Consecrated brothers and sisters
“It is the Spirit who awakens the desire to respond fully; it is he who guides the growth of this desire, helping it to mature into a positive response and sustaining it as it is faithfully translated into action; it is he who shapes and molds the hearts of those who are called, configuring them to Christ, the chaste, poor and obedient One, and prompting them to make his mission their own.“John Paul II, Vita Consecrata, n°19
Committed for the Kingdom
At the heart of the Chemin Neuf Community, the brothers and sisters committed in celibacy manifest through their consecration a specific call from the Lord; a call of complete dedication to be heralds of the coming kingdom. Currently there are 400 committed celibate brothers and sisters (180 men and 220 women *) and their call and commitment represents innermost nature of the Christian vocation and the aspiration of the whole Church: to follow Jesus and to be united to him.
Brothers and sisters committed in celibacy live at the heart of the Community and share the apostolic and missionary life in connection with couples and families. They follow the Constitutions of the Religious Institute of Chemin Neuf, erected in 1992 by Cardinal Decourtray then recognized by Pontifical law in 2009. “Religious, we commit ourselves by public vows of chastity, poverty and obedience to living in communion with the Christ in an apostolic community at the service of the Unity of the Church and at the service of men, in particular of the poorest.”
* 2021 figures
Consecrated to God
Consecrated to God in celibacy, religious brothers and sisters want to be men and women for others, to engage freely in relationships and be available in communion with all. Possessing nothing, sharing everything, their daily lives bear witness to the trust they place in Providence. The vow of obedience provides them with the freedom to be available for any mission, and together they serve the Gospel.
Particular care is taken in their initial and continuing training. The Institute’s novitiate is currently located at the Abbey of Melleray (diocese of Nantes). In their early years, all consecrated celibates, men and women, benefit from an in-depth course of philosophical and theological studies in connection with various theological faculties (Paris, Lyon, Rome, Kinshasa, Friborg, etc.). Throughout their lives, times of formation and retreat help to strengthen their love for the Lord and their apostolic ardor. In the lifetime commitment (after the years of temporary profession), the one who engages says: “I want to give my life for the unity of the Church”. We believe that this offering expresses the heart of our common call and one of the specific ways to living out our religious life.
Rooted and built up in Him
Regular spiritual accompaniment allows everyone to grow in freedom and in the discernment of the spirits. Likewise, fraternal life and weekly sharing in fraternity offer a place of listening, humility and learning of community discernment.
The life of prayer alternates between the daily Eucharist, the offices of the Liturgy of the Hours (offices of Lauds and Vespers sung together in our houses), personal prayer (prayer in the morning and adoration in the late afternoon) and charismatic community prayer (the prayer group on Tuesday evening).
“Your ways, O God, are holy” Psalm 77 (76):13
Consecrated to the service of the Gospel
Among the brothers, those who are called to be ordained priests are incardinated into the Chemin Neuf Institute. In 2021, there are 120 priests and 50 brothers in formation. The priests exercise their mission in various ministries according to the calls of the Church and the missions of the community: parishes (30 parishes entrusted to the community), training centers, student hostels, retirement homes and various missions to the community with young people, couples, in schools and among the poorest…
Brothers and sisters committed to celibacy for the Kingdom, we are dedicated to the service of the Gospel. “You should never forget that Jesus is the foundation of our Institute. It is He whom you met before entering the Institute. It is He who brings us together in the community of the Church in order to make us truly his disciples.”
“Continue to live in him, rooted and build up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7 (Constitutions n°2)
Chemin Neuf Institute
On June 24, 1992, the Chemin Neuf Institute was erected, for priests and religious, as a Clerical Religious Institute of Diocesan Law by Cardinal Albert Decourtray, Archbishop of Lyon.
On September 14, 2009, the Chemin Neuf Institute was recognized as a Clerical Religious Institute of Pontifical Right by Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, at the Vatican, Rome.
Novitiate at Melleray Abbey
Find out more about the novitiate of the Chemin Neuf Community: