General Statutues

General Statutes

(On C. 2)

01. The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (C.Ss.R.) unites priests, deacons and lay members who, both in the religious house and outside of it, work together in brotherly union, carrying out one and the same mission. Each and all of these, even though they follow Christ in his living of the hidden life, aim at becoming the leaven of the Gospel in the world:

  • either by devoting themselves to the preaching of salvation and the ministry of the                liturgy;
  • or by undertaking other works that are, properly speaking, apostolic;
  • or by engaging in technical and professional work.

02. The Congregation may take as associates ‘oblates’ both cleric and lay. In doing so, it should envisage and seek to recruit helpers for our apostolate. They may be either permanent or temporary. (Vice)provinces should define in more detail the actual forms this association will take (cf. 085).

03. The Congregation is governed both by the common law of the Church and by particular law. This latter is contained in the constitutions approved by the Apostolic See, in the general statutes and the norms of the directories laid down by the general chapter, and in the (vice)provincial statutes, i.e., those made by (vice)provincial chapters.

The Directory of Chapters has force of law. The Directory of Superiors, however, has force of law only where it lists the matters in which superiors and councils are competent, or where it merely cites the common or particular law, and then the obligation is that of the law it cites.

04. The Congregation enjoys exemption. Nevertheless, its communities and members in fact and in law are part of the local church, and share its benefits and fortunes, its difficulties, its persecutions and trials. Consequently they have the responsibility of coming to the assistance of the people of God in their needs and of co-operating wholeheartedly with the local church as its pastoral programme requires, always keeping in mind the particular character of the Congregation (cf. CC. 18, 66, 135). [1]

05. The members honour the Most Holy Redeemer as the titular patron of the Congregation. They honour the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of the lmmaculate Conception, under which title she has been officially designated patroness of the Congregation. They honour her also under the title of Mother of Perpetual Help, and the Congregation has been commissioned by the Holy See to spread devotion to her under this title. They honour Saint Joseph; the holy Apostles; Saint Alphonsus, their founder, their father and model; Saint Clement, renowned for his part in spreading the Congregation; Saint Gerard, who is especially the model of the brothers’ life; Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, outstanding for his pastoral zeal, and Blessed Peter Donders, distinguished for his missionary service directed to the salvation of the whole human person; and also Blessed Kaspar Stanggassinger, tirelessly devoted to the promotion of priestly and religious vocations, and Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, faithful companion of St. Alphonsus. [2]

06. The seal of the Congregation consists of a cross with a lance and sponge mounted on three hills; on either side of the cross are the abbreviated names of Jesus and Mary; above the cross is an eye sending forth rays; over all a crown. Around the seal is the motto: “With Him is Plentiful Redemption” (cf. Ps. 129:7).

07. The use of our religious habit is to be determined in more detail by the (vice)provincial statutes, taking account of C. 45, 4°.

08. Let the members value highly the contemplative apostolate of the nuns of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer. They have a common origin with us, are dedicated to the same purpose and participate in the ministry of the Congregation. For this reason they should be regularly informed of our labours, so that through their spiritual help the word of God may spread and be received with honour. We must also be ready to help them in a brotherly spirit.

A special secretariat in the general curia deals with matters concerning the nuns of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer.


(On CC. 3-20)

Art. 1: The People to be Evangelized (On CC. 3-5)

09. Criterion:

a. The members of the Congregation must be tireless in seeking out people who are more deprived of spiritual help, especially the poor, the powerless and the oppressed. In doing this, they should be guided by the norms given by the (vice)provincial chapter, take into account the particular needs of each region and act in co-ordination with other pastoral workers.

b. Redemptorists can never be deaf to the cry of the poor and the oppressed, but have the duty to search for ways of helping them, so that they themselves will be able to overcome the evils that oppress them. This essential element of the Gospel must never be lacking in the proclamation of the word of God.

