A religious order is an organization of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with religious devotion. The members of such orders, termed religious as a group, are usually distinct from both the laity and the clergy. They are often termed monks, friars or brothers if male, and nuns or sisters if female.
Some orders practice literal isolation (cloistering) from the outside world; others remain engaged with the world in various ways, often teaching or serving in traditional roles, while maintaining their distinction in other ways. All, however, may be distinguished by vows or disciplines they undertake as members of their orders.
The best-known religious orders in the Western world are Catholic and Buddhist orders of monks and nuns. However, the practice is common in many tribes of Africa and South America on a smaller scale.
Not all members of a religiousorder are clergy (though some are ordained), and there may be associated lay members who have taken promises to an order or taken personal vows such as vows of poverty or virginity (but who do not live in formal community with them).
A few monastic religiousorders practice literal isolation (cloistering) from the outside world; while the majority or religiousorders remain engaged with the world in various ways (teaching, medical work, producing religious artworks and texts, designing and making vestments and writing religious instruction books) while maintaining their distinctiveness in communal living.
Catholic religiousorders are organizations of laity and clergy in the Roman Catholic Church who live under a common rule.
What distiguishes members of religiousorders from the rest of the laity and the clergy is that they try to imitate Jesus of Nazareth by taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Order of St. Elisabeth O.S.E. Pallottines (Society of the Catholic Apostolate) - S.A.C. Paris Foreign Missions Society (Missions Etrangères de Paris) - M.E.P. Passionists (Congregation of the Passion) - C.P. Passionist Nuns
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