has also given numerous sermons, lectures, conferences on various Catholic subjects.

He has been a teacher at numerous educational institutions such as St. Charles Borromeo Minor Seminary in the Archdiocese of Rosario; Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word Seminary in Mendoza; San Rafael’s Diocesan Seminary in Mendoza; Diocesan Seminary of the Diocese of San Isidro (Buenos Aires); the Superior Institute of Catholic Culture in Rosario; the Diocesan School of Formation for Catholic Leaders in the Diocese of San Martin (Buenos Aires), and the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA).

After serving many years as the General Superior of the IVE, he retired in 2010. Wishing to remain in Italy, he wanted to dedicate much of his time to leaving behind his testament to the patrimony of the Institute through his writings.


The Institute of the Incarnate Word is not only formed by religious living an apostolic life, but also of members who live out the charism through a contemplative life. As our Constitutions state, "Just as the Word chose to live in the silence of Nazareth for thirty years, some of our members consecrate themselves to Him in the contemplative state." Thus, the monks of the Institute of the Incarnate Word "desire to dedicate themselves to the only necessary thing; they have chosen the best part (Cf. Lk 10:41).

In a real way our contemplatives are on the front lines of all the Institute’s apostolic works, since with their prayer life and penance, they obtain from the Lord the necessary graces for the salvation of many souls. This conviction is taken from the following words of the Magisterium (Ad Gentes) “Institutes of contemplative life, by their prayers and trials, are of the greatest importance in the conversion of souls since it is in answer to prayer that God sends workers into His harvest, opens the minds of non-Christians to hear the Gospel, and makes fruitful the word of salvation in their hearts.”


Our monasteries of contemplative life should be magnets of God’s grace and lightning rods for His wrath. God willing, we will be able to multiply them all over the world! “The Church and the world... need... a small ideal society where as a goal all the following reign: love, obedience, innocence, freedom from things and the art of its good use, the prevalence of the spirit, peace, – in a word – the Gospel," said Blessed Paul VI in Discourse to contemplatives in 1964.


The Institute of the Incarnate Word was founded on a plot of farmland in rural San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina in 1984. What was officially named "Villa de Lujan" has come to be known fondly among the Institute's members as "La Finca" ("The Farm").

Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara

The Institute Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara is an institute of Catholic missionary sisters dedicated to prolonging the Incarnation of the Word through the evangelization of culture. They were founded in 1988 by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela, IVE and belong to the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word.

They wish to take seriously the demands of the Gospel in going "to make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:18) as modern missionaries, seeking to fulfill their religious vocation to be Spouses of Christ by living deeply the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Servidoras with Mother Anima in Italy

The sisters wear a distinctive blue and gray habit as a sign of their total consecration to God and as a living symbol of the mystery of the Incarnation—blue representing the divinity of Christ, and grey the humanity of Christ. Their bright blue scapulars are also a way to honor the Virgin Mary, to whom the sister are consecrated in a fourth vow of Marian slavery of love according to St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort.

The sisters also take new religious names which are all titles of Our Lady as a way to keep her before their eyes always as the model of religious life and the sure guide to bring them always closer to her Divine Son. To sum up in the words of their foundational text (#7 of Constitutions): "We want to be founded in Jesus Christ who has come in the flesh (1 Jn 4:2), and only in Christ, and always in Christ. We want Christ to be in everything and in all, and all of Christ, because the Rock is Christ (Cf. 1 Cor 10:4.), and on no other foundation can anyone lay (1 Cor 3:11)."

Information is taken from: http://www.ssvmusa.org/

Third Order of the Incarnate Word

The Secular Third Order was established for those faithful among the laity who desire to share in the spirit and charism of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word. The members of the Third Order not only share in the spirit of the Institute, but they also share in the desire to reach sanctity within their own proper vocations and lead other men and women, especially their families, to be "other Christs" in the world, sharing in the redemptive work of the only Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word.

Members of the Third Order can participate in three levels:

  1. Lay faithful who freely devote themselves to the spirit and work of the Religious Family through a private vow.
  2. Lay movements that unite themselves to the mission and work of the Religious Family.
  3. All of the faithful - lay, priests, and religious - who are benefactors, friends, and even family members of our religious who wish to share in the spirit of our Religious Family, forming the Brotherhood of the Incarnate Word.

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