In responding to their baptismal call, some men and women join religious communities in order to consecrate their lives to God as a way of seeking holiness. To consecrate something means to set it aside or devote it to a holy purpose. When a man or woman decides to accept Christ’s invitation to leave everything and follow Him in a more radical way, they make vows to live like Jesus in poverty, chastity, and obedience. They participate in a ceremony in which they make this commitment, much like a married couple exchanges their vows on their wedding day. They promise Christ that they will live the rest of their lives dedicated exclusively to Him. These vows help them to live simply, to be more open with God, and to depend totally on Him.

Groups of men or women who live under a religious rule and who publicly profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience form a religious community.  They are referred to as an order or congregation who are recognized by Church authority. Religious communities typically follow the rule of their founder, which can be apostolic and characterized by working in the world, or contemplative, which is characterized by a life of solitude and prayer.  One way to identify an individual’s connection to a specific order or congregation is by the initials following their name, which identifies the order to which they belong. 

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church 925-927...

Religious life was born in the East during the first centuries of Christianity. Lived within institutes canonically erected by the Church, it is distinguished from other forms of consecrated life by its liturgical character, public profession of the evangelical counsels, fraternal life led in common, and witness given to the union of Christ with the Church.  

Religious life derives from the mystery of the Church.  It is a gift she has received from her Lord, a gift she offers as a stable way of life to the faithful called by God to profess the counsels.  Thus, the Church can both show forth Christ and acknowledge herself to be the Savior's bride.  Religious life in its various forms is called to signify the very charity of God in the language of our time.  

All religious, whether exempt or not, take their place among the collaborators of the diocesan bishop in his pastoral duty.  From the outset of the work of evangelization, the missionary "planting" and expansion of the Church require the presence of the religious life in all its forms.  "History witnesses to the outstanding service rendered by religious families in the propagation of the faith and in the formation of new Churches: from the ancient monastic institutions to the medieval orders, all the way to the more recent congregations."

Women Religious and Orders (as of Feb. 24, 2017)

Brigitteni Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute (OSsS)
Tyler, Texas

  • Sr. Margarita Maria Igriczi-Nagy, OSsS

Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston (CCVI)
http://www.sistersofcharity.org/ 
Texarkana, Texas

  • Sr. Jeanne Mary Connell, CCVI
  • Sr. Ethel Puno, CCVI

Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMS)
Tyler, Texas

  • Sr. Rose Marikudi, CMC - Superior
  • Sr. Maria Peechattukudiyil, CMC

Daughters of Divine Hope (DDH)
http://www.daughtersofdivinehope.org 
Tyler, Texas

  • Mother Susan Catherine Kennedy, DDH, Foundress

Dominican Sisters of Houston (OP)
http://domhou.org 
Palestine, Texas

  • Sr. Ann Huffstetter, OP

Eucharistic Franciscan Missionary Sisters (EFMS)
http://www.efmsla.org 

Kilgore, Texas

  • Sr. Bernadette de la Santa Faz, EFMS, Superior
  • Sr. Catherine Marie Díaz, EFMS
  • Sr. Rosalia Cano, EFMS

Tyler, Texas

  • Sr. Angélica Orozco, EFMS, Superior
  • Sr. Irma Guadalupe, EFMS
  • Sr. María Magdalena Santoyo, EFMS

Handmaids of the Holy Cross of Jesus (HHCJ)
Tyler, Texas

  • Sr. Patience Asu, HHCJ

Hermanas Dominicas de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Fátima (HDNSRF)
http://www.hermanasdefatima.org 

Palestine, Texas

  • Sr. Irene Santiago Medina, OP, Superior
  • Sr. Maria del Mar Marchan, OP
  • Sr. Maria Yelitza Ayala, OP
  • Sr. Faustina Rodriguez, OP