Groups of the Faithful for whom the Church has not net been able to provide Sufficient Means of Salvation

Such can be considered those groups who are spiritually abandoned, either because of shortage of priests, or because of social conditions. The following would be examples:

  •  country people in some regions;
  • very many emigrants, exiles, refugees and others like them;
  • those who live or work in overcrowded areas of large cities;
  • those who “see themselves unjustly excluded from the principal civil rights enjoyed           by others, because of their race or colour.” [3]

011. Those who have never heard the Church’s Message

a. The Congregation recognizes that the greatest work of missionary charity and the primary mission of the Church is the preaching of the Gospel to peoples who are ignorant of the message of Christ and of his saving mercy.

The Church realizes that in this field a vast amount of missionary work still remains to be done. [4]

Our Congregation is already engaged in this primary mission of the Church, and has every intention of devoting greater efforts to it.

Complying with the wishes of the Church, individual (vice)provinces must examine whether they can co-operate with provinces already working in the missions, by sharing personnel or temporal goods, or even by taking on new missions themselves.

b. Members who take on this apostolate follow the Redeemer in an eminent way, and, moreover, put into effect the intention of our holy founder who used earnestly to exhort his sons to “cultivate a genuine concern for peoples not yet Christian”, and wished them to bind themselves by a vow to “undertake missions to non-Christians.” [5]

c. Members intending to enter a new mission territory must be versed in the science of missiology, because close co-operation between the people called to the faith and the missionaries is essential for the thorough adaptation of the whole Christian life. They must make every effort to master the language of the people, study their culture, and get to know their religion and customs.

They should highly esteem whatever they find to be good and true in the tradition of the people and methodically incorporate it into their life of faith. In this way they build up a Church that is truly native to the territory and is at the same time a sign of the universal Church. [6]

In order to hand on the riches of the Church’s religious tradition, let the members also endeavour to plant our Congregation where they are working on the missions, so that it may be better able to serve the people in accordance with their character and natural talents. [7]

Foreign missioners should always regard themselves as called to help the people of the territory in such a way that, when the time comes, in a spirit of charity and self-denial, they gladly make way for local clergy.

d. To secure the best possible co-operation, superiors of the Congregation should draw up an agreement regarding mutual rights and obligations with the ordinary of the place. Likewise, a clear inventory should be made of the property that belongs to the Congregation and of the property of the diocese. [8]

012. Those who do not receive the Church’s Message as the ‘Good News’

These are persons or groups “in the midst of whom the Church already exists”, but who do not set any value on Christ or are estranged from the Church.

Atheism infiltrates life and institutions very considerably in many areas. The members of the Congregation must make a serious study and appraisal of it in all its aspects, including the positive ones; for this can help to promote authentic Christian belief. (cf. St. 014b ) [9]

013. Those who suffer harm because of division in the Church

The members must encourage whatever can contribute to the union of all who believe in Christ. This holds good for all Redemptorists who work in this our pluralistic society, but above all for those who are expressly assigned to ecumenical work.

For this task missionaries need genuine self-denial, humility and gentleness in the service they give, as well as brotherly open-mindedness towards others. Therefore, their success in promoting the union of all Christians will be in proportion to their own earnest efforts to lead a life ever more in accord with the Gospel. [10]

014. The Faithful in Need of Continual Conversion

a. The missionary work of the Congregation among the faithful is always prominent, since the Church must continually preach faith and repentance to believers. Moreover, it is from among the faithful that missionary vocations must be cultivated if the Congregation is to carry on its work everywhere. [11]

b. The approach in missionary work with those who belong to the family of the faith should be directed principally to renewal of faith. This is necessary because the faithful in our time are undergoing a widespread crisis of faith. For the social climate, marked as it is by cultural pluralism, can no longer be called Christian, nor does it give support to the external structures of the faith.

Nevertheless, the new conditions which affect religion in life itself challenge people to a purification of that life and to a more earnest commitment to faith. [12]

c. Let the members teach the laity that their special vocation in the Church is to live in the spirit of the Gospel, and so co-operate in sanctifying the world, acting on it as it were from within after the manner of a leaven .

Let them bring the people of God to intensify their apostolic activity, since the apostolate of the laity has its own most necessary role in the mission of the Church. For the Church is not fully alive, nor is it a perfect sign of Christ among people, unless there is a laity true to their call living and working in it. [13]

015. Pastoral Service for Priests

Priests assigned generally to the ordinary care of souls are the natural educators in faith.

