FRATERNITY AS A THIRD ORDER
MUTUAL COLLABORATION BETWEEN SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS PRIESTS
Collaborative ventures and dialogue have already been taking place on various levels between secular and religious priests. The mutuality of such relationship rests on their reciprocal cooperation, both of which enrich one another through the works that they do together. The religious contributes in building up the local church through its apostolic works in the diocese, for instance, by the institutions that it operates, or by its members who directly take part in the apostolic endeavours of the diocese. In the same manner, the diocesan priest contributes in the mission of the religious institute by actively taking part in the operation of institutions belonging to the religious. These entities are effective venues that facilitate encounters between the religious and the secular priests in the course of their ministry, thus paving the way to mutually influence one another in diverse positive ways: as administrators or teachers in schools; as formators in seminaries; as chaplains in hospitals; as pastors in parishes; as directors in institutes, etc. The possibilities can be as numerous as the number of existing institutions in the local Church are, and the number of opportunities for common ministry are. And this could only be for the advantage of the Church, because "the coexistence and collaboration of secular and religious clergy are not detrimental to dioceses, but rather enrich them with new spiritual treasures and increase notably their apostolic vitality".