Vocations to the Religious Life

Those living the consecrated life are women and men religious who have professed the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a response to God’s call to be of service to the people of God and a sign of God’s love. The Archdiocese of San Francisco is blessed to have women and men religious representing more than 60 Congregations serving in a variety of ministries, sharing their spirituality and living in community.

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women’s communities
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men’s communities

Religious Communities in San Francisco

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is blessed by the presence of several communities of consecrated men and women

Some religious communities serve God through meditation, prayer and solitude. These groups are known as contemplative or “cloistered” orders. Women who belong to this type of a religious community are called nuns and the men are called monks.

Other religious communities are known as “active” or Apostolic orders/congregations. These are active in the world, serving others in a variety of ministries/apostolates. Women who belong to this type of a religious community are called Sisters and the men are called Brothers unless they are ordained priests.

Other forms of consecrated life include those called to be hermits to live in seclusion from the world, in solitude, prayer, and penance, in praise of God and for the salvation of others.  Another form is that of consecrated virgins who dedicate their lives to God while continuing to live in the world.  They continue with their career and ordinarily live independently.

Each religious order or congregation has its own special charism which forms its identity and mission. The charism envisioned by the founder or foundress is the motivating spirit that is the heart of the religious order or congregation. Due to the variety of charisms, each religious order or congregation has a unique identity, mission, spirituality, and set of guidelines for living.

Religious Congregations in the Archdiocese of San Francsico

Select one of the options below to learn more about the religious congregations in the Archdiocese of San Francisco!

Women’s Communities