However, no one is unacquainted with the difficulties which confront priests in conditions of modern life.

There are new obstacles to faith; there is the apparent lack of results from their work; there is the distressing loneliness which they may experience. Such things can put them in danger of losing heart.

For these reasons our missionaries must show special concern for priests. They must try to strengthen their faith and sustain their hope in the midst of today’s pastoral conditions, through human contacts and through every means at their disposal. [15]

Art. 2: Certain Forms of Missionary Work (On CC. 13-16)

016. General Principle

The forms of the ministry mentioned in the following statutes are to be employed resolutely and courageously where they are really effective, and they should be constantly adapted to pastoral needs. [16]

017. Missions to the People

a. The Church is holy, and yet it is always in need of purification. Since it embraces sinners in its fold, it follows continually the way of repentance and renewal.

History shows that for this purpose missions have proved a most effective means. They are a form of the extraordinary pastoral ministry which proclaims the message of salvation and conversion (kerygmatic preaching). Indeed they are a continued redemption which the Son of God is always effecting in the world through means of his ministers.

b. The giving of spiritual renewals or repetitions of the mission is strongly recommended as a way of consolidating the fruits of the mission. The giving of renewals is a distinctive mark of the Congregation.

018. The Parochial Ministry

Members assigned to this ministry should perform their parochial duties with wholehearted dedication. They should bear well in mind that the more they are activated by the missionary spirit, the more they are, as it were, engaged in a continual mission.


Let the members do everything possible to promote catechetical education in whatever type of pastoral activity they are engaged. Its object is, through means of instruction, to enlighten people’s faith, give them a greater understanding of it, and make it a living faith that will show itself in action. They should co-operate with catechetical institutes established for this purpose. [17]

020. Spiritual Exercises

The members should conduct spiritual exercises for clerics, religious and lay people either in their own houses or elsewhere. With a zeal that is truly ecclesial, they should make every effort to bring people to a deeper understanding of the mysteries of salvation, with the result that they become real missionaries.

Lay people especially should be brought to understand clearly what their role in the Church is, and to realise the responsibility they have as Christians towards their brothers and sisters. (cf. St. 014 c, d).

021. Promoting Justice and Human Progress

The Church is sent to bring freedom and salvation to the whole human person and to form all people and the whole world in Christ, something which must always be borne in mind in the work of evangelization. Therefore the members should try to establish works which have for their aim human and social progress, and this above all in regions which are still in a state of development.

They should do this in ways that are in keeping with the varying local circumstances, and the needs of evangelization. They should co-operate closely with organizations and institutions already set up for this purpose.[18]

(Vice)provincial statutes will regulate this matter in more detail, always keeping in mind the Congregation’s missionary charism in the Church.

022. The Apostolate through Communication Media

The communication media help considerably in spreading the kingdom of God and strengthening it. The Congregation employs these extensively in its pastoral ministry. It makes use of publications, both popular and scientific, the arts, and audiovisual presentations.

Chapters should examine the question of carrying on the apostolate through these communication media. (Vice)provincial governments also should make it possible for members who are capable to be trained in their use. [19]

023. The Study of Moral and Pastoral Theology

Members should devote themselves to the study of theological and human sciences in compliance with the wishes of the Church. Through this study they will be qualified to offer to the people of God the helps necessary for salvation in the living of their daily lives. They should give particular attention to the study of moral and pastoral theology and of spirituality as required by the character of the Congregation and taking example from its history. [20]

It is for this purpose that the Alphonsian Academy has been set up in Rome. It should be maintained and supported by the whole Congregation, since its scope is very closely connected with the purpose of the Congregation.

