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History of our Institute

Spring 1958

Father Léo Deschâtelets, General Superior of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, asks Father Louis-Marie Parent to found a secular institute for men. Answering his superior’s request, Father Parent meets up with several young men interested in the project and prepares the foundation of an institute that he will name Voluntas Dei.


May 8, 1958

The group Voluntas Dei receives the approval of the apostolic vicar of Grouard in Alberta, Mgr Henri Routhier, and the official recognition of the Church as a pious society.


July 2, 1958

The Voluntas Dei Institute is founded by Father Parent in the chapel

Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette in Trois-Rivières, Québec. At this time the Institute counts ten members.


September 18, 1958

Since this date the Institute has expanded progressively worldwide in countries such as Laos, the United States, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, India, Chile, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Columbia.



Laotian catechized married men are accepted in the Institute.


May 31, 1963

The Institute receives the canonic status of  Association of Perfection from Mgr Romeo Gagnon.


July 2, 1965

The Institute canonically receives the status of secular institute of diocesan right from Mgr Gagnon and receives approval (nihilobstat) of the Sacred Congregation for religious and secular institutes.


July 12, 1987

The Institute is declared a Secular Institute of Pontifical right by Pope JohnPaul II.



The Institute officially incorporates married couples and engaged associated members.


September 21, 1988


The constitutions of the Institute are approved.


June 2010

Spiritually affiliated people are accepted in the Institute.


Note: If you wish to read a more complete history of the Institute and you are a member of the District, please consult the document“Good News from the Secular Institute Voluntas Dei,”which is available in the Member Area of the website of the Central Administration of the Institute. If you are not a member, please provide us with your contact information and send us your request through the page, “Contact Us”.

Father Deschâtelets (sitting) and Father Parent (on the left, standing).

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