Miles Jesu is an Ecclesial Family of Consecrated Life in the Roman Catholic Church, which was founded on January 12, 1964 in the basement of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Miles Jesu is a new form of consecrated life in the Church founded based on Canon 605 of the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, which states that the Holy See may approve new forms of consecrated life which are not already laid out in Canon Law[1].

History of Miles Jesu

"Miles Jesu was founded by Very Rev. Alphonsus Maria Duran, who was born in Madrid, Spain and was sent to the Southwestern United States in 1958 as a young Claretian priest. There Father Duran became a renowned leader in the Cursillo movement, an intensive retreat which emphasizes the layman's call to holiness and to apostolate. He envisioned a laity knowledgeable in things both human and divine, deeply formed in virtue and the interior life, and totally dedicated and committed to transforming the world in Christ. On January 12, 1964, before the end of Vatican Council II, which re-emphasized the vocation of the laity to holiness and to apostolate in the world, Miles Jesu was born." [2]

Community Life

The members who live in community in Miles Jesu are called "domus" members. These are the members that are comparable to the "numerary" members of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei. They are celibate lay members (both men and women) that live in communities. The men's branch and the women's branch of Miles Jesu live in separate houses. Miles Jesu also has priest members that live in the men's communities and are dedicated to the sacramental needs of the members of Miles Jesu.

Some domus members work in professions like the numeraries of Opus Dei, other domus members dedicate themselves to the various apostolates of Miles Jesu such as the "Path To Rome Conference Series", the Cause of Canonization of Queen Isabel the Catholic, or work to promote vocations to Miles Jesu. [3]

Presence in the World

According to the Spanish Catholic news source, "Aciprensa", Miles Jesu has 27 houses in 14 countries. [4]

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Miles Jesu also has communities in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. According to the official website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Miles Jesu started a community in Ukraine in 1990. [5]

Cause for Canonization of Paul M. Murphy, MJ

Paul M. Murphy, MJ, [6]one of the first members of Miles Jesu, professed the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience on December 25, l966.

Cause of Canonization of Queen Isabel the Catholic

One of Miles Jesu's activities is the promotion of the cause of Canonization of Isabella I of Castile, the Catholic monarch who is known for her expulsion of the Jews in 1492 with her issuance of the Alhambra Decree. Fr. Alphonsus Maria Duran, M.J. (founder of Miles Jesu) defends this expulsion in his article, "Queen Isabel and the Jews" [7] and states that it was not done out of "That Queen Isabel did not act out of any anti-semitic, racial or religious hatred or bigotry can be firmly substantiated by her unequivocal condemnations of, and personal interventions to stop riots and acts of violence against Jews even before her formal accession to the throne, and sometimes at the loss of support of wealthy and influential partisans. Isabel consistently showed favoritism toward the Jews".

Fr. Duran goes on to state that, "However, another very important factor in the expulsion was the menace of the Muslims. Spain was a Christian country invaded by the Muslims in 711 with the help of the Jews. This defeat was looked upon by the Spanish as a temporary situation… The reconquest was the permanent historical project of Spain, which was Christian and European." [8]

On the "Queen Isabel the Catholic" site, Miles Jesu calls Queen Isabel, "the greatest woman since the Mother of God". (When we talk here of greatness, we specifically mean impact on history, and we judge this by the fruit borne. We do not mean ‘holiness’, for while Isabel certainly lead a saintly life, the question of who, after the Mother of God, is the holiest woman in history, is one we cannot even begin to answer. The field is very crowded!)[9]

Criticism of Miles Jesu

In 2004, the British Catholic periodical, Christian Order, sharply criticized Miles Jesu's "Continuity Conference" which was held on September 23, 2003 at Westminster Cathedral Hall in London. The Christian Order article says that Miles Jesu, while it is conservative, tends to pretend that there are no problems in the Church and make peace with unorthodox Catholics in order to advance their agenda. It takes a "neo-conservative" approach to the current problems in the Church. Miles Jesu also celebrates the Novus Ordo Mass and does not provide priests to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. The Christian Order also states that, Very Rev. Fr Alphonsus Maria Duran, M.J. is "a somewhat domineering figure". [10]

Vatican Investigation of Miles Jesu

Since June of 2007, Miles Jesu has been under investigation [11] by the Vicariate of Rome and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life

The investigation was initiated in June 2007 by the authority of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, with the appointment of a Canonical Visitor, Fr. Anthony McSweeney, SSS [12] to investigate. The Chancellor of the Vicariate, Monsignor Giuseppe Tonello [13] is also involved in the investigation.

On March 25, 2009, the Miles Jesu website stated that it now has a new superior, Fr. Barry Fischer, CPPS. Now that the investigation of Miles Jesu has officially come to an end, the Catholic Church has appointed Fr. Fischer to revise the constitution (whose five year approval ad experimentum has expired) before their final approval.


See also

External links

Miles Jesu Official Sites

Miles Jesu Publications

Miles Jesu Documents

Sites critical of Miles Jesu

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