024. Spiritual Direction

Saint Alphonsus was highly distinguished by his charism for spiritual direction, and our tradition has always held it in high esteem. It is exceptionally important in our times when people are given to such continual self-questioning. [21]

This ministry must be given new forms suitable to the mentality of the people of today. These could be: counseling, questions and replies in periodicals, etc. Where such forms already exist, our members should make use of them, but making contributions that are distinctive of the Congregation. [22]

Art. 3: Adaptation of Methods in the Apostolate (On CC. 17-19)

025. a. (Vice)provincial meetings of the members should be promoted under the inspiration and guidance of the (vice)provincial superior and with the co-operation of the secretariats concerned. They should deal with theological, pastoral and similar branches of knowledge and with the adaptation of methods in the apostolate. Such meetings must be held regularly so as to give them a certain stability (cf. C. 126; SS. 0114, 0155);

b. To develop the work of the apostolate, it seems very opportune that (vice)provincial governments, in conjunction with the secretariat for apostolic life, should set up particular groups of members to experiment with new types of missionary work. Experiments of this kind should be carried out in collaboration with the local church (cf. CC. 36-38; SS. 045, 049).


[On CC. 21-45)

Art. 1: The Importance of Community

026. Those also share in community, of which C. 22 speaks, who by way of exception, and with the authority of the community, live alone, because their ministry demands it and engage in a work which is a concern of the community.

027. Both superiors and the members themselves will see to it that the members of the different houses come together at stated times to foster the spirit of fraternal cooperation. And this holds in a particular way for those confreres who live and work alone by mandate of the community itself. while keeping united with it in spirit.

Art. 2: A Community of Prayer

028. a. Since the eucharistic mystery manifests community and is the source of its life and growth, it is very much to be desired that it be concelebrated or celebrated with community participation.

Over and above this, the members should have much at heart daily conversation with Christ the Lord in thanksgiving after communion, in visits and personal worship of the Most Holy Eucharist.

b. Moreover, a since the divine office is the voice of the Church publicly praising God ” (SC, 99), care must be taken that at least some part of it is celebrated in common (cf. C. 30).

c. The (vice)provincial statutes will decide how often the members must come together every day for prayer in common in accordance with C. 30.

029. They will give themselves more completely to interior communion with God through means of the spiritual exercises for one day almost every month and for eight days every year.

(Vice)provincial statutes will make more detailed provision on this.

Art. 3: A Community of Brothers

030. The administrative structure of the community should always be such that it brings the members into communion with one another and promotes a spirit of fraternity. This, of necessity, has first place in their community life. [23]

For this reason the community should be organized in the way that best preserves and develops this spirit. This should be borne in mind especially in the case of large communities.

031. All the members should make every effort to be always faithful in meeting the innumerable demands of charity, which help to develop human and Christian maturity; such things as showing mutual respect, helping one another, showing concern in a very discreet way for confreres beset with difficulties or afflicted with worries; being generous in welcoming and showing hospitality to visiting confreres; a spirit of brotherly service, taking one’s share in domestic chores and similar things.

032. They should, above all, regard fraternal correction, as it is called (cf. Matt. 18:15), as a most important contribution to the building up of the community and its preservation, since community has its foundation in personal relationships and evangelical friendship (cf. C. 34)

033. All should, likewise, take special care that confreres beginning their career in the ministry of the Congregation become genuinely merged in the life and activities of the community.

034. Sick and aged confreres, weighed down as they sometimes are by loneliness, must always receive special care and assistance, above all as their last hour approaches.

On their part, these confreres, whether sick or advanced in years or burdened with other afflictions, should at Christ’s invitation accept their condition in a spirit of faith and generosity. Their life of prayer, the experience they have acquired, and the services they still are able to render can be a source of inspiration to the younger confreres.

The relatives, especially the parents of the confreres, the benefactors of the Institute, as well as its devoted helpers, are closely linked with our religious family. Therefore, they have a special claim to consideration and affection, particularly if they are in need or in difficulties.

036. The charity of the members must also embrace deceased confreres and other deceased who deserve to be remembered with gratitude.

(Vice)provincial statutes are to decide what suffrages are to be applied for them. With regard to the entire Congregation, the names of deceased members are to be communicated to the (vice)provinces by the general government.

Let the general government make provision for the suffrages to be applied for a superior general, even one who was no longer in office.

