A Historical sketch of the Institute Voluntas Dei
Voluntas Dei Institute is a Secular Institute founded in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada in July 2nd 1958 by Rev. Father Louis-Marie Parent, OMI. It is being approved as a secular institute of pontifical right in 1987. It has priests, celibate laymen, married couples and spiritually affiliated persons as its members who attempt to attain Christian perfection through the practice of poverty, chastity, and obedience and to carry out the work of the Church while “living in and of the world,” attending privately to their business or professional duties. They do not live in a community like religious, but they participate in teams. They strive for personal holiness by living the charism and 5-5-5 spirituality in the midst of the world as salt, light and leaven in the dough on the basis of the Gospel message and social justice.
In 1945 Fr.Louis Marie Parent (OMI) was working in Canada under, Rt. Rev. Henry Routhier Bishop of Quebec. When Pope Pious XII gave a legal approval to a life of secular consecration, Fr. Louis Marie Parent already had a plan in his mind to start a secular institute for the unmarried woman. Thus in 1952, he founded a secular institute for woman called the “Oblate Missionaries Of Mary Immaculate”
Later on, he also wanted to organize the priests, unmarried men and married couples to live a life of secular consecration as members of one family. Thus he founded a secular institute called “Institute Voluntas Dei” (IVDei) in Canada. Very soon the people from the various walks of life found to be attracted towards the institute and became its members. Within seven years of its foundation, the institute has been recognized and accepted by the local bishop, thus on July 2nd 1965, the Diocese of Quebec officially accepted the Institute. On July 21st 1987, it attained the status of Secular Institute of Pontifical Right.
Voluntas Dei Institute in India
The Voluntas Dei Institute had its presence in India in the year 1967 at the instance of its founder, Father Louis- Marie Parent, OMI, with Monsignor Mark Netto, the then Vicar General of Trivandrum as the lone member in India, under the Sri Lanka District. Subsequently a few priests of Trivandrum diocese joined the Institute and immediately, a batch of students numbering nine were identified as candidates to the priesthood. These seminarians were undergoing studies in the schools at different places.
The Region had the privilege to have Rev. Father Mario Laroche as its Regional Director for one year. When Father Mario left India, the Region was entrusted to Rev. Fr. E. Wilfred as Regional Director. After serving two terms as Regional Director, Father E. Wilfred handed over his charge to Rev. Fr. Joseph Thannikot who served two terms as Director. Then on March 01, 2009, Rev. Fr. Napoleon was appointed as Director of India-District-in -formation. On March 2016 he and his council resinged from their respective offices. On May 2016 Rev. Fr. Innasi Mudiyappan is appointed as the interim Director until 31, December 2016. At the last Canonical visit (November - December, 2016) to India, Director General established India to be a Region. On 28th of February, 2017, India Region was divided into Kerala Region with its Regional Director Fr. Johny Puthenveettil and Tamilnadu Region with its first Regional Director Fr. Joseph Sengol.