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INTRODUCTION
OUR CONGREGATION
“Brothers, it is our intention to give you,
not a law of fear, but one a true love ".
(Holy Founder)1

1. The religious family of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul - Barnabites - originated in the
Church through the work of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria and his first companions who lived and
worked with him. The Congregation adopted the name of the apostle Paul because from the
outset it wished to find its inspiration in his teachings and example. The purpose of its
members is to live together the ideal of consecration to God in apostolic service.
2.

Our family, composed of priests, candidates to the priesthood, and coadjutor brothers, who
have professed their vows, is a Clerical Order of perpetual solemn vows, directly dependent
on the Holy See, and approved by Clement VII in 1533. In our family tradition it is referred
to as the Congregation. Its members are called Barnabites, a name derived from the church of
St. Barnabas in Milan, the first center of their activity.

3. Coming into existence on the eve of the Council of Trent, which was inspired by the Holy
Spirit, the Congregation has been characterized from its earliest days by an intense life of
interior renewal2, centered on Christ Crucified3 and on the Eucharist4; by a remarkable
communal spirit;5 and by a special involvement in moral reform whose "true purpose", as
indicated by the Holy Founder, was the "genuine honor of Christ, genuine availability to
one's neighbor and genuine self-abasement and profound humility"6.
4. Since their beginnings the Barnabites have considered themselves, and have indeed been, the
bishops' collaborators7. They originally dedicated themselves to missionary work among the
people, to spiritual assistance to the clergy, to preaching and the celebration of the
sacraments; later they extended their activities to missionary and parochial ministries; to
sacred and secular studies; to schools, to youth, and to other forms of pastoral activities,
always open to the needs of the times.
5. To confirm the "energetic spirituality and the zealous spirit"8 in our personal and communal
life, the Lord throughout the centuries has given to the Congregation numerous confreres,
who by glorifying God and striving for personal holiness have served the Church, becoming
exemplars of religious and apostolic life.
                                                                                                                         
1

Holy Founder, Const. XIV.
cf. Holy Founder, Const. XVIII.
3
cf. Holy Founder, Letter IX.
4
cf. Holy Founder, Sermon III.
5
cf. Holy Founder, Const. IX.
6
Holy Founder, Const. XVI.
7
cf. Const. 1579, III, 1-2.
8
Holy Founder, Letter V.
2

6. The present Constitutions aim to preserve the spirit of the Congregation's origins and to adapt
the life of the Congregation to the new needs of the Church and of the world; the
commitment to live by them is the answer to the gift of God's call and a unifying bond for all
confreres.

PART ONE
THE LIFE OF THE CONGREGATION
CHAPTER I
COMMUNITY LIFE
I urge you, sons and stock of Paul... do not
make yourselves inferior to the vocation to
which you have been called... and Christ
Crucified will extend his arms over You".
(Holy Founder)9

Introduction
7.

Called to live more fully our baptismal consecration as followers of Christ10 we have freely
chosen life in a community in order to realize the same ideal which our first confreres
interpreted as renunciation of the spirit of the world, total dedication to God and apostolic
service to our brothers.11

8. Religious life creates a community of faith, hope and love based on the Word of God and on
prayer12; it achieves a constant communion among the confreres, drawing strength from each
member for the growth of all in love13; it is an authentic sign of belonging to Christ14, and a
foretaste of the future life, when God will be all in all15.
9. More than uniformity, community life signifies a complementary relationship of persons and
of apostolic choices. Indeed, the Spirit distributes his gifts to everyone for the benefit of
all16 and creates harmony among the charisms of individuals, so that the Congregation, not by
stifling the Spirit, but by testing everything and retaining what is good17 may strive for the
greatest charism of all, that is, charity18, which is the fullness of the law19 and the bond of
perfection20.

                                                                                                                         
9

Letter VII.
Cf. Mt 16:24.
11
Cf. Const. 1579, I, 1,
12
Cf. Acts 2:42-47.
13
Cf. Eph 3:15-16
14
Cf. Jn 13;35.
15
Cf. 1 Cor 15;28.
16
Cf. Cor 12:7ff.
17
Cf. 1 Thes 5:19=21
18
Cf. 1 Cor 13:13.
19
Cf. Rom 13:10.
20
Cf. Col 3:14.
10

10. The coadjutor brothers, present since the beginning in the one family of the "sons of Saint
Paul"21 participate in the mission and activities of the community, sharing in all rights and
duties exclusive of those of the priesthood.
11. To respond to God's call in a personal and communal manner and constantly to develop our
religious vocation, we need to strengthen our life of prayer, penance, fraternal communion,
the practice of the evangelical counsels, and apostolic action.
1. Life of prayer
12. Following the 'example and the teaching of the Master22 we keep alive our dialogue with God
by means of prayer so that we may experience his fatherly love, understand and do his will,
and increase out brotherly love. Prayer, requisite and foundation for Christian religious life,
deepens our understanding of the divine origin of our vocation and helps us to discover the
most suitable forms of apostolic presence in the world.
13. Personal prayer derives from and leads to the Liturgy, in ,which Christ, the only and eternal
Priest, prays ,with us to the Father, in an unsurpassed self-offering; gives his Spirit to the
Church, strengthening its unity; accompanies with his active presence his faithful in their
lives. The Liturgy, in its double aspect of Eucharist and Divine Praise, from the beginning of
the Congregation, has been the center of community life.
14. The paramount moment of the Liturgy is the Eucharistic Mystery. Through it Christ Builds
his body; establishes our brotherhood23; and we, giving thanks to God constantly offer our
life to the Father our Founder who was a fervent apostle of the Eucharist, spurs us on to an
intense love for this sacrament24.
15. Every community recognizes in the daily participation in the Eucharist the most plentiful
source of love and of community life. It shall be the responsibility of every Superior to find
the most opportune time and mode for the communal celebration of the Eucharist.
16. Promotion of Eucharistic worship and decorum in the celebration of the Liturgy represent a
commitment characteristic of our tradition.
17. The offering of ourselves to the Father, made with Christ in the Eucharist, continues during
the day through pastoral activities and the Liturgy of the Hours, where, nourished by the
Word of God, we join the voice of the entire Church, which continuously and everywhere
praises the Lord.
17.1 - The celebration in common of the Liturgy of the Hours, or of at least part of it, shall be
encouraged in our communities, along with the participation of the faithful.

                                                                                                                         
21

Holy Founder, Letter X.
Cf.Lk 18:1ff.
23
Cf. 1 Cor 10:17.
24
Cf. Holy Founder, Sermon III.
22

18. Mental prayer, “so necessary... that one who does not find in it interior delight will inevitably
make no progress”25, is a daily duty of every confrere. It perfects the listening to, the
dialogue, with, the contemplation of God through spiritual reflection 011 the Scriptures.
Mental prayer also finds themes in liturgical and patristic texts, in Church documents, in the
teaching and life of the Saints, and in the very events of daily life seen through eyes of faith.
19. Every community shall gather daily, for at least half an hour; for mental prayer, which may
include reflective communal sharing and be a part of liturgical celebrations.
19.1 - The local chapter shall determine models and times for community prayer in order to
permit the actual presence of the entire community.

20. Besides liturgical celebrations and mental prayer, other forms of community prayer may be
adopted during particular moments in the life of the Congregation, of the Church, and of the
world.
20.1 - During the general and provincial chapters, suitable prayers shall be required in
communities to ask the help of the Holy Spirit for the work of the chapter.
20.2- Prayer for those united to us by family ties, friendship or gratitude, is a true way of showing
our love. It will be for the local community and the confreres to find the most suitable ways of
fulfilling these duties which are both natural and religious.

21. The love which unites us to God does not end with our life here on earth and there for we
shall keep a remembrance in our personal and community prayers of confreres, relatives, and
friends, “who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith,” that they may sleep in
Christ and find in his presence light, happiness, and peace26.
22. On the death of a confrere, each priest will celebrate one Mass. This suffrage shall preferably
be offered in a Eucharistic Concelebration, with the whole' community participating. If a
concelebration should not take place, the community shall gather for another form, of
suffrage.
22.1 - In each community monthly prayers will be offered for the deceased confreres, relatives,
and friends.

22.2 In addition, the memory of each confrere will be preserved by a suitable biographical
profile.
23. With filial love we cherish the Virgin Mary, honored by our Congregation under the title of
Mother of Divine Providence. This devotion, expressed in personal and community forms,
according to our tradition, constantly l1en1inds us of the fidelity with which Mary,
responded to God's election, and offers a perfect model and a sure help for our religious life.

                                                                                                                         
25
26

Holy Founder, Const. X.
cf. Eucharistic Prayer I.

24. We venerate in a special way the, apostle Paul, “because we have chosen him as our father
and guide and are proud to be his followers.”27 We nourish our devotion to him by studying
his teachings and by imitating his example28.
25. Along with St. Paul and the Saints of the Congregation, we especially venerate St. Anthony
M. Zaccaria, our Father and Founder, whose charism we endeavor faithfully to sustain in the
Church, through an intense love of God and our neighbor29 fulfilled with unyielding
faith30 and an ever renewed zeal for action.31
26. Just as Jesus 'would interrupt his own ministry to withdraw into more intimate contact with
his heavenly Father32 so shall to review our spiritual life and our active apostolate in the light
of the Gospel. The annual retreat is an obligation for every confrere.
26.1 - Local chapters and Superiors shall periodically organize for the communities or propose to
the confreres spiritual retreats as they see fit.

2. Life of Penance and of Asceticism
27. Acknowledging that we are sinners, and mindful that our weakness is an obstacle to total and
constant consecration to God, we seek an ongoing conversion of heart and, in a spirit of
penance and of reparation, we unfold to God's mercy and grace.
28. The frequent use of the sacrament of Reconciliation, of community discernment, and of
personal exan1ination of conscience, are signs of, and means for, constant conversion; in so
doing we are purified and strengthened in our journey toward the freedom of the children of
God, and toward communion with our brothers; we facilitate the real knowledge of ourselves
and J we combat negligence and lukewarmness.33
29. Community celebrations of Penance and fraternal correction practiced according to the spirit
of the Gospel34 and of our tradition35 effectively contribute to the process of community
conversion.
29.1 – In harmony with the liturgical seasons, especially during Advent and Lent, community
penitential services, chapters of revision of life, and meetings of fraternal correction shall
be promoted.

30. The spirit of penance commits us to the practice of various forms of' spiritual asceticism
which animate religious life, such as: continuous and extended prayer; search and acceptance
                                                                                                                         
27

Holy Founder, Allocution October 4, 1534.
Cf. 1 Cor11:1.
29
Cf. Holy Founder, Sermon IV.
30
Cf. Holy Founder, Letter II.
31
Cf. Holy Founder, Letter V.
32
Cf Lk 5:16
33
Cf. Holy Founder, Letter II.
34
Cf.Mt 18:5ff.
35
Cf. Const. 1579, II, 11.
28

of God's will; acceptance of other people; offering to God our limitations; interior and
exterior silence; custody of the heart and discipline in using earthly possessions.
31. In this effort to build up our spiritual life, we shall be able to discover in our self-sacrifice a
way of sharing in Christ's redemptive work for the sake of men and of the world36 and our
assimilation to Him in bearing insult37 offering our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and
acceptable to God38.
31.1 - The spirit of penance will prompt the communities to live modestly and to take concrete
initiatives to meet the most urgent needs in their own environment.

31.2 - During those periods determined by the Liturgy, with particular reference to the recurring
events of the Congregation, the local chapters, in communion with Christ's suffering in the
brothers, will establish community forms of renunciation.