Art. 4: A Community of Work

037. In each community the superior must be the one who gives impetus to continual adaptation. Consequently, at times laid down by (vice)provincial statutes, he will arrange to have meetings of the members for the discussion and review of those theological, pastoral and similar branches of knowledge which bear more directly on their activity. These meetings should result in the members being strengthened in the hope of their calling, and in acquiring a fresh approach to their ministry (cf. CC 38, 73, 90, 103, 136, 139; St. 048).

In such study sessions they should always give consideration to the needs of the local church and keep its pastoral programme always before their minds (cf. CC. 18, 135; St. 04).

When some apostolic work has been completed, or when they come to the end of a period of community living, the members will make a review of it in a suitable way to try to discover the designs of God, and look to the interests of the Church more effectively.

Art. 5: A Community of Conversion

038. In order to make spiritual progress and to correct their faults and mistakes, the members will make a review of life by means of some community exercise. They will make it several times a year at times decided by the (vice)provincial statutes. In this exercise they must examine how they perform their duties and how they observe the constitutions and statutes, especially in matters regarding brotherly love and missionary charity. This review of life is fittingly included in the monthly recollection where it is made in common.

039. (Vice)provincial statutes will lay down certain community penitential exercises to be performed on one or other day in the week and at certain seasons of the liturgical year. [24]

040. Our priests approved for hearing confessions by any superior of the Congregation are thereby approved for all the houses and members of the Congregation, unless their own or another competent superior expressly refuses this extension of jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction is granted to every confessor, approved by any ordinary whatsoever, to whom a member wishes to make his confession.

Art. 6: An Organized Community

041. Norms for the proper ordering of communities have reference especially to the following:

a. Human relations, such, for example, as the manner of leaving the house, paying visits to relatives and outsiders, etc.

b. The conditions that are conducive to study, common prayer, relaxation of mind and the personal progress of each, e.g., silence and the order of the day.

The (vice)provincial statutes will lay down which of these and similar matters are to be decided by the local communities themselves and which by the (vice)provincial council (cf. C. 137 b).


(On CC. 46-76)

Art. 1: Chastity

042. In their efforts to be faithful in cultivating chastity, the members should put their trust in the words of the Lord. Let them never presume on their own strength, but rely on God’s help and on the abiding assistance of the Blessed Virgin.

Art. 2: Poverty

043. The Congregation’s own law, to which C. 68 makes reference, is contained in the decree of Pius X “Ut tollatur” of 31 August, 1909 and that of Benedict XV of 7 May, 1918.

044. The voluntary pooling of all goods in common leads in a wonderful way to the desire for fellowship and sharing with those in lowly circumstances, especially the poor.

For poverty implies mutual sharing, after the example of Christ who gave all things to us.

Therefore, since the members belong to an Institute devoted to the evangelization of the poor, they must be keenly sensitive to the poverty of the world and to the grave social problems afflicting practically all peoples.

Poverty of every kind, whether it be material, moral or spiritual, must challenge their apostolic zeal.

The legitimate aspirations of the poor will be their aspirations.

045. The members can, in certain cases, be called upon, with the consent of the community, to share the actual destitution and insecurity of the poor in lowly conditions.

Opportune experiments in this matter which manifest and contribute to the human and Christian maturity of the apostolic worker can be made in accordance with the requirements of each (vice)province.

046. 1° The community has the obligation of supplying the members with all they need; the (vice)provincial statutes shall determine this matter in greater detail.

2° The common life of the members must be truly adapted to the mentality of each region and give effective witness to poverty and solidarity with the poor. For this purpose the (vice)provincial statutes shall lay down concrete norms, especially on the following:

a. the dependent use of material goods in everyday life and the asking of permissions;

b. the life style of the individual and the community, taking into account conditions in particular places;

c. periodic review with the aim of furthering the practice of poverty in a really genuine way;

d. new ways of living poverty and of taking on personal responsibility in the matter.

047. For this purpose a definite sum of money determined by (vice)provincial decrees can be granted habitually to the members for their own use, either by reason of their office or of necessity. This can be done provided its use is defined, an account of its spending is given to the superior, and even the appearance of a peculium is avoided.

