Consecrated Life

What is consecrated life?

The term “consecrated” has its roots in Latin and is often translated as “dedicated, devoted as sacred” or “set apart.” A person who is living a “consecrated life” is someone who has dedicated his or her life to God in imitation of Christ and publicly professes poverty, chastity and obedience.

Types of consecrated life: 

Religious life – Religious life is a form of consecrated life that consists of men and women who make specific vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to a religious community.

These communities can consist of sisters, nuns, brothers, monks, or religious order priests. The Diocese of Ogdensburg is blessed to have a number of religious communities serving within its boundaries. 

Consecrated virgins and widows (

Secular Institutes (

Hermetic life

Societies of Apostolic Life - members are men or women who live in common without religious vows. They pursue the apostolic purpose of the society and lead lives as brothers or sisters in common according to a particular manner of life. The members strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of their constitutions. There are also societies in which the members embrace the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience by some bond defined in their constitutions. Societies of apostolic life can be clerical or lay, male or female.

FIAT Women’s Discernment Group - This is an online discernment group for women and is open to all women (18-40ish) discerning a vocation to consecrated life, married life, and single life.  This outreach is sponsored by the Syracuse Office of Vocation Promotion.  The co-facilitators of this new group are Alyson Radford and Melissa Buttner.  Email  for more information as well as for the Zoom info. 

Married Life

The following are excerpts from the diocese of Ogdensburg’s FAMILY CATECHESIS FOR THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS: 

 The Sacrament of Matrimony: The Catholic Vision for Marriage:  

"What is marriage? It is a true and authentic vocation, as are the priesthood and the religious life. Two Christians who marry have recognized the call of the Lord in their own love story, the vocation to form one flesh and one life from two, male and female." (Pope Francis, Meeting with the Young People of Umbria, 
October 4, 2013)
Marriage Preparation:

A question that confronts us: Are couples really prepared for marriage and the life that follows it? 

There are three stages of marriage preparation – remote, proximate, and immediate. According to St. John Paul II's exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, marriage preparation is to be seen and put into practice as a gradual and continuous process beginning with the family, the domestic church.    

Remote Marriage Preparation:

Is a lifelong process that occurs in the family, the domestic church. Christian parents are the first and most important witnesses and educators of their children in the growth of faith, hope and charity. Remote preparation begins “in the womb” and continues throughout childhood, adolescence, and up to the period of engagement. It is based primarily in the family with the assistance of the Church. During this period of preparation, children learn to give and receive love through spiritual and catechetical formation focusing on vocational choices. 
Proximate Marriage Preparation: (8-12 months before the wedding)

Proximate marriage preparation builds the foundation for marriage by providing a more specific preparation for the sacrament, presenting marriage as an interpersonal relationship of a man and a woman that has to be continually developed over a lifetime. The Church wants couples to take time to reflect on the holiness of their vocation and on the importance of the step they are about to take. The diocesan marriage preparation program, Pre-Cana, is held at various times in many of the deaneries. 

Immediate Marriage Preparation: (10 weeks before the wedding) 

Immediate preparation for the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony is a part of the larger pastoral responsibility to assist the Christian faithful in preparation for marriage and to support them in living out this sacrament. This preparation should take place in the weeks immediately preceding the wedding. This stage of preparation should include: catechesis on the Rite of Marriage, Liturgy planning, (that is, choice of readings, music, blessings), rehearsal planning, completion of all paperwork and canonical requirements.  

Lesson 16, Seg. 1: What is Marriage?

Sacraments 101:  Matrimony (why make it Catholic)

Single Life

Perhaps the most misunderstood of the “states of life” is that of the single life. Unfortunately, it gets the least attention as well. All of us, whether married, ordained or consecrated religious, begin as a single person. For many, single life is a transition to something else. However, there are some who choose to be single; they are single by intention, not by accident. Those are the ones truly called to this state of life. While they do not make public vows or promises, these single people are dedicated to the work of Jesus Christ in the world.

Men and women living the single life are called to generous service. They tend to be more free to respond to the needs of the church and to others’ needs. Accepting this vocation means choosing to serve God in the laity in a variety of ministries.