3. Fraternal Communion
32. Our union with Christ and with the brothers manifests itself in community life by
appreciating that which unites, and by overcoming that which divides, and creates that
fraternal communion which is the result of charity39.
33. The confreres live in the religious house and take part in the community life, which engages
everyone in collaboration for the common good. Each and everyone contributes with his
natural and grace given talents, prayer, sincere dialogue, the direct earnings of his own work,
and practical cooperation.
34. Community life, based on a common experience of faith, contributes to a harmonious
development of each religious as a human being and as a Christian. In particular, it helps
toward personal growth and initiative, encourages shared responsibility and fraternal
exchange, is a support in difficulties, and provides more effective means for endeavors in
common.
35. The animation of community life is a particular duty of the Superior40, who is assigned to
guide the community41 and who, following Christ’s example, exercises his authority in spirit
of service42. It is his duty to facilitate harmony and agreement among the brothers, so that all
may cooperate to discover God's plan for the community and to commit themselves to its
realization.
36. Common life finds its expression and receives its stimulus from meetings of the confreres to
which our family tradition gives the name chapters.
                                                                                                                         
36

Cf. Col 1:24.
Cf. Geb 13:13.
38
Cf. Rom 12:1
39
Cf. 1 Cor 13:4ff.
40
Cf. Nos. 289ff.
41
Cf. holy founder, Letter VII.
42
Cf. Mt 20:28.
37

37. Among the different forn1s of chapters, some are decision-making and electoral, others are
spiritual in character43 and bring the members of a community together for mutual animation,
such as reflection on Holy Scripture and on the Constitutions, revision of life, chapters of
admonitions and of faults, pastoral and theological renewal, and practical problems of each
community.
37.1- Other meetings, open to all, may serve to bring together the confreres of the same or
different communities, to exchange ideas and experiences, to suggest projects, and to stimulate
collaboration and encourage family spirit.

37.2 –The provincial and local chapters shall decide upon the calling of different kinds of
chapters, adapting their practical form to different situations.

38. A well-ordered program of community life requires from each member a serious
commitment to the duties assigned to him, openness to accept suggestions and a willingness
to cooperate with others.
39. Being concerned for one another, we maintain in our houses an atmosphere of recollection
and at certain times of silence, as a help to prayer, to study, and to needed rest. We make
prudent use of the social communication media, mindful of the value of time and of the
demands of our vocation.
40. Each community annually draws up a schedule of activities to be undertaken in common, to
be suited to different times and situations, and to be approved by the provincial Superior.
40.1 - The local chapter will decide upon the suitability of reading at table during certain seasons
of the year.

41. The general behavior of the confreres strives for simplicity and dignity. As a sign of mutual
respect, they take care of what is held in Common.
42. Our charity turns with particular care toward confreres who, by reason of age or illness, have
need of special assistance44and because they more visibly bear the marks of Christ’s
passion45. Our concern extends as well to those who are obliged to live temporarily outside
the community.
43. To witness the breadth of evangelical charity, each community is open to its environment in a
mutual sharing of spiritual and human goods; in the spirit of our tradition46, it is also
welcoming and hospitable, particularly toward confreres of other communities. Furthermore,
in order to facilitate the orderliness of community life, as a norm, care will be taken to
reserve a part of the house exclusively for the confreres.

                                                                                                                         
43

Cf. nn. 177ff; 196ff; 250ff; 285ff.
Cf. Holy Founder, Const. VI.
45
Cf. Gal 6:17.
46
Cf. Holy Founder, Const. VII.
44

43.1 - In faithfully maintaining our commitment to the Congregation, we shall also maintain a
proper relationship with our families.

43.2 As a help towards a greater human and Christian openness, the confreres are urged to
appreciate the advantages offered by contacts with cultures different from those of their own
country.

4. Study and Cultural Formation
44. Our religious family, faithful to its ancient tradition, values learning and regards study as
most appropriate to “regular life”47 Each community has the obligation to offer to the
confreres a suitable place, sufficient time, and the necessary means for study and for specific
preparation to apostolic work.
45. In their commitment to study, the confreres shall before all else strive for a gradual
assimilation of the sacred disciplines. These promote the knowledge and the love of God and
of the Church, and simultaneously prepare the religious to ever better respond to the demands
of their mission. In a special way the confreres ought to study Holy Scripture, and eagerly
enjoy its understanding and comprehension, so that they may gain an insight into its hidden
meal1ings, especially those helpful to moral instruction48.
46. The personal growth of the religious is also fostered by the knowledge of life events; by the
study of secular sciences, and by paying close attention to social and cultural phenomena.
The confreres, therefore, will strive to acquire a profound knowledge of man and of the
world in order to be able to be more effective in their apostolic endeavors.
47. Engagement in studies, although a duty of all confreres, must be loved and pursued
especially by those assigned to it by the Superiors. In particular, by going to the sources of
knowledge rather than to its rivulets49 they will ensure professionalism in research, accuracy
in documentation, humility in discovery, and each should, insofar as he can, desire and strive
to have rather what can direct him to writing books, ... than to acquire a merely superficial
knowledge in the books of others50.
47.1 – Engagement in university teaching will be opportunely evaluated by the major Superiors,
for a more active presence of the Church and of the Congregation in the world of higher learning.

47.2 - A copy of every publication by the confreres shall be sent to the Barnabite library of the
general curia in Rome and to the motherhouse of St. Barnabas in Milan.

48. In order to be published, any writings regarding faith and morals, must have the approval of
the local Ordinary and of the major superiors.
5. Work and Free Time
                                                                                                                         
47

Cf. Const. 1579, III, 5.
Holy Founder, Const. VIII.
49
Cf. Const. 1579, III, 5.
50
Holy Founder, Const. VIII.
48

49. Work, as part of God's plan for man, and as cooperation with his creative activity51, is a duty
of each confrere in compliance with the example given by the divine Master52 and by the
apostle Paul53.
50. We value work as redemptive and penitential, as well as expressive of Christian virtue. We
accept it with joy as a means toward personal growth and fulfillment, and human solidarity.
51. Each religious must take upon himself, in a responsible manner, the duty of work in its
different forms, apostolic and professional, intellectual and manual, regarding them as a
concrete expression of charity towards his confreres and his neighbor, as well as a normal
way for self-support.
52. The choices of forms of works are agreed upon in chapters and with the Superiors, within the
limits of their respective competence, according to the needs of time and place, and
respecting the individuals’ propensities and the common good.
53. We value free time as a means of growth and maturity, and it must be responsibly offered
and accepted. It gives an opportunity for necessary rest and for other activities dictated by
personal choice, and it creates a climate of joy and spontaneity.
53.1 - Provision shall be made in community schedules for times of relaxation in common.
53.2 - Suitable periods of relaxation and vacation shall be assured for the confreres, taking into
consideration the spirit of poverty, community obligations, and local customs.

6. Dismissal, Readmission, Transfer from another Institute
54. Fidelity to religious vocation depends on God's grace, on personal cooperation and a strong
community life. The confreres, therefore, shall support one another, especially in prayer, in
order to overcome the inevitable difficulties and persevere in the vocation they have
received54.
55. Our shared responsibility and the Spirit of charity render us more understanding with
confreres who find themselves reexamining their choice of life, so that our fraternal affection
and advice may facilitate their sincere search for God's will.
56. Confreres who, for serious reasons, have received from the Superior general, with the
consent of his council, the permission to live temporarily outside the Congregation, shall be
helped in all ways suggested by charity.
57. The juridical position of solemnly professed confreres, who live for a time outside the
Congregation, shall be determined by the Superior general, with the consent of his council,
                                                                                                                         
51

Cf. Gn 2:15.
Cf. Mk 6:3.
53
Cf. Acts 20:34; 1 Thes 2:9.
54
Cf. Eph 4:1; Holy Founder, Letter VII.
52

and after consultation with the provincial council concerned, according to the norms of
universal law.
58. The norms of universal laws shall be followed for indult of exclaustration, departure,
dismissal, arid transfer to another institute.
59. As regards confreres who leave the congregation definitively, either on their own initiative or
as a result of dismissal, the norms of the law shall be followed and the duty of charity
observed. In order to facilitate their insertion in society, although they have no right to
compensation for services rendered, the provincial Superior, together with the local
community, shall determine the necessary financial assistance and other forms of help.
60. The readmission to the · Congregation of those who request it falls within the competence of
the Superior general with the consent of his council. He will prudently establish the
modalities, having consulted the provincial council concerned, and in accordance with Canon
Law.
61. The admission into the Congregation of a perpetually professed religious from another
institute falls within the competence of the Superior general with the consent of , his council,
and upon consultation with the provincial council concerned. The religious will observe a
postulancy period to be determined by the Superior general, the novitiate according to the
Constitutions, and an eventual period of post-novitiate formation in a suitable community
chosen by the Superior general. The length of the probation period before making profession
in the Congregation is to be at least three years.

CHAPTER II
CONSECRATION TO GOD
“You can, if you wish, become great saints and
this is my will and desire for you. The condition
is that you are willing to grow and to give hack to
Christ Crucified, from whom you have received
them, his gifts and graces enriched in beauty",
(Holy Founder)55

Introduction
62. The vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, of which we make solemn profession, demand
a total commitment to follow Christ, chaste, poor, and obedient, so that we may become, like
him and in him, fully dedicated to the salvific will of the Father56. In this way we continue in
the Church the redemptive mission of Christ and become signs of the time to come.
63. By our profession of religious vows, we consecrate ourselves to God as vital members of the
Church, commit ourselves to form a true family that assumes, also as a community, the
responsibility to serve God and the brothers. Therefore, by a heart made more open by our
vow of chastity, we open ourselves to the love of our neighbor. By our resolve to renounce
individual possessions, a resolve strengthened by our vow of poverty, we achieve a genuine
sharing of goods. By obedience we freely unite our wills in search of the will of God and its
fulfillment.
64. By virtue of the religious profession, a relationship is formed between the Congregation and
the religious, which implies a reciprocity of rights and duties within the limits set by
particular and universal law. The Congregation provides for what we need, while we place
ourselves totally at its disposal.
1. Vow of Chastity
65. We accept and live the vow of chastity, in the perfect continence of celibacy consecrated to
God, as a very special gift of grace57, because we believe in Christ’s teaching and in the
power of his example.
66. Chastity, lived for the kingdom of heaven58, lets us cling to God with undivided heart; gives
concrete form to our dedication to Christ; and offers to the brothers and the world a clear
witness of the happiness in the life to come.

                                                                                                                         
55

Letter XI.
Cf. 1 Tim 2:4.
57
Cf. Mt 19:11.
58
Cf. Mt 19:12.
56

67. By giving all our love to God59 and by freeing our heart60, through religious Chastity we do
not diminish our powers of loving, but we strengthen the bonds of true human and Christian
friendship, both with our confreres and others.
68. Faithfully to respond to the gift of religious chastity, we must strive to obtain a befitting
psychological and emotional maturity. Recognizing the insufficiency of our own strength, we
must endeavor to deepen our union with God and observe carefully the norms of Christian
asceticism.
69. In order to obtain “with joy the true integrity of body and soul”61, our communities shall
promote daily work and life in common in a family atmosphere characterized by serenity,
cheerfulness, and sincere brotherly love.
2. Vow of Poverty
70. Through religious poverty we intend to follow more closely Christ62, who led a life of
poverty63, preached the blessedness of poverty64, and asked anyone who wishes to be his
disciple to renounce earthly possessions65.
71. Gur choice for poverty helps us to discover God as supreme good, opens our heart to praise,
thanksgiving and brotherhood. It is also a source of freedom and joy because of our constant
trust in the Father’s providence66. In this way we testify to the world the ephemeral value of
worldly goods and their function in the service of our brothers.
72. The vow of poverty, as practiced by our religious family, allows us to possess in common the
goods necessary for the life and for the activities of the Congregation. It excludes, however,
all personal ownership, and it implies restriction and dependency in the use and disposition
of temporal goods according to the Constitutions.
73. The solemnly professed religious renounces the ownership of goods and the legal capacity to
acquire or dispose of them.
74. The temporarily professed religious retains the ownership of goods and the legal capacity of
further acquisition. However, he can only licitly acquire or dispose of these with the consent
of his major Superiors.
75. No professed religious has the right, without due permission, to administer his possessions or
those of others. What he acquires from his work or from any other source - as salaries,
                                                                                                                         
59

Cf. Holy Founder, Const. XII.
cf. 1 Cor 7:32-35.
61
Holy Founder, Const. III.
62
Cf Mt 19:27ff.
63
Cf Mt 8:20.
64
Cf. Lk 6:20,24.
65
Cf. Lk 14:33.
66
Cf Lk 12:22ff.
60

pensions, subsidies, insurances - is a common good, over which he has no right, apart from
that foreseen for the temporarily professed.
75.1 - The provincial councils, with the consent of the general council, will adapt the norms of
the Constitutions regarding ownership and the use of temporal goods, to the legislation of each
country.