Art. 3: Obedience

048. a. With an obedience that is thoughtful and active, the members exercise their common responsibility in searching for means suited to the different places where they must carry out the mission of the Congregation.

b. When the community has taken a decision on any matter, all will wholeheartedly unite their efforts in carrying it out.

049. The Holy Spirit dispenses gifts and charisms for the apostolate (cf.1 Cor. 2:1-30). Because he has received these charisms, each member has the right and duty to employ them in the service of the ecclesial community (ib. 12:7), in communion with his confreres and especially with those in charge (ib. 12:28). It is for the latter to pass judgment on the nature of these gifts and their proper use, not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but so as to test all things and retain for use what is good (cf. 1 Thess. 5:19-22; 1 John 4:1-7). The members should bear in mind that the “higher charisms” (1 Cor. 12:31) are directed to charity as to a “more excellent way” (ib. 13:1).



(On CC. 77-90)

Art. 1: The Careful Selection of Vocations

050. Every (vice)province will organize all that is required for encouraging, seeking out and developing vocations. It should always do this in a spirit of genuine co-operation with those appointed for this pastoral duty in the universal Church and especially in dioceses and regions. [25]

The suitability of candidates for life in the Congregation must be clearly established. Therefore careful inquiry should be made:

a. concerning the physical and mental health required of the candidates for our apostolic life, and their capacity for normal social relationships. These qualifications should be established by common norms and, when necessary, confirmed by reliable tests carried out by experts. [26]

b. concerning the moral character of the candidates, their immediate family background and their family history.

c. concerning the candidates’ intellectual fitness for the work of our apostolate.

d. above all, concerning those qualities of mind and heart which are required if the candidates are to give themselves totally to God and their neighbour within the community life of the Congregation.

052. New ways of promoting vocations must be found, so as to ensure the young men’s freedom of choice in a way that is more human and more in touch with reality. They must be ways that promote and consolidate the maturity required in the candidates.

Among these ways should be included institutes and programmes which take care of what are called late vocations. [27]

053. There are (vice)provinces which maintain secondary or high schools for boys and young men for the purpose of developing incipient vocations. In these schools particular attention should be given to the human and religious formation of the students, a formation which will bring them to that maturity and give them that human culture which will be a solid foundation for the strengthening and development of their faith. Thus they will be led to follow Christ the Redeemer with generosity and purity of heart.

The students should, as far as possible, lead a life similar to that of young men of their own age. They should have appropriate experience of life in the world, and retain contacts with their own families.

They should receive the cultural and scientific training which qualifies young people in their country for higher studies. [28]

Art. 2: Training of Candidates

054. The candidates should be given an integral training throughout the whole course of formation. It should be one that takes in every aspect of human and Christian life.

If, however, there are some who are not suitable, they should be told in good time, so that they can withdraw from our life, and with full awareness of their Christian vocation, be helped to enter readily on the apostolate of the laity.

I. Attaining Maturity

055. The psychological maturity which the candidates must achieve consists in that stability of mind which is required for the dedication of oneself to God through celibacy as a charism, and for the living of the other evangelical counsels. It is also required that they be able to make balanced judgments concerning people and events, and be capable of coming to well-considered decisions, so that they can live the life of the apostolic community. [29]

II. Spiritual Formation

056. The candidates are to be thoroughly trained in how to seek Christ the Redeemer through constant meditation on the word of God, especially the Gospels, through prayer and the celebration of the sacred liturgy. Imbibing the spirit of the evangelical counsels and the beatitudes and drawn to their practice, they will follow Christ with an ardent love. They must be penetrated with a sense of the mystery of the Church and learn to share its total life. Let them love and venerate with great trust the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, Saint Alphonsus and the other saints of the Congregation. [30]

III. Formation for Community Life

057. They shall be trained also in the practice of the virtues necessary for the apostolic community life. These are: brotherly love, self-denial, availability to all, especially the lowly and the poor, the ability to work in close co-operation with others in the labours of the apostolate, daring and firm confidence, simplicity and sincerity of heart, tolerance and kindness, the ability to suffer cheerfully in want, in labours, in trials and affliction and in persecutions for the sake of Christ (cf. C. 20; 2 Cor. 3-7; 10-12). [31]

