But Canon 603 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law says:
Besides institutes of consecrated life, the Church recognizes the life of hermits or anchorites, in which Christ’s faithful withdraw further from the world and devote their lives to the praise of God and the salvation of the world through the silence of solitude and through constant prayer and penance. Hermits are recognized by law as dedicated to God in consecrated life if, in the hands of the diocesan Bishop, they publicly profess, by a vow or some other sacred bond, the three evangelical counsels, and then lead their particular form of life under the guidance of the diocesan Bishop.
There are several hermits that are members of the IRL. There is also a community of Carmelite Hermits in Houston, MN. The live in separate hermitages and come together for sunday/holy day meals, one hour of daily prayer and the mass. “Our life is a vocation to prayer,” says Sister Miriam, one of the hermits. “This total union with God is how we are called to serve the Church.”
There is also a IRL men’s Affiliate Community that are hermits. They are the Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. They live a life of silence, solitude, prayer and penance for the good of the Church and the salvation of the world. The picture to the right is of Bro. Martin Mary who was ordained to the priesthood in May of 2012.
By the way, the top 10 hermits of all time are: St. Simon Stylites, St. Jerome, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Antony the Great, St. Benedict of Nursia, St. Macarius of Egypt, St. Isaac the Syrian, St. Sergius of Radonezh, St. Meinrad and St. Paul the Hermit. (Note to self: Need to read up on some of these hermits!)