76. We also practice poverty in our daily work, which identifies us in a more visible way with
the poor, in whom we recognize Christ, who wished to be identified with them67,
“relinquishing any temporal good and embracing extreme poverty... renouncing spiritual as
well as temporal consolat1ons”68.
76.1 - Every confrere must be aware of his choice for religious poverty made through the vow;
he ought to consider as eminent mortification the ability to make a living from his daily work; he
must spurn any luxury, and he must care for the poor and the needy brothers.

77. Accepting poverty from the point of view of justice, solidarity and love, and being free from
attachment to material goods, of which we are simply administrators, we use the means and
the fruit of our work for the full development of our poorer brothers, complying with the
teaching of our Holy Founder: “in giving and in lending be generous and joyful”69.
77.1 - The Congregation, the provinces, and the communities shall foster concrete initiatives to
help the poor; this also implies a constant revision of our own way of living and working.

78. Love of poverty leads us, as religious, to be discreet in evaluating our personal needs, and
moderate in the use of goods. Moreover, it obliges the individuals, the communities, and the
Congregation to be visibly poor in the eyes of the world, to reject any seeking for gain or
accumulation of goods, and to witness to poverty in the way we live and work70.
79. It is the duty of chapters and Superiors to endeavor to prevent disparity in the mode of living
among the confreres, the different houses and provinces. Every community shall see to it
that, while no one should have the superfluous, no one should be wanting71. The poorer
houses and provinces must be fraternally helped, so that the abundance of one may supply for
the needs of the other, and there may be equality72.
3. Vow of Obedience.
80. By the vow of obedience, in imitation of Christ73, we freely consecrate to God our will,
uniting it more closely to his and offering ourselves as fellow workers in his work of
salvation. Therefore, we commit ourselves to obey the legitimate Superiors according to the
norms of the Constitutions.
                                                                                                                         
67

Cf.Mt 25:31ff.
Holy Founder, Sermon VI.
69
Holy Founder, Const. IV.
70
Cf. Holy Founder, Const. XII.
71
Cf. Const. 1579, II, 3.
72
cf. 2 Cor 8114; Const. 1579, II, 13.
73
cf. Jn 5:30.
68

81. As individuals and as a community, we seek God’s will in the Gospel and in the needs of the
Church. God’s will finds its concrete expression in the Constitutions and in the decisions of
the chapters and Superiors.
82. Obedience to Superiors, given us as “guides” and “leaders”74, is considered as basic for
religious life, and makes us accept, in a spirit of faith and love, their commands and
directives, in a relationship of constant dialogue and sincere cooperation.
83. Superiors, appointed in the Lord75 over their confreres, of whom they must give account76,
will fulfill their duty in spirit of service, using authority with understanding, sensitivity,
amiability, and personal esteem for the confreres. The Superiors shall take care to lead the
others in obedience77 knowing that they themselves are the first responsible for the
observance of the Constitutions and the chapters’ decisions. Moreover, being entrusted with
promoting the common good and the good of individuals, they shall willingly and frequently
consult their counsellors and the confreres, animating and coordinating everyone’s efforts.
84. By consecrating to God our wi1l, we accept to live - in letter and spirit - the Constitutions,
which give our Congregation its unity and identity. Since the Constitutions, in their continual
adaptation to the progress of God’s people, are approved by the Church as a valid norm of
life, they offer to the confreres a sure expression of God’s will for them.
85. Obedience to the Constitutions implies also observance of those norms foreseen by them, and
compliance with the chapters’ decisions; however, the confreres should remember that “it is
well and good to have a written obedience, that is, the commands of our Superiors in writing,
but it is of little good if, in addition, they are not written in our minds”78.
86. Major Superiors have the authority to command or forbid, by virtue of the vow of obedience,
with the consent of their councils and by means of written order, in matters that concern the
Constitutions. However, they will use this power with prudence and only for grave reasons.
87. Every confrere expresses responsible obedience both by being personally involved in the
search for shared decisions and by his fidelity in carrying them out when they go into effect.
By so doing, everyone will share in the Superiors’ responsibility, because, “just as it is the
duty of the Superiors to procure in charity the good of the subjects, in the same way it is
necessary for the subjects to help the Superiors faithfully keep the 1aw”79.
87.1 - The virtue of obedience and the demands of community life require that each confrere
facilitate the duties of those charged with various community responsibilities.

                                                                                                                         
74

cf. Holy Founder, Letter VII.
Cf. l Thes 5:12.
76
cf Heb 13:17' Const. 1579, IV, 18.
77
cf' Const 1579’ H 3
78
Holy Founder, Letter VII.
79
Holy Founder, Const. XIV.
75

88. So that the offering of our will may be more acceptable to God, our obedience should be
humble and simple, prompt and cheerful. When this involves renunciation and sacrifice, let
us remember it is through obedience that we conform more to Christ our Redeemer
“obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!” 80.

                                                                                                                         
80

Phil 2:8.

CHAPTER III
OUR APOSTOLATE
“Let us rush like madmen not only to God,
but also to our neighbor, for he is the one
who receives what we cannot give to God.”
(Holy Founder)81

Introduction
89. Every Christian, by virtue of his baptism, can and must bear witness, according to his state of
life, to the kingdom of God on earth, and make it present in the world, becoming himself an
active agent of the saving mission of the Church. By divine command, the Pope and the
Bishops are the leaders in the apostolate performed by the Church through all believers82, and
they constitute the permanent sign of our unity in Christ.
90. As Clerics Regular we share in the apostolic mission of the Church in our double quality of
religious and clerics. As religious, we proclaim Christ and his Gospel by the witness of our
vows and life; as clerics, we cooperate with the Pope and the Bishops in the ministry of the
Word and of the Sacraments. Thus, our whole religious life is imbued with apostolic spirit
and our whole apostolic activity is animated by religious spirit.
91. By virtue of our charism as religious, we apostolically serve brothers in faith; we proclaim to
every person the kingdom of God; we renew Christ’s presence in the world, and by so doing
we contribute to the real progress of society; voluntarily we share our life with the poor and
the suffering, becoming prophets of justice and of evangelical freedom in order to build a
new world transformed by the power of the Beatitudes.
92. Our Congregation extends the field of its apostolate to the “limits”83 set by Christ, in sincere
cooperation and harmony with the bishops and priests of the local Churches. By so doing, the
Congregation manifests its love and concern for the whole people of God, accepting and
living the unique values of each culture, for a reciprocal enrichment through the interchange
of persons and goods.
93. The Holy Founder, patterning our family on the example and teaching of St. Paul, instructs
us not to trust in human wisdom84, but in the foolishness of the cross85, and urges us “to
renew our Christian zeal”86, choosing the best, practicing the good, in everything inspired by
charity87, spending ourselves unsparingly and exhausting ourselves to save our brothers88.
                                                                                                                         
81

Letter II.
Cf. Mt 16:15.
83
cf. Holy Founder, Letter VI.
84
Cf 1 Cor 2:4.
cf. Holy Founder, Sermon III.
85
cf. 1 Cor 1:21.
86
Holy Founder, Letter VI.
87
cf. Holy Founder, Sermon III.
88
Cf. 2 Cor 12:15.
82

94. Faith, as the response of one who is converted by the proclaiming of the Gospel89, is a gift of
love from the Father, which man freely accepts. However, faith also depends on our fidelity
to Christ’s message, our sharing in the history of man and our witness of charity in our daily
life.
95. The apostolic commitment requires total availability, openness of mind and heart, amiability
and interior freedom, in order for the Spirit to find us competent for his work, and to ripen his
fruits in the souls to whom we are accountable90.
96. The confreres witness to unity among themselves and to their common responsibility by
participating together in the more significant moments of prayer and life in the church
community at large and in the one in which they actually live.
97. Means for the effectiveness of our apostolate are the study of divine revelation and of
theology in its various aspects; the knowledge of man and of history; an alert sensitivity to
situations and their development; continual updating and on- going formation in the religious
and pastoral field; the adaptation of methods to changing circumstances.
98. Every one of our communities, no matter what its apostolate, shall be a center of intense
Christian life, distinguished by the spirituality of the Congregation, for the good of the local
Church.
99. The awareness of our joined responsibility for the Church and the demands of apostolic work
require from our communities the promoting of fraternal and cooperative relationships with
other religious families working in the same locality or in common sectors of apostolate.
99.1 - Special forms- of cooperation shall be developed w1th the Angelic Sisters who share with
us a common Father and Founder, and with other religious institutes connected with us by reason
of foundation or by similarity of spirit.

100. The presence of the laity, an indispensable element in the Church’s apostolic action, shall
be fully utilized in the organization of our activities. According to the spirit of our
Congregation and following the example of the Holy Founder, it will be our concern to
form and animate lay groups or movements, that can share with us the most significant
moments of our life and cooperate with common intent in our activities.
1. Forms of Apostolate
101. The needs of the Church and the spirit of our tradition require that we always seek a truly
evangelical authenticity regarding ourselves and our forms of apostolate. They also demand
that we appreciate those new forms inspired by the Spirit, circumstances and times, openly
disposed to appropriate evaluations and revisions.
                                                                                                                         
89
90

cf. Mk 1:15.
cf. Rom 1114; Holy Founder, Letter XI.

102. Our Congregation plans its various forms of apostolate and manifests its choices through
the chapters and other directive bodies, with special consideration for the hopes of the
Church and the needs of the world.
102.1 - In the annual planning made by each province and each community, times and methods
shall be anticipated for the appropriate adaptations of activities, proposals, and methods.

103. In the framework of the apostolic. life of the Congregation and of the province, each
community decides on the modalities of its own activities, in agreement with the pastoral
action of the local Church, and it zealously pursues their realization. The talents and the
attitudes of the confreres shall be kept in mind so that all may feel involved and supported
in their contribution to the common apostolic mission by a sense of responsibility and
personal initiative.
104. Since the Congregation shares in the universal mission of the Church for the good of the
one people of God, present in all countries of the world, by virtue of religious consecration
and of the spirit of St. Paul, peculiar to our family, the confreres are also interested and
concerned in regard to the apostolic activities that the Congregation performs in countries
particularly in need of personnel and means.
104.1 - It shall be the duty of the major Superiors to sensitize the confreres to, and to promote
concrete initiatives for, such apostolic service.

2. Missionary Apostolate
105. Our Lord’s mandate sending out his followers to preach the Gospel91, is embraced by our
Congregation as an act of obedience to our divine Master; it is perceived, in the spirit of the
Apostle of the Gentiles92, as an inner necessity to preach the good news; and it is lived as
an answer of our religious family to the Church’s invitation to promote the establishment
and the development of new Christian communities.
106. The continuance of the missionary spirit is a sign of the vitality of the Congregation, and a
proof of the constant apostolic involvement of all the confreres, so that the Gospel may be
preached not only in, but also beyond, their own country.
107. It is the duty of the chapters and of the major Superiors to encourage interest in missionary
work among the confreres, especially during the formation years, and to support initiatives
on behalf of the missions entrusted to us.
107.1 - The Central Office for the Missions animates and coordinates activities in the various
provinces and maintains appropriate contacts with the confreres in the missions.

                                                                                                                         
91
92

Cf. Mt 28:19.
Cf. 1 Cor 9:16.

107.2 - Each province and community shares responsibly in the missionary activities of the
Congregation by prayer and by any other means, sensitizing their localities to the needs of the
missions and stimulating their effective cooperation.

107.3 - For new missionary foundations and their organization, the same norms are valid as
those given for other religious houses93, keeping in mind the exigencies of local situations.
108. The missionary work of our confreres, inspired by the supreme love of Christ and by a sure
trust in the unfailing help which he has promised to ministers of his Gospel94, finds its
expression in a complete and disinterested dedication to the service of brothers for their
evangelization and their human development.
108.1 - The lifestyle of our missionaries shall conform to the social con- ditions in which they
work, so that their witness will be more credible, especially among the lowly and the poor.

108.2 - Our missionary apostolate shall be carried out in close cooperation with the local
clergy and laity. It shall promote their formation and autonomy for the future of the local
Church and of the Congregation.

108.3 - Vocations to the consecrated life, which are a result of the evangelization work in the
missions, are an enrichment of our family and the local Church. They must be assisted and
formed according to the directives of the Church and the requisites of their own culture.

