Consecrated Religious Life
Some women and men live their vocation as priests, sisters, or brothers within a religious community. As people who make solemn vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, consecrated religious may actively engage in service to the world or they may live in a contemplative community set apart from the world. Poverty, chastity, and obedience are called "evangelical counsels" because they help the Gospel be proclaimed more effectively and with greater love. Religious men and women are dedicated to serving God and the people by being first rooted in communal prayer. Young people enter into religious communities in order to identify completely with the gifts of that particular community and become like a spiritual family. Religious sisters often see themselves as living like "spouses" of Jesus because they love so intensely.
Each particular community, while sharing many similar characteristics, also has a unique charism that identifies them and gives their lives a special focus. Some are large international orders; others are more local communities. Many follow special spiritual traditions of saints such as St. Francis and St. Clare, or St. Dominic and St. Catherine.