Who We Are
Who We Are
CMSM is both the common voice for major superiors and the primary common resource serving leaders of male religious in the United States. Our members are major superiors and councilors of more than 200 monastic communities and provinces that include 16,000+ Catholic religious-order priests and brothers.
CMSM was established on Sept. 27, 1956 following a request of Pope Pius XII for religious men and women to form national associations. This national representative organization for leaders of men's religious congregations, monastic communities, and institutes in the United States was canonically established by decree of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes on Dec. 15, 1959. Today, CMSM is composed of six regions.
The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) is organized as the national representative body of the leadership of male religious institutes, monastic communities, and societies of apostolic life in the United States. CMSM represents this leadership before a number of national and international bodies, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Holy See, in particular the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL).
CMSM, through the leadership of the religious institutes, monastic communities, and societies of apostolic life, addresses the life and concerns of the members of the institutes and societies in the United States, and the evangelizing mission of the institutes, monasteries, and societies in the context of church and culture in this country. CMSM is both the common voice for major superiors and the primary common resource for service to leaders:
- As the common voice, it speaks regionally, nationally and internationally, independently or in concert with other groups; it does so from the perspective of the members of religious institutes, monastic communities, and societies of apostolic life on issues r e garding their life, as well as that of the Church and of our society.
- As the primary common resource, it serves major superiors and their councilors in their role of leadership in their own communities and in the conference as a whole, especially in promoting greater fidelity and more effective witness to the Gospel ideal, with special attention to issues of justice and peace.
- To be a support to major superiors and their councilors and a resource for them in their role of leadership within their respective institutes.
- To promote dialogue and collaboration with the conference of bishops, the individual bishops, and other major groups in the church and society.
- To provide a corporate influence in the church and in society through its national and regional structures within the proper scope of the conference.
The Interamerican Committee consists of the leadership of the Canadian Religious Conference, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and the Confederation of Religious of Latin America. Representatives meet regularly to explore areas of cooperation and mutual support.