Our Mercedarian Family
In addition to the Friars, the Mercedarian presence in the world also comprises of our extended Mercedarian family. This family, comprises of our Second Order of Contemplative Nuns, and a Third Order comprised of laity and about 12 Congregations of Apostolic Sisters.. We consider these members of the other institutes of the Mercedarian family as offspring matured from the spirit of our Order, and offer to these communities of nuns and sisters, with a fraternal spirit and in whatever measure possible, the pastoral service they require.
In the United States, three Congregations of Mercedarian Sisters are presently ministering. As much as possible, we maintain relationships with these Sisters as our Constitutions and the work of our Friars allow.
The Mercedarian Third Order and Lay Fraternities
Since the beginning of the Order, lay people have participated and collaborated in the exercise of our redemptive mission, forming various associations and confraternities. Among these the most important is the Third Order, an association of lay people integrated into the Mercedarian family, that participates in the redemptive spirit. In the Third Order the Christian realizes his baptismal consecration inspired by the spiritual values of Saint Peter Nolasco; he is centered in the love for our Mother of Mercy, seeks his own sanctification and gives efficacious collaboration in the mission of the Order.
It pertains to the Order to establish, organize and attend with special care to these lay associations, by promoting the spiritual maturity and permanent formation of their members, their active participation in apostolic action and their integration into the Mercedarian family by some specific bond. Click here to learn more.