November 30, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Within the Catholic Church there are several institutional structures.
One of them, is a so called 'personal prelature.' Under this category
members, who may include a prelate, clergy and lay people, undertake
specific pastoral activities. In addition, it's not defined by
geographical terms, but rather by its mission. Eduardo Baura
Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)“Unlike a diocese, they are not limited by territory so to speak, but rather by the type of people who belong to the prelature. They can be the faithful of a particular profession or adherents of a particular nation or of a particular language. Or even faithful who have expressed their desire to belong to the prelature and pursue the mission of the group.”
Members still belong to their respective diocese and they depend on a bishop to manage issues that aren't directly connected to their prelature.
When it comes to governance though, a personal prelature is run by a prelate, who must report regularly to the pope on its status and activities. Just like a diocese, the prelature is accountable to the Vatican. Eduardo Baura
Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)“It's logical that just like a diocese, the prelate should hold an ad limina visit every five years, to see how the prelature is doing. In any case, the prelature must maintain a relationship with all other departments of the Roman Curia.”
By nature, personal prelatures are very flexible. The idea was approved by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960's to promote a different way of evangelizing.