Margaret's Little Piece of the Net

Catholic Confraternities

Home | My Secondary Infertility | My Faith | Bible Verses | Catholic Prayers | Novenas | Confraternities | St. Philomena | Catholic Links and Websites | Catholic Homeschool Suppliers | Additional Homeschool Suppliers | Blinkies | TTC/Pregnancy Blinkies | Mommy/Family Blinkies | Dollz | Smilies
What is a Confraternity?
The Catholic Encyclopedia defines a Confraternity as such...
A confraternity or sodality is a voluntary association of the faithful, established and guided by competent ecclesiastical authority for the promotion of special works of Christian charity or piety. The name is sometimes applied to pious unions, but the latter differ from confraternities inasmuch as they need not be canonically erected and they regard rather the good of the neighbour than the personal sanctification of the members. Confraternities are divided into those properly so called and those to which the name has been extended. Both are erected by canonical authority, but the former have a more precise organization, with rights and duties regulated by ecclesiastical law, and their members often wear a peculiar costume and recite the Office in common. When a confraternity has received the authority to aggregate to itself sodalities erected in other localities and to communicate its advantages to them, it is called an archconfraternity.

Pious associations of laymen existed in very ancient times at Constantinople and Alexandria. In France, in the eighth and ninth centuries, the laws of the Carlovingians mention confraternities and guilds. But the first confraternity in the modern and proper sense of the word is said to have been founded at Paris by Bishop Odo who died in 1208. It was under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Various other congregations, as of the Gonfalon, of the Holy Trinity, of the Scapular, etc., were founded between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. From the latter century onwards, these pious associations have multiplied greatly. Indulgences are communicated to confraternities either directly by the pope or through the bishops, unless the association be aggregated to an archconfraternity (it may not be aggregated to more than one) through which it participates in the latter's privilege. If the aggregation be not made according to the prescribed formula, the Indulgences are not communicated. The directors of confraternities are appointed or approved by the bishop, or in the churches of regulars by the regular superior. Only after such appointment can the director apply the Indulgences to the objects which he blesses, and he cannot subdelegate this power without special faculty. The reception of members must be carried out by the appointed person. The observance of the rules is not binding in conscience nor does their neglect deprive a person of membership, though in the latter case the Indulgences would not be obtained. The loss of all its members for a short time does not dissolve a confraternity, and by the reception of new members the Indulgences may again be gained. The dissolution, translation, and visitation of confraternities belong to the ordinary. The canon law governing these associations is found in the Constitution of Clement VIII (7 Dec., 1604) with some modification made later by the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences.

LAURENTIUS, Institutiones Juris Ecclesiastici (Freiburg, 1903); BERINGER, Les Indulgences (Fr. tr., Paris, 1905): BOUIX, De Episcopo (Paris, 1889), II.

Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter
Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Confraternity Descriptions and Contact Information...

(An Archconfraternity)

A World-Wide Movement of Prayer Entrusted to the DOMINICAN ORDER
by the HOLY SEE More than 500 Years Ago.

The Rosary Confraternity is a spiritual association (of the Catholic Church), the members of which strive to pray the entire Rosary during the course of each week. They form a union of countless hundreds of thousands of the faithful throughout the world who, along with their own intentions, include the intentions and needs of all its members, while they in turn pray for them.

Since the Holy Father has recently added the five luminous mysteries, it would seem that members of the Confraternity should strive to include that extra weekly Rosary. However, we have as yet received no official statement regarding this matter. Those who recite only the fifteen traditional mysteries will continue to share in the benefits of the Confraternity until some official source declares the contrary. As Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical on the Confraternity, "whenever a person fulfills his obligation of reciting the Rosary according to the rule of the Confraternity, he includes in his intentions all its members, and they in turn render him the same service many times over."

Each member includes deceased fellow members as well; and thus he knows that in turn he will be included in the prayers of hundreds of thousands both now and hereafter.

This led the Cure of Ars to say: "If anyone has the happiness of being in the Confraternity of the Rosary, he has in all corners of the world brothers and sisters who pray for him." The deceased cannot be enrolled in the Confraternity.

Read the obligations, benefits, indulgences, and Fifteen Promises of the Blessed Virgin to Christians who faithfully pray the Rosary.

Those who pray the Rosary regularly would do well to be enrolled in the Confraternity to gain extra spiritual benefits for each Rosary they pray.

Enroll Here, or write to The Rosary Center, PO Box 3617, Portland, OR 97208, USA.


The Servite Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows

The image of Mary at the foot of the cross has long been an inspiration to people who want to be closer to Jesus. In order to increase devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, the Servite Order has established societies known as confraternities. The Servite confraternity's roots reach back to the first century of the Order's existence when groups of the faithful were living near the first communities of Friar Servants of Mary. Wanting to share the Order's spirit, they formed various types of Marian associations. Pope Innocent X officially designated the Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows in 1645.

Many people wish to belong to the Servite confraternity, but they do not live in an area where it has been officially established, or they are unable to attend the m

Monthly prayer hours. The Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows, established for over a hundred years at the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows in Chicago, has been reorganized so that it might meet the needs of such people.

The purpose of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows is to foster devotion to the passion of Christ and the sorrows of Mary, Mother of the Lord. The members of the Confraternity strive to develop the virtue of compassion so that they might be with their suffering brothers and sisters through prayer and works of mercy. To obtain further information about joining the Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows please contact:

Confraternity Director
Our Lady of Sorrows Priory
Servite Provincial Center
3121 West Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612-2729


The Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

The Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary exists to promote the Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception so that Mary Immaculate's motherly love might strengthen, comfort, and fill hearts with the joy whose source is her Son, Jesus Christ.

Confraternities were established in the Middle Ages when many lay people wished to participate in some way in the spiritual life of religious orders. The sign of acceptance was the investing of a scapular to identify its members.

In 1681, Pope Innocent XI granted the Venerable Servant of God, Father Stanislaus of Jesus Mary Papczynski (1631-1701), the privilege of establishing Confraternities of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Marian churches. In 1733, the Venerable Servant of God, Father Casimir of St. Joseph Wyszynski (1700-1755) obtained permission to make the Blue Scapular one of the elements of devotion associated with the confraternity. Finally, on July 3, 1992, Father Donald Petraitis, MIC, then Superior General of the Marians, obtained for himself and his successors a perpetual permission to bless and confer the Scapular of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Learn more about the history and spirituality of the Blue Scapular:

When you join the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, you assume certain obligations and are then able to enjoy certain spiritual benefits. As a sign of belonging to the Confraternity, you are invested with the Blue Scapular. In order to become a member of the Confraternity, you must be enrolled during a special ceremony conducted by a Marian priest — or a priest or deacon in your own parish to whom the Marians have delegated that authority.

For more information on how to join the Confraternity, its obligations and benefits, and the Blue Scapular itself, you may request a copy of our Blue Scapular and Confraternity leaflet (WBLS), by sending an e-mail to our
Web Administrator, or by calling 1-800-462-7426 (in North America only).

For more information you may visit... MARIANS OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION