NATURE AND OBJECTIVE
The Third Order of our Religious Family of the Incarnate Word is an Association of the Faithful whose Members, living in the world, desire to participate in the spirit of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. For this reason, this Secular Association is committed to form with the Members of this Religious Family, a unique family united by the same faith, goals, charism, and spirit. The Third Order is an essential part of our Religious Family because it is a prolongation of our works in their own environment.
The Third Order shares our objective that is twofold. As a universal objective, it seeks the greater glory of God and the salvation of all souls, and through this primary end, we look for the sanctification of our Members and the sanctification of the whole world. The specific objective that the Third Order shares with us is the ‘inculturation’ of the Gospel. They commit all their strength to inculturate the Gospel, that is to say, to extend the Incarnation “to all men, in the whole man, and in all of the manifestations of man,” in accordance with the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church.
In order to adequately realize this objective this Association dedicates itself to evangelize in the key places of our culture: works of mercy, apostolate of prayer, catechism, popular mission, the proclamation of the truth through the media, politics, education, assisting the priest and religious, taking advantage of all that can be used in order that Christ may reign in the life of individuals, families and societies.
Each member in the world must be a witness of the resurrection and the life of Christ, a true sign of the living God.
With Christ, the laity of the Incarnate Word desire to manifest the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the world. They know that her presence is necessary to prolong the Incarnation in all of creation. For this reason, the Third Order deepens their spirituality in her life: following her teachings, and prolonging her mission. They accomplish all of their actions for Mary, with Mary, and through Mary, following the teachings of St. Louis Marie Grignion of Montfort as expressed in the True Devotion of Mary.
PLURALISM OF VOCATION
The Third Order is structured in levels according to the degree of commitment of the Members.
The charism of lay people consists in looking for the kingdom of God in those temporal matters in which, by vocation, Third Order Members are united. These temporal matters must be arranged within the world in a Godly fashion so as to contribute to the sanctification of the world. Lay people have to transform the world by bringing the Gospel into their cultures, living their secular charism and the profession of the faith which they received in their Baptism and reaffirmed in their Confirmation.
STRUCTURE OF THE THIRD ORDER
The Third Order has three levels according to the union that our Members have with our Religious Family.
1) The Fraternity of the Incarnate Word
The third level is made up of a wide variety of lay people, or diocesan priests, who are friends, or have a spiritual affinity with us, or are benefactors of our missions, or are families and relatives of our Religious Members. All who desire to share in the spirit of our Religious Family are actually a part of this Fraternity of the Incarnate Word. These are “life” Members of the Third Order who are united with us by prayer and charity. They share the same love for God and for the Congregation. Third Order Members manifest the Incarnate Word in their lives in their own environments, in their families, in their work, in their studies, in their Parishes, and in all other situations.
2) Association Of Faithful
This second level is made up of several Lay Movements and an Association of the Faithful. Each one in this Association can share in our apostolate and mission according to the possibilities and pastoral necessities that present themselves in our existing missions. These groups according to their own statutes and under the guide of an Incarnate Word priest can proclaim in all cultures the Good News that Christ brings.
3) Consecrated Lay People
In the first level of the Third Order of the Incarnate Word are those lay people who aspire to evangelical perfection according to our spirit. They participate in our mission by freely making private vows or another form of consecration. These faithful can make profession of the evangelical counsels—poverty, chastity and obedience—while at the same time preserving their original state of life. They are privileged members within the Third Order by virtue of their particular consecration. As lay people, they live in the world according to their lay state and with those obligations arising there from, and they manifest their particular consecration through the evangelical counsels. By this profession, Third Order Members dedicate themselves to intensive prayer, the reading of Sacred Scripture, participation in the Eucharist, frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance, spiritual direction, and the practice of the Spiritual Exercises.
At present, and by the grace of God, our Family of the Incarnate Word has, in different and varied places where we work, with many lay faithful who share in our spirituality and our apostolic work. They can be found in the 5 continents in countries like Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Holland, Iceland, France, Ukraine, Albania, Russia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, etc..