IV. Pastoral Formation

058. The pastoral orientation of the whole course of training is a distinctive feature of missionary formation, and this must be clearly in evidence. Everything relating to formation – both studies and spiritual life – must be combined with practical apostolic exercises and experience, in order that the candidates may be able to renew and increase their own faith in the mystery of salvation and so be prepared to preach the Gospel with confidence to others. [32]

059. Lest they prove unequal to their task, as members of a religious institute dedicated to the apostolate, they should be properly instructed, according to the intellectual gifts and personal talents of each, in the prevailing behaviour patterns of contemporary social life and in its characteristic ways of feeling and thinking. [33]

Art. 3: The Teachers

060. The teachers shall play an active part in the work of formation and co-operate closely with directors. They should be duly trained in the method of teaching, qualified in the subjects they teach, and be provided with appropriate aids for their office. [34]

To secure more fruitful results from the programme of formation of the members, the staff of each institution should consult together at definitive intervals, and afterwards harmonize their plans with those of the other institutions of formation. Nor should they neglect association and collaboration with the personnel of other seminaries which may be within easy reach.

Art. 4: First Formation for the Apostolic Life

061. It is left to the (vice)provincial statutes to decide the obligation, the nature and the duration of the postulancy within the limits of the common law.

062. a. The novitiate begins canonically on the day determined by the (vice)provincial superior in a legal document, and it must be made in a house designated by the superior general with the consent of his council.

b. It is the function of the (vice)provincial superior with the consent of his council to admit candidates to the novitiate and novices to temporary profession and to admit temporarily professed members to perpetual profession. [35]

c. The (vice)provincial superior with the consent of his council has power, according to the norm of C. 86, 2° d, to prolong the time of probation in the novitiate.

063. The (vice)provinces themselves are to determine the dress to be worn by the candidates (postulants) and the novices.

064. The novices must be separated to a certain degree from the other members. It is for the (vice) provincial superior, after consulting the master of novices, to decide what communication there should be between the novices and the other members or communities.

A novitiate made for one category of members is valid likewise for the other.

065. The (vice)provincial superior with the consent of his council may allow transfer from one category to the other.

066. The (vice)provincial superior, with the consent of his extraordinary council, after hearing the secretariat for formation, shall lay down appropriate norms regarding the studies which, within the limits determined by common law, are allowed in the course of the novitiate.

067. The general government approves for each (vice)province the programme of training in the novitiate, in keeping with the norm of the constitutions and statutes on formation (cf. St. 081).

068. According to the norm of (vice)provincial statutes, the duration of the novitiate can be for one or two years.

069. In addition to the twelve months of the novitiate spent according to the norm of law, the novices are allowed to complete their training by spending one or several periods of time outside the novitiate community. These periods are to be devoted to formative activity in keeping with the character of the Congregation. This may be done if the master of novices, with the consent of the (vice)provincial superior, given after he has heard his consultors, considers these useful for their formation. [36]

070. The (vice)provincial superior, after hearing those concerned, must see that the spiritual exercises are duly performed for eight whole days before the novitiate begins and before profession.

The exercises before promotion to sacred orders are governed by the prescriptions of the common law.

071. The word ‘profession’, unless something is expressly said to the contrary, has a general meaning. It includes both temporary and perpetual vows.

072. Temporary vows are made for at least one year.

073. The superior general, with the consent of his consultors, determines for each individual case the time and manner of probation which is to precede the perpetual profession of a religious who is transferring to our Congregation, observing Can. 684 §2.

The (vice)provincial superior with the consent of his council decides for each individual case the time that is to elapse between the novitiate and the making of perpetual vows, taking account of the common law (cf. C. 86, 2°, e).

075. Some form of preparation, after the manner of a novitiate, is to be made for perpetual profession; it should last for at least a month.

076. Perpetual profession is required for the reception of sacred orders.

077. When the time for profession is approaching, the candidate shall make a petition in writing to the (vice)provincial superior for admission to it.

078. Before admitting a candidate to profession, the (vice)provincial government shall seek written reports on his suitability from the directors concerned, and if the case requires it, the opinion of the community.

