Miles Christi (Latin for “Soldier of Christ”) is a new Roman Catholic religious community known as an “order.” This select group of priests and brothers are men of great heart, winsomeness, generosity, and dedication to God. They’re deeply moved by the love of Christ and committed to helping young Catholic men and women grow in holiness.
The order was founded in Argentina in 1994. In 1999, two priests and a brother from the order were sent to America to facilitate Catholic renewal through the spiritual disciplines of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
The priests of Miles Christi provide spiritual direction, religious education, and Ignatian retreats that create space for silent reflection where people can hear the voice of God calling them into a transformative friendship with Jesus.
On December 20, 1994, Miles Christi was established as a Public Clerical Association of the Faithful in the Archdiocese of La Plata, Argentina. Then, once the conditions required by the Church had been fulfilled, on February 11, 1999, feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, this Association was officially elevated to the status of Clerical Religious Order.
Miles Christi was first established in Michigan in October 2000, thanks to the generous invitation of His Eminence Cardinal Adam Maida. Since then, by the grace of God, our work has become more widely known, and our community, our activities and the number of people related to us are steadily growing. We expanded to San Diego, California in 2008 where we work actively with families and young adults in school ministries and mission trips. In addition, the Miles Christi in the United States preach the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola in over 40 locations across the country.
Miles Christi nurtures formation in all its dimensions: human and supernatural; intellectual and practical; spiritual, cultural, and apostolic.
It is the desire of Miles Christi to offer, to the Church and to the world, religious and priests formed in a spirit of excellence, equipped to respond to the changing necessities of the society in which they must live.
The Humanities, Philosophy, and Theology (studied under the eminent guidance of the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas), Latin, and even art and music, make up the rich Catholic cultural heritage on which, in the course of a long and solid process of formation, the young men who join the ranks of our small apostolic Army are nourished.
Fraternal community life imprints on our religious the seal of a united family, the mark of soldiers who fight in one body. Community life frees us from loneliness and incorporates sports, recreation, apostolate, the liturgy, and study; all different ways of “sharing together with a simple heart all that we have and are, including joys and sorrows, talents and spiritual gifts, hopes and ideals, and of promoting the fraternal union and the family character that we desire in the Religious Order” (Const. 90).
All the members of Miles Christi also perform manual labor so as to better imitate Jesus Christ, who was poor, self-sacrificing, and humble of heart.
Construction work, care of the grounds, and the use of tools and machinery are means that help us cultivate a spirit of diligence. This human virtue matures and tempers the character, giving a spirit of self-sacrifice and vigor for all our enterprises.
We seek to carry out our labors by “beginning the task with resolution, meeting it head on, and vigorously bringing it to completion without hesitation or distraction” (Const. 13).
“A miles Christi is to distinguish himself by his apostolic zeal, which will set everything aflame like a consuming fire. Filled with holy initiatives, he lives only for the sanctification of his neighbor” (Const. 13).
A fundamental activity of our Community is to offer spiritual direction in the houses of our Religious Order, while working at high schools and colleges.
The preaching of retreats is also characteristic of our Order; in particular, the preaching of the Spiritual Exercises according to the method of St. Ignatius of Loyola. We also hold many retreats and camps throughout the year for young men and young women.
Miles Christi seeks, furthermore, to promote Catholic intellectual formation by means of formation groups, courses, and conferences.
In addition to our priests and students, our Religious Order is also made up of coadjutor brothers, who consecrate themselves by the religious vows to seek their personal sanctification and to help our priests in their work and support them in their ministry.
The brothers form a single community together with the other members of this apostolic Army: they share the same vocation, they live the same religious consecration, and participate in the same apostolic mission.
The Constitutions of Miles Christi read: “United to the Miles Christi Institute (cf. CIC 677, § 2) and placed under its high direction (cf. cc. 303 and 311 CIC), the ‘Consecrated Women of Miles Christi’ Public Association of the Faithful calls together women who, with the help of divine grace and Mary Most Holy—the most sublime Consecrated Woman of God—strive to achieve the perfection of Christian charity. To do this, they consecrate themselves to God our Lord through the profession of private vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, according to the spirit of Miles Christi.
“The Consecrated Women are associated with the Institute, contributing their feminine charisma and talent for the common work of the sanctification of the laity—principally among adolescents and the youth—and the establishment of the reign of Christ in individuals and society.”
In April 2019, seven of the Consecrated Women of Miles Christi professed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at the parish that our Order runs in Villa Elisa, Argentina. These women will continue their formation in addition to their work with youth and young adults.
Association of Lay Members
Inside this spiritual family there is an Association of lay people, “whose members, while living in the world and participating in the same spirit as Miles Christi, dedicate themselves intensely to apostolate, and ardently strive after Christian perfection” (Const. 44).
This Association aids Miles Christi in working for the sanctification of the laity, especially college students. It fights for the re-Christianization of our culture, dedicating itself to creating in our society a Catholic climate to foster the practice of the principles of the Gospel.