See endnote on this page for more
explanations. In general, Third Orders, Tertiaries, and lay
associates are lay
people who are in spiritual union with a formal religious order.
Here is a list of some of the more well-known
Third Orders and lay associates:
Benedictine oblates (link to the Order of St. Benedict web
Saint Meinrad Archabbey produced
six videos explaining the oblate life. While
the video is about Saint Meinrad oblates, it gives an
excellent overview of the oblate life at any monastery.
Remember, oblates do NOT live at a monastery, we wear
regular clothes, are regular lay, married, unmarried, men
and women living in the world.
At many monasteries Benedictine oblates are not required
to be Catholic and may be from any Christian denomination.
Lay Cistercian Communities
Secular Augustinian Recollects
Secular Franciscan Order(1)
Lay Carmelites - Third Order, T.O.C.s or T.O.Carm.s
Secular Carmelites, Discalced Carmelite Secular Order, O.C.D.s,
Fraternities of St. Dominic
Carthusian Spirituality, International Fellowship of St. Bruno
The Confraternity of Penitents
Norbertine Lay Associations The Norbertines are also known
as the Premonstratensians (OPraem) and in Britain and Ireland as
the White Canons.
Lay Missionaries of Charity
Servite Secular Order
Long list of Abbreviations
The Catholic Door
Ministry has a list of those abbreviations you see after names
of religious men and women. I see them all the time on
Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) shows and mostly have no
idea what they mean. Well, now I will just look them up on
this handy and
Long list of Abbreviations.
(1) Some religious groups who live in
community and take private vows of poverty, chastity, and
obedience are called Teriaries, such as the
Franciscan Tertiary Sisters of the Immaculate.
(2) Two traditions exist in the Carmelite community. The
differences are described
here, scroll down to the FAQs paragraph 7.
WHY IS THIS PAGE HERE?
Some readers of this blog may be surfing the
Internet looking for spiritual information and may land on this
web site, but not be drawn to the Benedictine shore. To
help you in your sailing on the spiritual sea, you may want to
explore these other groups.
I wrote a blog on
contemplative prayer. In the blog I gave a list of
Third Orders, and you will also hear such groups called
tertiaries or confraternities. After I wrote the blog, I
found more of such groups and have listed all of them on this
page for better customer service.
Such Third Orders are groups of lay people
associated with a particular religious order (such as
Benedictines, Franciscan, Dominican, or Carmelite).
Such members do not take vows or wear
religious clothing or live in a community residence. They
are regular folks, often married, who seek to live in the world
while following the spirit or charism of the religious order
with whom they are associated.
This Oblate Spring web site and the
Oblate Blog are about Catholic Benedictine oblates — the
lay associates of the Benedictines.