109. Community life will be fostered among confreres working in the missions; it witnesses to
religious brotherhood; it facilitates personal equilibrium and emotional stability, the sharing
of experiences and of help; it allows for a better organization of apostolic work; it makes
possible continual updating and the necessary rest.
110. Confreres who give evidence of a missionary vocation will be opportunely encourage
toward its fulfillment within the scope of the Congregation’s activities.
110.1 - The missionary service of the confreres can be limited in time and activities, according
to agreements between the parties concerned and the competent Superiors.

110.2 - In order to integrate himself more fully into the culture of differing localities, each
missionary shall endeavor to learn language, customs, and traditions. He shall familiarize
himself with the local pastoral policies and with the problems caused by the development of
differing populations. It shall be the duty of the Superiors to supervise this preparation and to
foster it by a suitable ongoing formation.

3. Apostolate in Parishes and non- Parish Communities
111. Parochial service, as direct cooperation with the bishops’ ministry, introduces our
community life and our activities into the pastoral work of the local Church.
                                                                                                                         
93
94

Cf. nn. 301ff.
Cf. Mt 28:20.

112. The religious community committed to a parish derives from community life itself the
inspiration and the energy to express in its pastoral ministry, the richness of its interior life,
and its witness to unity, availability, and service.
113. Every parish entrusted by the local Ordinary to the Congregation, is accepted by the
competent Superiors according to the norms established by universal law and by our
Constitutions95; the pastoral work is performed by the religious community under the
leadership of the pastor.
113.1 - When a religious community is exclusively committed to a parish, the pastor shall also
be the community Superior, unless otherwise indicated by the competent Superiors or by the
provincial statutes.

113.2 - The religious working in a parish shall follow the norms established in the agreement
between the Ordinary and the competent Superiors.

113.3 - When a community undertakes the ministry of more than one parish, and various
confreres are assigned as pastors, each one is responsible for the parish entrusted to him, while
the community remains the center of fraternal union and of pastoral cooperation.

114. The ministry of our non-parish churches shall be included in the overall parish pastoral
plan and shall offer specialized initiatives and forms of apostolate, including those of an
interparochial nature.
115. Confreres, whether assigned to a parish apostolate or to other ministries, shall promote lay
participation in the Church’s apostolic impetus, forming with the people of God one
community of life, worship, faith, and grace.
4. Youth and Educational Apostolate
116. A basic contribution to the Christian formation of the person is offered by the apostolate
among youth, to which the Congregation effectively contributes by actively working in
scholastic and educational institutions, in church-related youth centers and in other youth
movements and groups.
117. In every sector of pastoral Work for youth, the presence of our religious shall aim to serve
young people by offering them a Christian life project and a meaningful share in the Work
of the Church, including an option for a specific vocation, respecting the personality of
each individual.
118. In the development of a pastoral program for youth, the active participation of young
persons and their families shall be encouraged, and the collaboration solicited of all others
involved in our educational Work.

                                                                                                                         
95

Cf. nn. 207.e; 230.1.1; 244.1.b; 302; 303.

119. A typical form of youth pastoral work is that of the school, which represents one of the
main factors in the formation of the young. Our Congregation under- takes this apostolate
in the spirit of service to the Church and to society, as an opportunity for evangelization
and human development.
120. Our school is a form of ecclesial witness. By recognizing the importance of each person
and his role in the community, our school elects as its specific mission to form the person
in Christ, so as to enable him freely and responsibly to answer his human and Christian
vocation.
121. In order to cooperate with family, society, and Church in their educative obligation, our
presence- in the school is attentive to the World’s realities, sensitive to the social
dimension, and shares in the purposes and activities of the whole people of God.
122. The formative effectiveness of our schools depends on the building of an educational
Christian community, in which the religious community, spiritually alive and open to
dialogue, Works with other components as a center of cultural and spiritual animation.
122.1 - The religious employed in schools will endeavor responsibly to involve the other
teachers in the formative effort; they will establish a rapport of wider cooperation with other
educational institutions and promote their own role in the pastoral plan of the local Church.

122.2 - The friendly relations achieved with our students shall be maintained after they have
left school, even by means of associations, in order to sustain them on the road of faith and to
realize modes of participation for them in our educational communities.

123. It pertains to the provincial councils to decide on the fundamental orientations and types of
our scholastic-educational activities, and to specify the modalities of our presence in other
institutions outside the Congregation.
5. Apostolate in other Sectors
124. Following the example of St. Paul the Apostle, who made himself all things to all men96 the
Congregation performs its apostolate in different sectors, examining their needs and
choosing those activities which are suitable for realizing in them the proclamation of the
Christian message.
125. In the spirit of the Holy Founder, who was concerned for the reform of the clergy and
involved in missions to the people, we promote the work of spiritual retreats in their
various forms and we assist priest and religious, men and women, in their life of
consecration to God.

                                                                                                                         
96

Cf. 1 Cor 9:22.

126. New fields of priestly and religious presence can be opened to the Congregation, e.g., the
renewed ecumenical movement, the world of family, work, culture, social communications,
or involvement with the aged, the sick, and the needy.
127. It is above all the duty of religious provinces to direct their choices toward the most
suitable apostolic work for a given sector, fulfilling what the Holy Founder taught: “extend
your every effort to work for those persons who have been entrusted to you and who Christ
Crucified will entrust to you at any given time”97.

                                                                                                                         
97

Holy Founder, Letter VI.

CHAPTER IV
RELIGIOUS FORMATION
“You well know, brothers, that the entire
spiritual building up or ruining of religious
institutes depends upon good or bad
formation”.
(Holy Founder)98

Introduction
128. The type of life introduced by St. Anthony M. Zaccaria and interpreted through time by the
Constitutions and other rules and regulations, is to be lived by us and proposed to others as
a valid expression of religious and apostolic life within the Church.
129. The confreres, living their vocation as a gift from God in service of brothers , shall develop
an appropriate vocation promotion, which will make our religious family better known and
help to attract new members.
129.1 - In a spirit of cooperation with other forces at work in the Church, our confreres will
encourage the increase and the development of vocations for other forms, as well, of
ecclesiastical life.

130. Vocation promotion, undertaken by individual confreres and by the community, is to be
enhanced and coordinated through suitable initiatives and structures in accord with the
general directives of the Congregation and the pastoral planning of the local Churches.
131. Certain norms, regarding the formation curriculum, are held indispensable, in addition to
those established by the Church, for a valid preparation of the candidates to our religious
life and our apostolate.
132. In the work of formation of our vocations, proper consideration is to be given to the
contribution of the humane sciences and to the development of the talents of each
candidate.
132.1 - Insofar as possible, major Superiors will establish formation periods to be lived in
communal residencies in order to foster in our young people a family spirit.

1. Postulancy
133. Postulancy is the period of the candidate's first official contact with the Congregation. Its
aim is to make possible a mutual acquaintance, an initial assessment of the candidate's
                                                                                                                         
98

Const. XII.

aptitudes and dispositions and to prepare him to enter the novitiate with full awareness and
sufficient maturity.
133.1 - In assessing the spiritual, psychological, and physical aptitudes and dispositions of the
candidate, the norms of the Church and of the Congregation shall be kept in mind.

134. The right of admitting a candidate to postulancy pertains to the provincial Superior, except
where otherwise prescribed99.
135. The period of postulancy is normally spent in a house of the province, which provides a
suitable atmosphere for formation, in accordance with the modalities decided by the
community with the authorization of the provincial Superior.
135.1 - The postulant will be entrusted by the community to the particular responsibility of a
confrere, who shall be accountable for his work to the same community and to the provincial
Superior.

135.2 - The postulant will be admitted to the novitiate upon having given proof of his
commitment in pursuing his choice and the life project the Congregation offers him.

135.3 - For the young people attending our vocational houses, the period of postulancy
coincides with the year preceding the novitiate.

135.4 - The postulant is free to withdraw at any time; the community, in turn, having consulted
the provincial Superior, may dismiss him, should it not consider him suitable.

136. The official postulancy period lasts, as a rule, one year or a length of time determined by
the provincial Superior, and is not incompatible with studies or other activities undertaken
by the aspirant.
137. At the conclusion of the specified period, the postulant makes a written request to the
provincial Superior for admission to the novitiate. The provincial Superior, with the
consent of his council, taking into consideration the opinion expressed by the community in
a chapter meeting, decides on the admission, except as otherwise prescribed100.
2. Novitiate
138. The novitiate is the period of initiation of aspirants into the knowledge and practice of
religious and apostolic life as specified in the Constitutions and lived in the Congregation.
In this period, the novices become ever more conscious of their free and responsible answer
to God's call and at the same time, the Congregation has the means properly to evaluate
their suitability for our life.
139. During the novitiate, the first priority shall be the spiritual formation of the novices, with
the goal of creating personalities inwardly unified "in the love and desire for whole and
                                                                                                                         
99

Cf. n. 218c.
Cf. n. 218c.

100

total perfection”101. Signal moments of such formation shall be the progressive deepening
of the personal relationship with God, the gradual introduction to the practice of the
evangelical counsels and t community life, the strengthening of human and Christian
virtues, the education toward a stable lifestyle, the assimilation of a sincere love for the
Church and the Congregation.
139.1 - Subject matter of study for the novices shall be the Holy Scriptures, especially
the Letters of St. Paul, spiritual theology and of religious life, the Constitution and the
principal documents of our tradition, the history and the spirituality of the
Congregation.
139.2 - In the field of spiritual formation the novices shall be educated to a profound liturgical
life in order for them fruitfully to participate, from the beginning, in the divine mysteries.

139.3 - The novices will be taught to make use, in their striving for perfection, of spiritual
direction, to be done according to the spirit and norms of the Church.

140. In our religious family, committed to apostolic activity, the novitiate period must have
suitable training in the principles and problems of the apostolate, aiming at preparing the
novices to give expression to their consecration to God in generous service to brothers.
141. Every province may have its own novitiate, either as an independent community or as a
part of an established community. The choice of place shall ensure for the novices
surroundings favorable to their formation.
142. The erection of a novitiate house is to take place through a written decree of the Superior
general with the consent of his council.
142.1 - The novices of one religious province may also undergo their period of formation in
the novitiate of another province, upon decision of the provincial councils concerned.

143. The novitiate community consists of all religious assigned to the novitiate house.
Formation is entrusted to the responsibility of the Father Master, a solemnly professed
confrere, assisted by some confreres chosen by the provincial Superior among the members
of the community; the other religious of the community shall contribute by their example,
counsel, and prayer.
144. The Father Master shall be a religious chosen for his exemplary life and, as well, a man
"full of practical discretion and of vast natural ability"102.
145. The Father Master of a provincial novitiate is appointed by the provincial Superior with the
consent of his council and with the ratification of the general council.
146. The Father Master of an interprovincial novitiate is appointed by the Superior general with
the consent of his council, upon nominations by the provincial councils concerned.
                                                                                                                         
101
102

Holy Founder, Const. XII.
Holy Founder, Const. XII.

147. The novitiate has a duration of twelve months, to be spent, in order to be valid, in the
community of the novitiate. The norms of universal law shall be followed regarding the
requisites for novices, the modalities relative to age of admission, interruption, suspension,
and prolongation of the novitiate.
147.1 - The novitiate begins with the ceremony of the cross, traditional in our Congregation, or
with another suitable rite.

147.2 - The novice cannot administer temporal goods without specific permission of the
provincial Superior.

147.3 - In the event of the death of a novice, the same suffrage shall be offered as provided for
the professed religious.

148. A novice may be dismissed by the provincial Superior, upon receiving the community's
recommendations as expressed in a chapter meeting and the advice of his council,
considering as well he report of the Father Master and after a hearing with the novice.
3. First Profession and Renewal of Vows
149. The profession of vows is a public and official act of religion by which each commits
himself to live his own baptismal consecration through the practice of the vows of chastity,
poverty, and obedience in our family, at the service of the Church.
150. Except as otherwise prescribed103, it is the competence of the provincial Superior, with the
consent of his council, to admit novices to the first profession, after the novitiate
community has expressed its opinion in a chapter meeting.
150.1 - The novice Master adds, to the opinion of the local chapter, his own report on each
novice.

151. The novices are admitted to the first profession upon their written request and only after
having completed their eighteenth year of age. Through the first profession the novices
become official members of the Congregation.
152. Before making his profession, the novice surrenders the administration, use and profit of
his temporal goods to persons freely chosen by him, according to the norms of universal
and particular law. In order to change these dispositions or to perform any other act
regarding temporal goods, the permission of the provincial Superior is required, with the
consent of his council.
153. At the conclusion of the novitiate, the profession may be received by the Superior general,
the provincial Superior, or by another confrere delegated by him and in the presence of at
least two witnesses. For the validity of the temporary profession, the other norms of
universal law must be observed.
                                                                                                                         
103

Cf. n. 218c.

