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February 2, 1947



Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic constitution Provida Mater Ecclesia opens a new avenue in the life of the Church: secular institutes. 


Ever since, secular institutes for men and women have been sanctioned by the Church

July 2, 1952

The Oblate Missionaries of Mary immaculate (O.M.M.I.), a secular institute for women, was founded by Father Louis-Marie Parent, O.M.I. The group Volontaires de Dieu (Volunteers of God) are affiliated to this Institute.

Spring, 1958 Father Leo Deschâtelets, O.M.I. Superior General of the Oblate Fathers, asks Father Parent to found a secular institute for men.

In response to his Superior general’s request, Father Parent has the inspiration to call the new group Voluntas Dei. He met a few young men interested in the project and prepared the foundation of the Institute.

May 8, 1958  

The Voluntas Dei group receives the approval of Bishop Henri Routhier, O.M.I., Vicar apostolic of Grouard, Alberta (Canada), and the Church’s official recognition of the group as a Pious Society.

July 2, 1958   

The Voluntas Dei Institute (I.V.Dei), a secular institute for all the baptised, was founded by Father Louis-Marie Parent, O.M.I., in the chapel of our Lady of LaSalette (Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada).

At its founding, the Institute numbered ten young men, of whom four were received into profession, five began probation, and one started aspirancy.

September 18, 1958 

The I.V.Dei reaches out to the world, first in Laos, then in the United States, Bolivia, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, India, Chile, Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia.


Laotian married catechists (men) are accepted in the Institute.

May 31, 1963

The I.V.Dei is raised to the canonical status of an Association of Perfection by Bishop J.-Romeo Gagnon of Edmundston, New Brunswick (Canada).

July 2, 1965  

The I.V.Dei is canonically erected a secular institute of diocesan right by the same Bishop, and obtained the nihil obstat from the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes


The I.V.Dei officially incorporates married couples as associate members with commitments.


July 12, 1987

The Voluntas Dei Institute is officially recognised as a Secular Institute of Pontifical right by Pope John Paul II.

September 21, 1988

Our Constitutions are approved.

July 17, 2007

Rome grants the Director General the faculty of granting dimissorial letters to members of the Institute who are candidates to holy order (diaconate and priesthood).  

June 2010

Spiritually affiliated persons are accepted in the Institute.

For these documents, Please go to the "Members Area"

Good News of the Voluntas Dei Institute




Part 1
Presentation - A tribute to our pioners - Foreword  -  I. Our founder, Fr. Louis-Marie Parent, O.M.I.  -  II. The beginnings of the secular Volutas Dei Institute  -
III. Missionary expansion

Part 2
IV. The canonical existence

Part 3
V. The assemblies general and the ground covered  -   VI. History of the districts and regions

Part 4
VII. History of the formation  -  VIII. Communication  -  IX. Our cultural diversity in spiritual unity  -  X. The testimonies  -  XI. Perspectives of the future  - 
XII. 50th anniversary celebrations of the Insitute, 1958-2008  - Conclusion


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