Apostolic: Consecrated men live together but perform a variety of ministries and services outside their home. Members of institutes with an apostolic charism may serve as teachers, doctors, or administrators, or work in parishes, schools, or any number of settings related to the mission of the institute. Examples include Redemptorists or Jesuits.
Contemplative: These communities focus less on outside ministry and more on a rhythmic life of prayer, community, and work. Men in contemplative communities usually have less contact with the outside world than those in apostolic or monastic communities. An example are the Trappists.
Mendicant: Mendicants, such as Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans, rely on “begging” – on God’s providence – and live through the generosity of the faithful and their ministry. They came after monastics and gave up the stability of a monastery for “missionary zeal.”
Monastic: These communities place a high value on living and working together, but the members may also leave the monastery to perform ministries or tasks related to the life of the community. Some monastic communities operate a hospital or, as many Benedictines do, a school.