Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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The distinctive spirituality of the founder or foundress of a religious institute, which then distinguishes a religious family from other forms of consecrated life approved by the Church. It is the personality of a religious community bequeathed by the one who founded the institute. According to the Second Vatican Council, this charism is "the spirit and aims of each founder [which] should be faithfully accepted and retained" (Perfectae Caritatis, 2).

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