154. The rite of profession is given in the liturgical books of the Congregation; the formula is a
follows - or another properly approved.
Ego N.N. natus (in) ... die ... mense ... anno ...
in manibus tuis, Reverende Pater NN.
locum Dei tenens,
promitto Sanctissimae Trinitati
ad Eius laudem
me ad annum (vel in perpetuum)
castitatem, paupertatem, et oboedientiam servaturum
secundum Constitutiones Clericorum Regularium Sancti Pauli.
Firmiter (vel solemniter) igitur voveo et professionem emitto
die ... mense ... anno ...
in festo ...
in ecclesia ... urbis (vel oppidi) N.
Ego ipse NN.
manu mea scripsi, subscripsi et ore meo pronuntiavi.
154.1 - The original document, signed by the one who professes and by the one who receives
the profession, is to be kept in the provincial archives. The formula of profession is transcribed
by the new professed in the proper register kept in the archives of the novitiate.

154.2 - With his first profession, the religious renounces the use of his temporal goods
according to the norms of universal and particular law104 .

154.3 - It is an ancient tradition of our religious family that, starting with the day of first
profession, every confrere adds to his baptismal name the name of Mary.

155. Symbolic of our consecration to God also is the religious habit, consisting of the cassock,
traditionally in use in our Congregation; it is presented during the rite of first profession. In
daily usage, instead of the cassock, the religious may wear another habit approved by the
competent ecclesiastical authority, according to local customs.
156. The obligation assumed with the first profession lasts one year and is renewable. The
competence to admit to the renewal of vows belongs to the local Superior upon receiving a
favorable opinion from his chapter; in the case of a negative opinion, the decision is left to
the provincial council. The dismissal of religious professed in temporary vows before they
expire, is the competence of the Superior general with the consent of his council.
156.1 - Temporary vows are to be renewed before Superiors, or their Vicars, or other confrere
or priest delegated by them and in the presence of at least two witnesses.

                                                                                                                         
104

Cf. n. 74; 75.

156.2 - The original document of the renewal of vows, signed by the professed and by the one
who receives the profession, is to be kept In the local archives and a copy In the provincial
archives.

4. Formation of the Professed
157. The aim of the period following the novitiate is to develop, strengthen, and complete the
formation of the religious in its spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral aspects, in order to
achieve full Christian and human maturity. It constitutes the period of initial experience of
fidelity to the commitments undertaken, and of verification of one's personal dedication to
God and the Church in the Congregation.
158. The norms concerning the formation and the lifestyle, the progressive and adequate
integration of the professed, still in formation, into the life of the community and of the
province, are determined by the general chapter, the general council, and provincial
chapters; their application is the responsibility of the provincial councils, of the local
communities, and of those directly in charge.
158.1 - The professed must give evidence of a serious determination to prepare himself for
specific services in the Congregation and to live his choice in a responsible way.

159. The professed continue their formation to the end of the predetermined formation
curriculum, in suitable communities and under the guidance of the Father Master.
160. The Father Master of a provincial scholasticate is appointed by the provincial Superior with
the consent of his council and with the ratification of the general council.
161. The Father Master of an interprovincial scholasticate is appointed by the Superior general
with the consent of his council, upon nominations by the provincial councils concerned.
5. Solemn Profession
162. The solemn profession is the final and public act of consecration of the religious to God
and the Church in our Congregation.
163. Ordinarily the solemnly professed enjoy active and passive voice. The juridical status of
those who temporarily live outside the province to which they belong, shall be determined
by the competent major Superiors.
164. Admission to solemn profession is the competence of the Superior general with the consent
of his council, upon written request from the candidate, and having considered the opinions
of the local chapter and provincial council.
165. Solemn profession must be preceded by a three-year period of temporary vows. The
Superior general, should he consider it opportune, may prolong the period of temporary
profession, according to the norms of universal law.

166. Solemn profession is preceded by a special period of preparation. The length, place, and
modalities of such period are decided by the local community with the agreement of the
major Superiors.
167. The modalities relative to the rite of solemn profession, to the Superior who receives it, to
the formula and the required documents, are analogous to those indicated for first
profession105.
168. On the occasion of the solemn profession, the religious must make an act – canonically
and, if possible, also civilly valid - renouncing ownership of all his temporal goods,
disposing of them with complete freedom106.
168.1 - In order to have civil effect, the act of renunciation of temporal goods made by the
solemnly professed religious is to conform to the legislation of each country.

6. Ministries and Sacred Orders
169. Admission to the sacred ministries is the competence of the provincial Superior upon
written request of the candidate and after hearing the opinion of the local chapter and of the
provincial council.
170. Admission to sacred orders is reserved to the Superior general, upon written request of the
candidate, after considering the opinion of the local chapter, the provincial and general
councils.
7. Ongoing Formation
171. Upon completion of the formative curriculum, every confrere will keep himself open to an
ongoing interior renewal. The chapters shall undertake initiatives appropriate for the
promotion of the continuing formation of the confreres in its various aspects: spiritual,
theological, pastoral, professional, and apostolic.
171.1 - Every community, in accord with the provincial Superior, schedules each year periods
of updating for the confreres, in such a way that, within a convenient number of years, all may
take advantage of them.

                                                                                                                         
105
106

Cf. nn. 153-154.
Cf. nn. 72-73.

PART II
THE STRUCTURES OF THE CONGREGATION
"Having someone to govern you) you shall
let yourselves be governed... and not be
concerned whether it be this one or that one;
not having another to govern you) you will
have your own conscience to govern you.
And with and without government) you will
always maintain the union of the Body with
your Heads".
(Holy Founder)107

CHAPTER I
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
172. The Congregation, vitally rooted in the Church from which it receives evangelical
authenticity and juridical nature, recognizes the Roman Pontiff as the Supreme Superior,
whom it obeys also in virtue of the vow. Juridically it is governed by the norms of
universal and particular law and avails itself of its own structures, created in function of its
religious and pastoral goals; these structures have to be constantly adapted to the needs of
the times. For all civil purposes it follows the legislation of each country.
173. The Congregation is a unit made up of provincial and local communities. This implies
some autonomy at all levels, and the recognition, at different levels, of the authority which
coordinates the various initiatives and takes the necessary decisions. In this way, the
Congregation realizes a structural decentralization, and it allows for a gradual power of
decision-making reserved to the chapters, Superiors, councils, and others entrusted with
any office. To this effect, the Congregation subsists in central, provincial, and local
structures.
173.1 - By analogy, the norms governing the provinces are also applied to the pro-provinces108,
unless otherwise prescribed.

174. All the confreres, recognizing in one another a common human, Christian, and religious
dignity, have the right and duty both freely to express their own opinion on the problems of
the Congregation, and to receive and give due and necessary information. They also share
responsibilities and duties:
a) by personally exercising their gifts in consultations, voting and elections or through
their delegates to provincial or general chapters;
                                                                                                                         
107
108

Letter VII.
Cf. n. 246.

b) by accepting in a spirit of service and without privileges the various assignments,
offices, and tasks within the vocation and mission they have In common.
175. It is lawful to vote by mail, other than in the election of an Assistant general 3 outside the
general chapter, whenever it is required by the provincial statutes or by chapter or council
decisions, within the limits of their competence.
176. The confreres called to serve in various assignments and offices of the Congregation may
not undertake commitments that jeopardize the fulfillment of their own duty.

CHAPTER II
FUNCTIONS OF CHAPTERS,
SUPERIORS AND COUNSELLORS
1. Chapters
177. Chapters, the definitive expression and means of animation for community life, are
meetings of the confreres called to evaluate and decide on policies in various sectors of the
life and activities of the Congregation, at the general, provincial, and local level109.
178. The solemn professed confreres110 fully participate as voting members – that is, with active
and passive voice – in decision-making and election chapters111 on the conditions indicated
in relevant sections112. Other confreres may participate in the work of chapters according to
the modalities established by the chapters themselves.
178.1 - Observers and experts may be admitted to chapters in a consultative capacity, on the
conditions established by each chapter.

179. It pertains to the Superior or his substitute113 to convene the chapter, according to the
norms established by the Constitutions114.
179.1 - The date and the agenda of the chapter must be timely communicated to all those who have
the right to participate in it.

180. The presence of a qualified majority of those having the right to participate is necessary to
ensure the legality of a general or provincial chapter. For local chapters, it is sufficient to
have an absolute majority.
181. In counting votes the following norms are necessary:
a) for a qualified majority, two-thirds of the valid votes;
b) for an absolute majority, more than: half of the valid votes;
c) for a relative majority, a number of: valid votes superior to that obtained by each of
the other alternative parties.
Abstensions and votes that are null, are not counted in computing the majorities. The same
criteria are applied to determine in any voting or consultation.
182. Unless otherwise stated, a proposition which receives the absolute majority of the votes
becomes a chapter deliberation and it is binding for everyone. If the votes are tied, even
                                                                                                                         
109

Cf. nn. 196ff; 250ff; 285ff.
Cf. n. 37.
111
Cf.n.163.
112
Cf. nn. 197; 201; 251; 253; 285.
113
Cf. nn. 222; 271, 286, 295.
114
Cf. nn. 203; 257; 285.
110

after a second vote has been taken, and a decision is necessary, the one who presides has
the faculty to decide.
183. Normally the voting is secret. An open vote may be allowed by an absolute majority
decision of a chapter: however it is never allowed in an election.
184. Every capitulary has the right to one vote only, personal and free, even if he takes part in
the chapter under several titles.
184.1 - Every capitulary election takes place by nomination and by subsequent ballotings.
The order of priority in the balloting is determined by the number of preferences obtained
or, in case of a tie, by lot. Before proceeding to the balloting, those nominated may express
the reasons for their eventual refusal. In the case in which a nominee's refusal is accepted
by the chapter, it will then decide if a new written nomination is necessary or to pass
directly to the balloting.
184.2 - Unless otherwise indicated, the tellers in a chapter are the one presiding over the
chapter, the senior professed and the secretary or, in his absence, the youngest in profession.

184.3 - Those who take part in the chapters are bound to secrecy outside the chapter, when
confronted with the need to safeguard the good of persons, communities, and Congregation.

184.4 - The deliberations of the general and provincial chapters normally7 remain effective
until the following chapters.

2. The Superiors
185. The Superiors (called "Prepositi", that is, "placed above", as well, in our tradition) are
confreres chosen as animators and guides of local communities of provinces, and of the
Congregation; they are their lawful representatives and govern with powers recognized by
the Constitutions and by universal law.
186. The major Superiors of the Congregation are: the Superior general, provincial Superiors, or
their Vicars115, the President of the general chapter, and the President of the provincial
chapter, if so decided by the provincial statutes.
187. In our family of Clerics Regular, the priesthood is necessary for appointment as Superior or
Vicar.
188. The election or the appointment of Superiors takes place according to the norms indicated
in the pertinent place116.
189. Eventual resignations of Superiors shall be given in writing to the competent authority,
who will decide on their acceptance.
                                                                                                                         
115
116

Cf. nn. 222; 271.
Cf. nn. 217; 267; 191.

3. The Counsellors
190. The counsellors are confreres with active and passive voice, elected to assist the Superiors
in their duties, by their counsel and vote. Together with their respective Superior they form
the council. They are: general counsellors or Assistants; provincial counsellors or
Consultors; local counsellors or Discreets.
191. The opinion of the counsellors is normally consultative; it is deliberative when specifically
indicated117.
192. When a consultative vote is required, the Superior must ask for the opinion of the
counsellors, even if he is not juridically obliged to follow it.
193. When a deliberative vote is required, the Superior, in order to act validly must abide by the
majority of the council decision. This vote must be collegially118 expressed by the Superior
and the counselors on a written proposal. The result of the voting shall be recorded in the
minutes and individually signed by the participants.
194. A council is validly convened if the absolute majority of its members is present.
195. The councils are convened by the respective Superiors on their own initiative or by request
of at least half of the counsellors.
195.1 - Other confreres and experts may participate at council meetings, following the
modalities established by the council itself, and without right to vote.