Paris, Texas

  • Sr. Aurea Maria, OP, Superior
  • Sr. Maria Esther Ortiz, OP
  • Sr. Maria Belen Negron, OP
  • Sr. Yadira Maria de los Angeles Ortiz, OP

Hermit Sisters of St. Romuald (HSSR)
Palestine, Texas

  • Sr. Mary Ann Vogel, HSSR

Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (CSFN)
http://www.nazarethcsfn.org 
Tyler, Texas

  • Sr. Irene Asztemborska, CSFN, Superior
  • Sr. Sylvia Kubiak, CSFN
  • Sr. Michaela Tomkowiak, CSFN
  • Sr. Malgorzata Majszczyk, CSFN

Instituto Santa Mariana de Jesus (Marianitas) (RM)
http://www.marianitas.org 
Tyler, Texas

  • Sr. Gabriela Delgado, RM, Superior
  • Sr. Maria Concepcion Nava, RM
  • Sr. Maria Elena Gutiérrez, RM

Misioneras Guadalupanas de Santa Ana
Pittsburg, Texas

  • Sr. Ma. Carmen Sierra, Co-Foundress
  • Sr. María Georgina Sierra, Co-Foundress

Monastery of the Infant Jesus, Cloistered Dominicans (OP)
http://www.lufkinnuns.org 
Lufkin, Texas

  • Sr. Mary Guadalupe Lemus, OP, Prioress
  • Sr. Mary John Molesworth, OP
  • Sr. Mary Anne Schwartz, OP
  • Sr. Mary Sybillina Drolet, OP
  • Sr. Mary Veronica Poskey, OP
  • Sr. Mary Lucy Bieter, OP
  • Sr. Mary Emmanuel Goike, OP
  • Sr. Mary Agnes Fitzpatrick, OP
  • Sr. Mary Regina Baker, OP
  • Sr. Miriam Gliatto, OP
  • Sr. Mary Margaret Gyovai, OP
  • Sr. Maria Cabrini Ter Best, OP
  • Sr. Mary Annunciata Clark, OP
  • Sr. Maria Rosario Fernandez, OP
  • Sr. Mary Jeremiah Gillett, OP
  • Sr. Mary Magdalene Meyer, OP
  • Sr. Marie Tersidis Tarimo, OP
  • Sr. Mary Dominic Draney, OP
  • Sr. Marie Augustine Tarimo, OP
  • Sr. Mary Thomas Stewart, OP
  • Sr. Mary Rose Carlin, OP
  • Sr. Mary Christine Nguyen, OP
  • Sr. Mary Giuse Nguyen, OP
  • Sr. Mary Gabriel Labbe, OP
  • Sr. Bernadette Marie Torres, OP

Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ)
https://rscj.org 
Texarkana, Texas

  • Sr. Mary Charlotte Chandler, RSCJ

Hermitage
Huntsville, Texas

  • St. Thurley Riley, H.S. pv

Men Religious and Orders (as of Nov. 15, 2016)

Congation of the Blessed Sacrament (SSS)
http://blessedsacrament.com/
Hallsville, Texas

  • Fr. Eugene Tillekeratne

Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS)
http://www.fransaliansusa.com
Whitehouse, Texas

  • Fr. Augustine Tharappel, MSFS
  • Fr. Luka Kalarickal Ulahannan, MSFS
  • Fr. Mathias Rajainsebstian, MSFS

Misioneros Franciscanos de la Eucaristía (MFE)
Tyler, Texas

  • Br. Simon Nila, MFE

Monastery of the Infant Jesus, Cloistered Dominicans (OP)
http://www.lufkinnuns.org
Lufkin, Texas

  • Fr. Marcos Ramos, OP, Chaplain

Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP)
http://www.fssp.org
Tyler, Texas

  • Fr. Joseph Valentine, FSSP

Society of Jesus (SJ)
http://www.jesuits.org
Jefferson, Texas

  • Fr. Joseph Nasser, SJ

Hermitage
Quitman, Texas

  • Fr. Ronald Demski