The Holy Family Secular Institute

windowonfield-310x232The Consecrated Seculars seek to live the dynamism of the
Founder’s charism in complementarity with the Religious Institute
and the Associates of the Holy Family – lay people and priests.
They live it according to their own vocation in the diversity of
their situations and their commitments at the heart of the world…
(Constitutions, art E)

How the Holy Family Secular Institute evolved

In response to the desire of a group of women who, due to family and other commitments, were unable to become Religious but were called by God to practise the vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience, Fr. Noailles formed the Society of the Ladies of the Holy Family with their own particular rule.
Secular Institutes did not exist in the Church at this time. In 1947, Pope Pius Xll published the Apostolic Constitution, Provida Mater Ecclesia which gave status in the church to Secular Institutes.

In 1980, Canon Law did not allow the combination of seculars and religious sisters in one group, thus the secular group of the Holy Family became the Holy Family Secular Institute.

It was recognised as a secular institute of Diocesan Right by the Archbishop of Bordeaux on 1 May 1988. It retains a close link with and is an integral part of the Holy Family of Bordeaux.


A Holy Family Secular describes this vocation

“As Consecrated Seculars of the Holy Family we live fully the charism of Pierre Bienvenu Noailles
in the heart of the world. In the diversity of our personal vocations we follow Jesus and welcome
him with Mary and Joseph in the simplicity of a life which, exteriorly, is like that of others, but
interiorly is consecrated by the Spirit.

We make no changes to our way of life. We continue to live alone or with our families,
working in different professions and sharing in the parish, social and political life of the locality.

The Eucharist, foundation and nourishment of our consecration, is at the centre of our life.
Contemplation of the Holy Family of Nazareth inspires our prayer life as we reflect on how:

Joseph listened in silence;
Mary pondered everything in her heart;
Jesus offered himself to the Father.

By our consecration our whole life becomes apostolic. We make our own the aim of the Founder,
‘to spread and strengthen the faith’, by our commitment to live his charism.”


The Holy Family Secular Institute is international. Its members are present in:

Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Congo,
France, Italy, India, Great Britain, Paraguay, Peru,
Ireland, Spain, South Africa and Sri Lanka.


To  read a personal testimony, click here…