                                                                                                                         
117
118

Cf. nn. 230.1; 278.1.
Cf. Const. 1597, IV, 13.

CHAPTER III
GENERAL AND CENTRAL STRUCTURES
1. The General Chapter
196. The general chapter is the assembly of the representatives of all the confreres. It is the
source of law in the Congregation and has supreme power.
197. The general chapter is composed of exofficio and elected members. The exofficio members
are: the Superior general, the Assistants general and the provincial Superiors. The elected
members, whose total number cannot be inferior to that of the ex-officio members, are the
voting confreres, elected by the provincial chapters and by the houses directly dependent
on the Superior general, or their substitutes.
198. Religious who enjoy active and passive voice, may be elected to the general chapter.
199. The number of representatives of each province or pro-province and of the houses directly
dependent on the Superior general, is established by each general chapter for the following
one, according to criteria of representation and proportionality.
200. The substitute members participate with full rights when the elected representatives are
unable to take part and their written withdrawal has been accepted by the Superior general
with the consent of his council. Once the chapter is in session, the chapter itself decides.
201. The general council can summon to the general chapter other persons capable of making
particular contributions to proceedings. The modalities of their participation shall be
determined by the chapter itself.
202. Each member of the general chapter seeks the good of the Congregation without being
restricted by the mandate of his constituents.
203. Convocation of the general chapter pertains to the Superior general, with the advice of his
council, except for the cases foreseen by the Constitutions 1. The modalities of convocation
are established by appropriate regulations.
204. Ordinarily, the general chapter takes place every six years, and extraordinarily, when
serious cause makes it advisable.
204.1 - In circumstances when, at the end of a six year period, the convocation of a general
chapter is impossible or presents serious difficulties, the general council will decide what action
to take after hearing the opinion of the provincial councils.

205. The general chapter is extraordinarily convoked:
a) by initiative of the general council;

b) upon request of at least half of the provincial chapters, or of a qualified majority of
the provincial councils.
206. The general chapter is preceded by an adequate consultation of the confreres, promoted by
the general council.
207. The principal duties of the general chapter are:
a) to study the most important problems of the Congregation and to issue appropriate
deliberations;
b) to outline general orientative policies;
c) to elect the Superior genera I, the Assistants, and, extraordinarily, other Superiors
and officials;
d) to interpret and update the Constitutions and to approve other norms valid for the
whole Congregation;
e) to establish, modify, suppress provinces, pro-provinces, central offices, and to issue
final decrees regarding founding or closing houses.
208. Every change to the text of the Constitutions must be approved as such in a general chapter
by a qualified majority of votes; this change is then presented to the Holy See for approval,
and it becomes constitutional law when approved by the following general chapter.
209. Practical interpretations and temporary abrogations of the Constitutions and of the general
chapter's deliberations, are the competence of the general council.
210. The general chapter is conducted according to appropriate regulations proposed by the
general council and approved by the chapter itself.
211. To preside over an ordinary general chapter, a President is elected, assisted by four
Promoters. They assume the authority and exercise the functions of the Superior general
and his Assistants until the election of the Superior general. The management of an
extraordinary general chapter is entrusted to a council of five Moderators; however, the
ordinary administration is conducted by the Superior general and his council.
212. A qualified majority of the votes in the first three scrutinies and the absolute majority in the
following ones is required for election of the President of the general chapter and of the
Superior general. Further modalities are determined by the general chapter regulations.
213. In order to ensure an opportune continuity of government, the general chapter shall
normally reelect at least one of the members of the prior general council.
214. The general chapter operates in an attitude of listening and of availability to the voice of
the Spirit. In this spiritual climate the chapter brings the Congregation to a clearer
awareness of its state and of the needs of the times; it summons the Congregation to its best
traditions and to a constant renewal; it urges it to a more generous evangelical service, in a
renewed cooperation with the Church.
2. The Superior General

215. The Superior general, the successor of the Holy Founder, is the supreme moderator of our
religious family and the symbol of its unity. He has ordinary jurisdiction over all confreres,
the communities and the provinces of the Congregation and over its temporal goods; this
power is to be exercised within the limits established by the Constitution and by universal
law.
216. Any priest119 in solemn vows can be elected Superior general, provided that he is no less
than thirty five years of age and that he has spent at least ten years since solemn profession
in the Congregation.
217. The Superior general is elected by the general chapter according to the Constitutions and to
chapter regulations. His mandate is for six years and may be renewed120.
217.1 - The election of the Superior general is preceded by a suitable pause for prayer and
reflection.

217.2 - The Superior general resides in the general curia, of which he appoints the local
Superior upon consultation with his council.

217.3 - At the end of his mandate, the Superior general may choose the community in which
he is to live and of which he becomes a full member.

218. As guide and animator of the Congregation, attentive to discern what the Lord requires in
different circumstances, the Superior general:
safeguards the identity and the spirit of the Congregation;
fosters fraternal charity, observance of the rules, and the apostolic commitment of the
confreres;
accepts, for postulancy, novitiate, and first profession, those candidates who enter the
Congregation other than by the ordinary way of the provinces;
coordinates and verifies the application of the directives for religious formation;
evaluates the legitimate aspirations of the religious and safeguards the rights of individuals
and communities;
preserves the unity of the fundamental course of the Congregation by coordinating the
work of the Assistants and of the provincial Superiors;
maintains relations with the central authorities of the Church, of other religious families,
and with international organizations;
organizes meetings of confreres, Superiors and other officials, and appoints eventual
observers to the provincial chapters.
218.1 - It pertains to the Superior general, upon consultation with his council, to:

a) convene the general chapter121 ;
b) appoint officials for the central offices, giving them appropriate directives122 ;

                                                                                                                         
119

Cf. n. 187.
Cf. Const. 1579, IV, 12; Bullarium Barnabiticum, pp.17-20.
121
Cf. n.203.
120

c) appoint Superiors of houses directly dependent on him123 ;
d) admit to sacred orders124 ;
e) coordinate the activities of the provincial offices125.

218.2 - The directives of the Superior general remain effective until the end of his mandate.
219. The Superior general is directly accountable for his government to the general chapter.
220. During his term of office, the Superior general must make a canonical visit to all the
communities of the Congregation. For special reasons the task of visitation may be
delegated to a Visitor126.
221. The Superior general may, for grave reasons and with the consent of his council, suspend
or remove from office provincial and local Superiors or limit their powers. Eventually, he
may also proceed to replace them.
222. If the Superior general is unable to fulfill his functions, they are (to be discharged by the
Vicar general127.
223. In case of inability, or of permanent impediment, or of resignation - accepted by the Holy
See - or of the death of the Superior general, the Vicar general assumes his functions and,
with the consent of the other Assistants and of the provincial Superiors with their councils,
decides on the modalities for the convocation of the general chapter.
3. The Assistants General
224. The Assistants are the ordinary counsellors of the Superior general; they assist him in the
exercise of his functions and share in the responsibility of government.
225. One of the Assistants, directly chosen by the Superior general and replaceable at his
discretion, holds the office of Vicar general.
226. The Superior general may assign to individual Assistants responsibility for particular
sections of the Congregation or for specific sectors of activity.
227. The Assistants are four in number, and are elected by the general chapter, by absolute
majority, according to the modalities of the chapter regulations. Normally they remain in
office for six years, or, in any case, until the following general chapter, and they may be
reelected for only one other six-year term.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
122

Cf. n. 232.
Cf. n. 305.
124
Cf. n. 170.
125
Cf. n. 279.2.
126
Cf. n. 238.
127
Cf. n. 225.
123

227.1 - The election of the Assistants is preceded by a suitable interval for reflection and takes
place the day after the election of the Superior general.

227.2 - Election of an Assistant outside the general chapter may also be done by mail, with a
deliberative vote and an absolute majority, by the Superior general, the other Assistants, and the
provincial Superiors. This supplementary election does not bear on eligibility for reelection.

227.3 - For grave cause, an Assistant general may be suspended or re- moved from office by
the Superior general with the consent of the other Assistants.
4. The General Council
228. The general council is formed by the Superior general and his Assistants; its purpose is to
promote, guide, monitor, and coordinate the life of the Congregation.
229. The general council in particular:
a) executes the deliberations and the programs established by the general chapter;
b) defines, in last instance, questions regarding individual confreres, local
communities and provinces, and appeals presented to them;
c) decides on interprovincial assignments, upon consultation with the provincial
Superiors concerned;
d) attends to the organization of provinces, pro-provinces, delegations, and central
offices for specific activities;
e) discusses and controls at scheduled times its own financial reports, providing the
Central Finance Office the directives necessary for budgeting;
f) determines the amount of provincial assessments for the Congregation;
g) periodically examines the financial accounts of the provinces;
h) decides on the transfer of goods within the Congregation, upon consultation with
the provinces and communities concerned.
229.1 - The general council, if requested, must explain, in writing, its decisions to the persons
concerned.

230. The general council acts as the collegial organ of government when the Constitutions
expressly require its consent.
230.1 - The consent of the general council is required in the following cases:
a) designation of the number of representatives to the general chapter of the houses
directly dependent on the Superior general, and of the pro-provinces erected during the
six-year term, and the decision regarding renunciation by representatives elected to the
general chapter128;
b) dispensation from holding or postponing ordinary provincial chapters, and convocation
of extraordinary provincial chapters; authorization of provincial chapters with the
participation of all voting members129 ;
                                                                                                                         
128
129

Cf. nn. 305.c; 249; 200.
Cf. nn. 262; 263; 236.

c) ratification of chapter resolutions and of provincial statutes, and relative interpretations
and derogations130;
d) appointment of provincial Superiors, Masters of interprovincial novitiates and
scholasticates and Visitors131;
e) ratification of the appointment of local Superiors, Masters of provincial novitiates and
scholasticates132 ;
f) suspension or removal of Assistants general, provincial and local Superiors, or
restriction of their powers133 ;
g) decision regarding a written order in virtue of the vow of obedience and regarding
eventual measures suggested by the Visitor134 ;
h) admission to solemn profession and dismissal of a temporarily professed; permission
for temporary stay outside the Congregation, and relative juridical status; readmission
to the Congregation135;
i) interpretation and provisional derogations of the Constitutions and general chapter
deliberations136 ;
j) erection of novitiate and inter- provincial houses; foundation or suppression of
religious houses; modification of provinces or erection, modification and suppression
of pro- provinces outside the general chapter137 ;
k) temporary reservation of religious houses to the immediate jurisdiction of the Superior
general138 ;
l) introduction of causes of beatification and canonization139;
m) authorization to adapt norms regarding poverty to the civil law of a given country, and
to perform acts of extraordinary administration140 ;
n) ruling on the financial competencies of provincial councils and on provincial
assessments for the Congregation141 ;
o) control of the general and provincial administrations financial reports142 .

5. The Central Offices
231. The central offices collaborate directly with the Superior general and his Assistants. Those
responsible for these offices are:
a) the Procurator general
b) the Postulator general
c) the Treasurer general
d) the Chancellor general
e) the Archivist general
f) others entrusted with specific activities.
                                                                                                                         
130

Cf. nn. 245;264;264.1.
Cf. nn. 67; 146; 161; 238.
132
Cf. nn. 291; 145; 160.
133
Cf. nn. 273; 221.
134
Cf. nn. 86; 241.
135
Cf. nn. 164; 156; 56; 57.
136
Cf. n. 209.
137
Cf. nn. 142; 307; 305; 229.d; 248.
138
Cf. nn. 306; 306.1.
139
Cf. n. 234.
140
Cf. nn. 75.1; 310.
141
Cf. nn. 310; 229.f.
142
Cf. n. 229.g.
131

These duties are not mutually incompatible, nor are they incompatible with the office of
Assistant.
232. Those entrusted with the central offices are appointed by the Superior general, upon
consultation with his council, and they remain in office at his discretion; they fulfill their
duties following his directives.
233. The Procurator general officially represents the Congregation with the Holy See for all that
pertains to their mutual relations.
234. The Postulator general promotes causes of beatification and canonization introduced by the
general council; in addition, he reports to the general chapter regarding the progress of each
individual cause.
235. The Treasurer general attends to the ordinary administration of the goods for which the
Superior general is directly responsible, according to the directives of the general council
and within the limits of the competencies indicated by the Constitutions. He coordinates
and controls the financial administration of the provinces and of the houses directly
dependent on the Superior general, and presides over the Central Finance Office; he reports
to the general chapter the economic situation of the Congregation and of the Superior
general’s administration. Other duties of the Treasurer general are indicated by the
Constitutions143.
235.1 - The Treasurer general, if he is also Assistant general, has no right to vote in matters
concerning the appraisal of his administration.

