An overview of the religious institutes which are operating within the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
When the Church speaks of institutes of consecrated life she is addressing the three strands of consecrated life more familiarly known to us as:
- Religious institutes
- Societies of apostolic life
- Secular institutes
In early 2014 there were 759 members of these institutes in the Brisbane Archdiocese: 88 religious priests, 112 religious brothers and 559 religious sisters.An overview of religious institutes
An overview of religious institutes
The first religious to arrive in Brisbane were the Passionist priests who came from Italy in 1843 to do missionary work in the area. The Passionists are still active in the Archdiocese today. The first religious sisters to arrive in Brisbane were the Sisters of Mercy who came out from Ireland in 1860. They began with visitation of homes, the hospital and the gaol, and very soon after their arrival they assumed the responsibility for the lay-staffed school at St Stephen’s Cathedral. The Sisters of Mercy are a strong presence in the Archdiocese today, not only in education and health, but also in many other apostolates that attempt to meet the needs of the people of God.
Among more recent arrivals in the Archdiocese are the Missionaries of Charity in 1999, the Missionary Sisters of Service in 1996, and the Sisters of St Paul de Chartres in 1989. Today there are 51 congregations in the Archdiocese; 18 clerical institutes, 28 institutes of religious sisters, 3 institutes of religious brothers, 2 societies of apostolic life and 1 secular institute.
The Carmelite Sisters at Ormiston are wholly directed to contemplation. They are the only contemplative order in the Archdiocese. The other institutes are known as apostolic institutes. Their vocation is also to witness to a life of prayer and holiness lived in the midst of the world and in conformity with their individual charisms.
The religious institutes continue to this day to be a strong presence in the traditional forms of the apostolates of education, health and community care. There are a number of schools/colleges owned and conducted by particular institutes. Four institutes continue to provide excellent Catholic health and aged care. Religious priests continue to take responsibility for parishes, chaplaincies and the promotion of missionary support. A number of religious sisters and brothers contribute to parish life as pastoral associates. Many religious are active in archdiocesan Vicariates such as the Tribunal, Catholic Education and Centacare Brisbane.
There has been a remarkable shift in recent times in the forms of active participation in the mission of the Church embraced by consecrated persons in the Archdiocese. These new forms arise from the reaffirmation of the prophetic nature of the charisms of religious institutes and the richness of their spirituality in the Church and the world. A preferential option for the poor, the abandoned, the marginalised characterises these new forms. They seek to eradicate the causes of these situations through a sound application of the principles of social justice. They are involved in interfaith and ecumenical fields. They are committed to work for the integrity of creation. They dialogue with those who do not profess any religious belief. They address the critical issue of abuse of fundamental human rights. Religious communities increasingly seek to be places for hearing and sharing the Word, for liturgical celebration, for the teaching of prayer, and for accompaniment through spiritual companioning.
The institutes work together in many instances. Often these joint projects are organised through the conference of Catholic Religious Australia Queensland (CRAQld). One example is the Social Action Office. The former Archbishop John Bathersby appointed a Vicar for Religious in 2000 to assist him in his pastoral relationship with consecrated persons in his Archdiocese. In September 2001 the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference approved the association known as the Catholic Vocation Ministries Australia which has a representative from each State on its executive. This association seeks to promote vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.
Religious institutes operating within the Archdiocese of Brisbane
The religious institutes operating within the Archdiocese of Brisbane are:
- Canossian Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor
- Cenacle Sisters
- Chinese Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
- Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
- Loreto Sisters
- Discalced Carmelite Nuns
- Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands
- Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
- Holy Family of Nazareth
- Holy Spirit Sisters
- Missionaries of Charity
- Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
- Missionary Sisters of Christ the King
- Missionary Sisters of Service
- Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor
- Presentation Congregation Queensland
- Sisters of Charity
- Sisters of Mercy
- Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
- Sisters of Nazareth
- Sisters of St Joseph of the Most Sacred Heart
- Sisters of St Paul de Chartres
- Sisters of the Good Samaritan
- Sisters of the Good Shepherd
- Society of the Sacred heart
- Ursulines of the Roman Union
- Capuchin Franciscan Friars
- Society of St Columban
- Divine Word Missionaries
- Order of Friars Minor
- Marist Fathers
- Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
- Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
- Order of St Paul the First Hermit
- Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer
- Scalabrinian Congregation
- Society of Christ
- Society of St Paul
- Christian Brothers
- De La Salle Brothers
- Marist Brothers
- Society of Christian Doctrine
- Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity