Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/445

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dissoluble promises. A Jesuit foundation is called a college, not a monastery, and always serves the purpose of study and training, either for members of the Society or for outside students.

The educational system followed in their institutions combines in an unusual way the strictest discipline, familiarity with the world, and modern methods. All this reflects a spirit rooted deeply in Loyola. From everything that the Society undertakes there emanates wide- awake awareness of the needs of the time. Today as always it covers all those aspects of religious and social life which are open to the in- fluence of the Church or which can be subordinated to that influence either by prudent skill or by tenacious effort. The violence of the opposition incurred is the yardstick by which one can measure the not always visible successes obtained by these shock troops of Rome.

There are about fifty Congregations, most of which are devoted to missionary activities, though some foster learning. Among these the Oratorians, the Sulpicians, the Rosminians and the relatively numerous Redemptorists are closely bound up with the history of the Church in a significant way.

Almost all these Orders and Congregations have branches for women. There is no work of Christian charity which the convent does not foster, and there is no field of education or of the training of girls in which its women arc not busy. This army of almost half a million women dedicated to God is a power in the Christian world; and not only the Church but also the State knows that nothing else can take their place in social welfare.

The organization of the Orders and Congregations is as diverse as are their rules. Whatever may be the form adopted, there is always a religious association in which life is fostered according to a firmly established order similar to that of the hierarchical office. But since the religious are wholly dependent economically upon the organization and are required to practice very strict obedience, the powers entrusted to the superiors are more extensive and more direct than is the case among the secular clergy. The enforcement of discipline lies pri- marily with the superior, inside the limits set by the Rule, and is up- held by methods of punishment to which the bishop cannot resort against his priests. Nevertheless the Congregation of Orders has much to do* It requires superiors to submit a carefully prepared re-