236. The Chancellor general performs the functions of secretary of the general council, at whose
meetings he participates for the writing of the minutes. He has the duty to transmit to those
concerned the acts and the decisions of the Superior general and of the general council.
237. The Archivist general attends the general archives and controls the provincial archives.
6. The Visitors
238. The Visitors are confreres appointed, in special cases, by the Superior general, with the
consent of his council, to pro- note and control various sectors of the life of the
Congregation; the Superior general may delegate to them the duty of canonical
visitation144.
239. The Visitor’s assignment is temporary his appointment may be made upon request from a
provincial Superior, a provincial council, or a local chapter.
240. The faculties of the Visitor and the duration of his mandate are defined by universal law
and by the act of appointment.
                                                                                                                         
143
144

Cf. nn. 311-312.
Cf. n. 230.

240.1 - It is the duty of the Visitor:
a) to gather direct information from the confreres and from other persons whom he may
deem useful to question;
b) to get to know personally the activities, the places, the documents and whatever may be
useful to the fulfillment of his mandate.

241. At the end of his assignment, the Visitor gives a written report of his actions to the Superior
general. The decision on eventual measures suggested by the Visitor are the concern of the
Superior general with the consent of his council, unless a different faculty has been given
to the Visitor himself.

CHAPTER IV
PROVINCIAL STRUCTURES
"I desire that you have toward those who
guide you the same fidelity they use with
you... because if you do not want to obey as
servants, hut as sons, that is the way you
should act".
(Holy Founder)145

242. The Provinces The Congregation is divided into provinces for greater facility of
government, for mutual enrichment and for a more accurate response to local needs.
243. The province is the union of several communities and avails itself of suitable religious,
pastoral, administrative, and economic structures under the government of the provincial
Superior. Members of the province are all religious assigned to it.
243.1 - The religious who are transferred, even temporarily, to another province become full
members of it.

244. The province, in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Constitutions, enjoys its
own autonomy and has legislative, administrative, pastoral, and economic powers, which it
exercises in the general interest of the Congregation within the limits established by the
general chapter and its own statutes.
244.1 - By virtue of its autonomy, the province:
a) creates an internal organization able to achieve an effective development of its
activities;
b) plans and examines the religious, pastoral, and economic aspects of its own life;
c) accepts new members and pro- vides for their formation within established norms146;
d) fosters the continual updating of its members;
e) establishes assessments for its own activities and those of the Congregation;
f) defines criteria for the association to our family, of the lay movements related to the
congregation, even to the sharing of life and responsibilities147.

245. Each province within the limits of the Constitutions, governs itself according to its own
statutes, established by the provincial chapter and ratified by the general council.
246. When some religious houses do not have all the requisites required by the Constitutions in
order to form a province, they may be established as a pro-provincial Superior is appointed
at their head148. By analogy, the norms governing provinces are also applied to proprovinces, unless otherwise prescribed.
                                                                                                                         
145

Letter VII.
Cf. n. 158.
147
Cf. n. 100.
148
Cf. nn. 244; 244.1.
146

247. To establish, modify, or suppress provinces or pro-provinces is the competence of the
general Chapter, which bases its decisions on the spiritual, pastoral, and organizational
needs of the Congregation, taking traditions into account, and having previously consulted
the religious concerned.
248. For grave and urgent reasons and following the above mentioned criteria, the general
council may modify provinces or establish, modify, and suppress pro-provinces, subject to
the final approve of the general chapter.
249. The representation to the general chapter of the pro-provinces established during the sixyear term, is determined by the general council, upon consultation with the provincial
Superiors, and according to the criteria established by the general chapter149.
2. The Provincial Chapter
250. The provincial chapter is the assembly of confreres representing the province; within its
own jurisdiction, it has full powers and exercises them within the limits established by the
Constitutions.
251. The provincial chapter is composed of ex-officio and elected members. The ex- officio
members are: the provincial Superior, the provincial counsellors, and the local Superiors.
The elected members are the voting confreres elected to participate in the chapter according
to the provincial statutes, or their substitutes.
252. The proportion between the ex-officio members and those who are elected is established by
the provincial statutes, provided that the number of the latter not be inferior to that of the
former.
253. Representatives of each community are elected in local chapter by its own solemn
professed.
254. The Superior general may participate with full rights in the provincial chapter; or, he may
appoint an observer who has only a consultative vote150.
255. Substitute members participate with full rights in the provincial chapter when the elected
representatives are unable to participate and their written withdraw- al has been accepted
by the provincial Superior with the consent of his council. If the chapter is in session, the
chapter itself decides.
256. The Superior general, with the Consent Of his council, may authorize the convening of a
provincial chapter, in which all voting members of the province are present. This form of
chapter may also be contemplated by the provincial statutes.
                                                                                                                         
149

150

Cf. n. 199.

 Cf.  n.  218.h.  

257. Convocation of the provincial chapter is the competence of the provincial Superior, with
the consent of his council and the ratification of the general council, except for cases
foreseen by the Constitutions151.
258. Every provincial chapter has to be pre- ceded by an adequate consultation of the confreres,
according to the norms of the provincial statutes.
259. The provincial chapter may be:
a) preparatory, if it takes place in preparation for the general chapter;
b) ordinary, if it takes place periodically as established by the provincial statutes;
c) extraordinary, in other cases.
260. The provincial chapter in preparation for the general chapter is a periodic re- minder to the
province, that it belongs organically within the Congregation. Hence, it organizes its own
activity so as to bring the contribution of the province’s experience and reflection to the
analysis of the situation of the Congregation, even with respect to general planning.
Representatives of the province to the general chapter and their substitutes are elected in
this chapter.
261. The ordinary provincial chapter, in an attitude of searching for God’s will, examines life
within the province and its mode of response to local needs. It takes place at least every
three years and it may coincide with the preparatory chapter.
262. Dispensations and prorogations of an ordinary provincial chapter may be grant- ed, for
serious reasons, by the general council upon request of the provincial council, and after
consultation with the local chapters.
263. The extraordinary provincial chapter may be convoked:
a) through initiative of the provincial council;
b) upon request of the absolute majority of the local chapters;
c) upon request of the general council.
264. The provincial chapter is conducted according to appropriate regulations approved by the
chapter itself. Its deliberations must be ratified by the Superior general with the consent of
his council.
264.1 - Interpretations of, and temporary derogations from, the deliberations of the chapters
and from the provincial statutes are the competence of the provincial council, with ratification
of the general council.

3. The Provincial Superior

                                                                                                                         
151

 Cf.  nn.  263;  272.  

265. The provincial Superior is the guide and the coordinator of the life and activities of the
province, which he legitimately governs and represents. He has ordinary jurisdiction over
the confreres and communities of the province, and over its temporal goods, within the
limits established by the Constitutions and by the provincial statutes.
266. Any priest, with active and passive voice, may be appointed provincial Superior, provided
he is no less than thirty years old and that he has spent at least ten years since solemn
profession in the Congregation.
266.1 - The nomination of the provincial Superior is done by consultation within the province,
according to the norms established by the provincial statutes.
267. The provincial Superior is appointed by the Superior general with the consent of his
council, following nominations by the solemn professed religious of the province
concerned. His mandate is for three years and it may be renewed at the most for two more
consecutive times.
268. The provincial Superior is accountable for his government to the Superior general and to
the provincial chapter.
269. Within the limits of his competence, the provincial Superior:
a) fosters the family spirit and the orderly conduct of the communities and of the
individual religious;
b) assigns the religious to the different communities, according to the latter’s needs
and taking into consideration the preparation, talents and propensities of the
individual person;
c) maintains frequent contact with the communities and the religious of the province,
with other provincial Superiors, with the Superior general and his collaborators;
d) keeps in contact with bishops, ecclesiastical organizations, and religious families
working in the province;
e) frequently animates meetings, especially intercommunity meetings, of prayer and
revision of life, and takes part in organizational and program-setting chapters;
f) harmonizes the autonomy of the province with the life of the Congregation and of
the local Church;
g) provides for an adequate vocation promotion and formation;
h) coordinates the activities of the local Treasurers and controls the regularity of their
administrative and economic acts through the provincial Treasurer;
i) assures a fair sharing of goods among the communities of the province.
In all this he avails himself of the advice and help of his Consultors.
269.1 - The provincial Superior, upon consultation with his council:
a) admits to the sacred ministries152;
b) appoints the provincial Chancellor153;
c) appoints the local Treasurer154;

                                                                                                                         
152
153

Cf. n. 169.
Cf. n. 282.

d) appoints the provincial Treasurer155;
e) chooses his community of residence and participates in its life without necessarily
being a voting member, unless he has a specific role in the community;
f) admits to postulancy and dismisses from novitiate156.

270. During his mandate, the provincial Superior undertakes the canonical visitation of all the
communities of the province, of which he makes a report to the Superior general, to his
Consultors, and to the communities concerned.
270.1 - The canonical visitation of the houses where the provincial Superior resides will he
made by a Delegate of the provincial council.

271. The functions of the provincial Superior, whenever he cannot fulfill them, are exercised by
the provincial Vicar157.
272. When the office of the provincial Superior is left vacant through the inability or permanent
impediment, or resignation or death of the provincial Superior, his Vicar assumes his
functions and proceeds in accordance with the provincial statutes.
272.1 - In the event that the provincial Superior acts and governs in serious opposition to the
norms of universal and particular law, when this has been rigorously verified, the provincial
Vicar, with the consent of the other Consultors, reports the matter to the Superior general, who,
with the consent of his council, shall reach a decision within sixty days. If the provincial
Superior should have to be removed from office, the constitutional norms for the election of a
new provincial Superior will be followed158 .

273. At the end of his mandate, the provincial Superior consigns to the provincial archives and
to his successor all documents concerning his government.
273.1 - The provincial archives must have a permanent location and must be carefully and
discreetly safeguarded.

4. The Provincial Consultors
274. The Consultors are the ordinary advisors of the provincial Superior and. help him in the
government of the province. One of them, directly chosen by the Provincial Superior and
replaceable at his discretion, holds the permanent office of provincial Vicar.
275. The number of Consultors, the modalities of their election, and the duration of their term of
office are established by the provincial statutes, which shall define their competence, limits
of intervention, as well as the modalities of their eventual replacement.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
154

Cf. n. 298.1.
Cf. n. 281.1
156
Cf. nn. 134; 148.
157
Cf. n. 274.
158
Cf. n. 267.
155

5. The Provincial Council and Provincial Offices
276. The provincial council is formed by the provincial Superior and his Consultors. Its purpose
is to promote and guide, monitor, and coordinate the life of the province.
277. The provincial council in particular:
a) executes the deliberations of the general chapter and of the provincial chapters;
b) plans the activities of the province, especially through the provincial offices;
c) observes and evaluates the new experiences of life and apostolate;
d) annually examines and controls the reports of the provincial administration and of the
individual communities, and establishes the assessments of the communities for the
province and the Congregation.
278. The provincial council acts as a collegial organ of government when the Constitutions
expressly require its consent.
278.1 - The consent of the provincial council is required in the following cases:
a) convocation of extraordinary provincial chapters; request for a Visitor; and
dispensations or prorogations regarding the celebration of ordinary provincial
chapters159 ;
b) appointment of local Superiors, of Masters of novitiate and scholasticate, of the
Delegate for the canonical visitation to the residence of the provincial Superior, and of
the provincial Delegate160;
c) annual ratification of the local Vicars161;
d) admission to the novitiate, to first profession, to renewal of temporary vows of a
professed not approved by the local chapter162;
e) opinion on the admission to solemn profession and to sacred orders, and regarding the
readmission to the Congregation163 ;
f) decision regarding a written order in virtue of the vow of obedience, and regarding
resignation of the representatives elected to the provincial chapter164;
g) application and adaptation of norms for the formation and lifestyle of the professed;
permission to change dispositions made regarding temporal goods; decision regarding
the rights and duties of religious not numerous enough to form a chapter165;
h) establishment of interprovincial houses and pertinent juridical norms166;
i) control of the financial reports of the provincial administration and of the individual
communities; determination of assessments; decision regarding acts of extraordinary
administration and adaptation of norms regarding poverty to the civil laws of a given
country167;
j) other eventual interventions established by the provincial statutes168.
                                                                                                                         
159

Cf. nn. 263; 239; 262.
Cf. nn. 291; 145; 160; 270.1; 280.
161
Cf. nn. 295.
162
Cf. nn. 137; 142.1; 150; 156.
163
Cf. nn. 164; 170; 60.
164
Cf. nn. 86; 255.
160

 

165

Cf. nn. 158; 152; 288.1.
Cf. n. 307.
167
Cf. nn. 277.d; 310; 75.1.
168
Cf. nn. 275.
166

278.2 - Annually, the provincial council sends to the Superior general a report on the state of
the province, on eventual ongoing experiments and on special provincial or interprovincial
initiatives.

279. In governing the province, the provincial Superior and his council avail themselves of the
provincial offices established by the Constitutions26169 and of other offices eventually to be
provided by the provincial statutes.
279.1 - The appointment, the competence, and the duration of the provincial offices are
established by the provincial statutes.

279.2 - The coordination of the activities of the provincial offices of the various provinces is
the competence of the Superior general.

280. To coordinate houses and activities of the province, which, by reason of distance or other
motives, find themselves in particular situations, a provincial Delegate may be appointed
by the provincial Superior with the consent of his council. His status and functions shall be
defined in the act of appointment.
281. The provincial Treasurer has charge of the administration of the goods of the province;
guides and coordinates the local administrations, according to the norms of the
Constitutions and of the provincial statutes; and gives a report of his administration to the
provincial chapter. His other duties are indicated by the Constitutions170.
281.1 - The provincial Treasurer is appointed by the provincial Superior consultation with his
council. He is chairman of the Provincial Finance Office, and participates in the provincial
council meetings, regarding financial matters. His mandate is annual and is tacitly renewable.

281.2 - Normally, the provincial Treasurer cannot be Consultor; however, should he be a
Consultor, he has no right to vote on the appraisal of his administration.

282. The provincial Chancellor is appointed by the provincial Superior upon consultation with
his council. He has tasks and duties analogous to those of the Chancellor general28171 and,
normally, the care of the provincial archives and the control of the local archives is
entrusted to him.

                                                                                                                         
169
170
171

Cf. nn. 281-282.
Cf. nn. 311-312.
Cf. n. 236.

CHAPTER V
LOCAL STRUCTURES
"Just as it is the duty of the Superiors to
procure in charity the good of the subjects,
in the same way it is necessary that the
subjects help the Superiors faithfully to keep
the law".
(Holy Founder)172

283. At the local level, the Congregation consists of communities that find in the religious house
their juridical entity.
I. The Local Community
284. The local community is the whole of the confreres regularly assigned to it by the Superiors'
appointment. The community, animated and directed by the local Superior, rules its own
internal life and pursues its apostolic aims in the framework of the province and of the local
Church
1. The Local Chapter
285. The local chapter is the assembly of the members of the community with the right to vote,
convoked and presided over by the local Superior173. The local chapter may be convoked
also at the request of the Discreets174, or the majority of the voting members.
286. The local chapter may be convoked directly by the Superior general or by the provincial
Superior; both may participate in it with full rights.
287. The local chapter:
a) organizes the life of the community, promptly assigning at the beginning of each
year, offices and duties within its competence, and setting up times and modalities
for community activities;
b) establishes criteria of collaboration with lay groups and movements that assist the
apostolate of the community;
c) supervises and coordinates the :various sectors of activity and decides on initiatives
that significantly involve the community;
d) cares for the preservation of the spiritual, cultural, scientific, and artistic patrimony
of the community;
                                                                                                                         
172

Const. XIV.
Cf. nn. 36-37.
174
Cf. nn. 190; 296-297.
173

 

e) plans the financial administration in its various sectors, examines and controls the
annual financial reports and decides on the expenses within its competence and
within the province financial plan;
f) examines the topics of the general and provincial chapters, formulating and voting
on eventual propositions, and electing the representatives of the local community
and their substitutes to the provincial chapter;
g) expresses its opinion, in particular cases, for the admission of the renewal of
temporary vows
288. A community forms a chapter if it consists of at least three voting members, including the
Superior175.
288.1 - The rights and duties of non- chapter forming religious are regulated by the provincial
statutes or, for unforeseen cases, by the provincial council.

2. The Local Superior
289. The local Superior is the confrere who presides over and governs the community as first
responsible, animator of its life and coordinator of the activities of the confreres176.
290. Any voting priest who, from his solemn profession, has spent at least five years in the
Congregation, may be appointed Superior.
291. The appointment of the local Superior is the competence of the provincial Superior, with
the consent of his council and previous suitable consultation: Ratification of the
appointment pertains to the general council.
292. The mandate of the local Superior is for one year and it is renewable for a maximum of six
consecutive years in the same community; in order to extend it beyond its limit, and, in any
case, no more than another six years, the provincial council must obtain the consent of the
general council.
293. The local Superior:
a) fosters unity, fraternal collaboration, and regular observance in the community;
b) coordinates personal work and community activities, harmonizing the talents and
propensities of the individuals;
c) assures the functioning of the community offices, listening to, exhorting, and correcting
fraternally those directly in charge;
d) is available at the request of the religious, creating a climate of respect and freedom for
all;
e) maintains stable relations of sincere collaboration with the provincial Superior and with
other communities;
f) invites the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate of the community and helps the
community to share in the problems of the environment in which it lives;
                                                                                                                         
175
176

Cf. n. 156.
Cf. nn. 35; 185.

g) encourages regular contacts with the local Church and fosters the opportune association
with public and private institutions;
h) informs the community of his activities and perceptions in his office, as they may be of
interest to the confreres or may regard particular sectors of community life.
294. The local Superior, upon consultation with his council:
a) gathers the confreres for mutual spiritual animation and for an ongoing revision of
community life;
b) subjects the apostolic activity of the community to constant evaluation and updating in
harmony with the needs of the local Church and of the province.
295. The functions of the local Superior, if he cannot fulfill them, are performed by his Vicar,
annually chosen by him from among the voting members of the community, with the
ratification of the provincial council.
295.1 - Other eventual functions and competencies of the Vicar shall be established by the
provincial statutes, by the chapter, and by the local Superior.

3. The Local Council and the Community Offices
296. The Discreets are confreres elected annually by the chapters as counsellors to the Superior
in regard to problems which do not require convocation of the chapter. They, with the
Superior, form the local council.
296.1 - The number of Discreets, not higher than four, is annually, decided upon by the local
chapter; in the communities with less than six voting members, the chapter may take the place
of the local council in its functions.

297. The local council:
a) facilitates prompt information about, and just evaluation of, facts regarding the
community;
b) periodically controls the financial and economic situation of the community, along with
the various accounts;
c) examines the Acts of the house and the minutes of the chapters, the Mass registers and
the fulfillment of the bequests and related obligations.
298. The local Treasurer manages the goods of the community and provides for the material
necessities of the confreres and of the house. Periodically he gives an account of his actions
to the Superior and to the community. Other duties of his are indicated by the
Constitutions177.
298.1 - The local Treasurer is appointed every year by the provincial Superior, upon
consultation with the community, the council, and the provincial Treasurer.

                                                                                                                         
177

Cf. nn. 311-312.

299. The community Chancellor is annually appointed by the local Superior, upon consultation
with his council. He writes the Acts of the house and attends the local archives, collecting
documents of interest to the community and the Congregation.
300. In addition to offices foreseen by the Constitutions178 and by the provincial statutes, each
local chapter may establish others which are necessary for the community, such as: prefect
of sacristy; vocation promoter; librarian; infirm and guest attendant.
II. The Religious Houses
301. The establishing of a new religious house, center of vital encounter for the confreres, shall
always have as its purpose the evangelical witness and apostolic commitment of the
community in the local Church.
302. Establishment and suppression of religious houses are decreed by the general chapter
according to the norms of law.
303. Outside the general chapter, the general council, upon initiative also of the provinces, may
provide for the establishment and suppression of religious houses.
303.1 - Unless otherwise indicated by universal and particular law, the goods of a suppressed
house are transferred to the administration responsible for the house.

304. All houses which do not belong to a province or pro-province are under the immediate
jurisdiction of the Superior general.
305. In the houses directly dependent on the Superior general, where not otherwise prescribed:
a) the appointment of the local Superior is the competence of the Superior general, upon
hearing the opinion of his council and previous suitable consultation;
b) the administration is controlled by the Treasurer general;
c) representation of the voting members at the general chapter is decided by the previous
general chapter or by the general council according to criteria adopted by the same
chapter179.
306. The general council, for serious reasons, and by way of exception, may temporarily reserve
to the immediate jurisdiction of the Superior general certain houses of a province, normally
without their loss of rights and duties in the province itself.
306.1 - In the houses temporarily dependent on the Superior general, the juridical relation of
the individual voting members with the province to which they belong, and the pertinent right
to active and passive voice, are governed by particular norms given by the general council.

                                                                                                                         
178
179

Cf. nn. 295; 296; 298; 299.
Cf. n. 199.

307. Religious houses of interprovincial nature may be established by initiative of the general
chapter, general council, or various provincial councils. The juridical status is governed by
agreement between the provinces concerned, with the general council’s ratification.

CHAPTER VI
ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION
"Happy are we, as long as our mind be so
rooted in the desire for Poverty, not to want
to be the kind of poor who have plenty of
something but the kind to whom many
needful things are lacking".
(Holy Founder)180

308. The Congregation does not place its security in its temporal goods, but in the Lord from
whom it recognizes that it has received them as gift and stewardship; their destination, use,
and administration follow criteria of justice, solidarity, and love, evangelically in
opposition to the selfishness which destroys society and which is a constant temptation
even for the religious community.
309. The Congregation has the right to acquire, possess, administer, and dispose of temporal
goods. The same night is held by the province and individual houses within the limits
established by universal and particular law.
310. Sales, purchases, leases, transformation, and demolition of real estate, loans, acceptance of
inheritances, life annuities, and donations are acts of extraordinary administration and must
be authorized by the general council, upon previous consultation with the local chapter and
the provincial council. Regarding these extraordinary acts, the general council may
determine the amount for which the provincial council is also competent. In any case, the
norms of universal law and the decisions of the Holy See must be taken into account.
311. Treasurers are confreres who look after the administration of the goods of
the Congregation, provinces and communities, under the guidance and control of the
respective Superiors, councils and chapters, assisted by the financial offices, according to
the norms of universal and particular law in conformity with civil laws181.
312. The Treasurer within his competence:
a) carries out seriously and faithfully the directives of the chapters and the Superiors with
their councils;
b) prepares, at predetermined times, financial reports and budgets for chapters and
councils;
c) gives to the competent offices the financial reports for the necessary reviews;
d) cooperates with the Chancellor for the periodic updating of inventories, property deeds,
and acts regarding patrimony;
e) coordinates the accounting of the various sectors of activity;
                                                                                                                         
180

 

181

Const. IV.
Cf. nn. 235; 281; 298.

f) guarantees to our employees a remuneration in accord with justice and charity;
g) provides for the confreres' social and medical assistance, according to existing laws.
312.1 - Other provisions relative to the administration of temporal goods are to be found in the
appropriate regulations.

313. It is the duty of every community to contribute to the needs of the Congregation, of the
province, and especially of the poorer houses. The Superiors and their councils effect in
concrete ways this sharing of goods in a spirit of true fraternity.

EPILOGUE
"It's a very good thing to have our
Superiors' orders and commands in writing.
But this is of little avail if these orders are
not written in our hearts as well".
(Holy Founder)182

314. The present Constitutions delineate to the confreres the commitments arising from their
consecration to God in community life and in apostolic activity, according to the charism of
the Congregation. They do not replace, but presuppose and better specify the common
rules of human and Christian conduct and the norms of the Church; they do not mean to
"weigh down, but to lighten and to lead above the law, not by force, but by love"183. In
requiring each confrere to observe them, in virtue of the obligation assumed by the
religious profession, the Congregation recognizes in the mystery of Christ the inspiring
motive of its own laws, and in love, "fruit of the Spirit"184 the supreme norm of its own
existence, life, and work.

                                                                                                                         
182

Letter VII.
Holy Founder, Const. XVII.
184
 Gal 5:22  
183