These reports are to be sought several times in the course of the time of formation in accordance with (vice)provincial statutes. This is necessary if the (vice)provincial superior with his council is to be able to form a proper judgment on the candidates.

079. a. Unless something else is stated to the contrary, the superior of the house of formation, the prefect of students and the master of novices are delegated by law to accept profession.

b. An authentic document of the profession is to be drawn up. It is to be signed by those who made profession, the one who accepted it, and by those who acted as witnesses.

080. To recall to the memory of all the members the importance of their dedication to God by religious profession, there shall be a community renewal of this same profession twice a year in all communities at a time to be decided by the (vice)provincial statutes.

081. a. It is for the (vice)provincial council, after hearing the secretariat for formation, to arrange the programme for the formation of our priests in accordance with the decrees issued by the Holy See. This programme must be approved by the general government (cf. SS. 01 67, 01 68).

b. It is for the (vice)provincial chapter, however, with the help of the secretariats for apostolic life and formation, to determine the conditions required for the reception of the permanent diaconate, taking into account the decisions of the National Conference of Bishops. Norms governing this matter need the approval of the general government.

082. The prefect of students shall be imbued with the priestly and apostolic spirit, disposed towards accepting mutual fraternal co-operation in the common work of education, open and alert in perceiving the needs of the Church in the world. He should have had pastoral experience in the ministry of the Congregation and be trained in spirituality and methods of teaching.083. Those who are sent to Rome to pursue advanced studies reside at the Higher College of Saint Alphonsus, concerning which the following are laid down:

a. The Higher College is commended to the special care of the superior general as an important means for the renewal of the whole Congregation.

b. The government and programme of life in this Higher College are to be approved by the general government.

c. At the end of the scholastic year the director of the Higher College will send a report on their students to the (vice)provincials.

d. Each year a short course on the history and life of the Congregation is to be given to all the students of the Higher College.

Art. 5: Continuing Formation

084. It is the function of the (vice)provincial chapter, with the help of the secretariats for apostolic life and formation:

a. to give attention to the regular training of the brothers, and investigate in what works of the apostolate they may be suitably employed, so that each in his own way may really share in the mission of the Congregation.

b. to arrange means and periods of time for the special renewal – scientific, pastoral and spiritual – of all the members, so that formation may be effectively carried on throughout their whole life (cf. St. 0140 c).

Art. 6: Oblates

085. Oblates who share the spirit and missionary zeal of the Congregation must have the benefit of proper initiation and constant contact with the Congregation, according to norms to be laid down in the individual (vice)provinces (cf. St. 02).



(On CC. 91-148)

086. In our law:

a. The term “government” always includes the superior and also, when it is required, his council, ordinary and extraordinary if there is one, having consultative or deliberative vote.

b. The term “council” when it is used alone means the college of which the superior is president and part, and which makes its decisions by majority vote.

First Section

The Structure of the Congregation

Art. 1: The Different Parts of the Congregation

087. Provinces and viceprovinces normally have a territorial demarcation.

088. A province is not to be erected unless it consists of at least five communities and fifty members, and provision is made for its being financially independent.Similarly, a viceprovince is not to be established unless it consists of at least three communities and twenty members.

089. Before the general council proceeds to the erection of a new (vice)province it shall carry out full consultation both among the members who will belong to the (vice) province which is being erected, and if the case requires it, with the governments of those provinces whose territory is being divided.

090. Should apostolic needs recommend it, provinces and viceprovinces can establish a region; this needs the approval of the general council and is constituted a moral person in law.If, however, a viceprovince erects it, the approval of the extraordinary provincial council is also required.

An agreement between the province or viceprovince on the one side and the region on the other will determine mutual rights and obligations, but this agreement needs the approval of the general council.

091. a. Members are united in local or personal communities for the purpose of carrying out the apostolic mission of the (vice) province. The place where they habitually dwell may be:

      – either a house, i.e., canonically erected and having the status of a moral person in                 law;

– or a residence, i.e., not canonically erected.

  b. A house shall not be canonically erected unless it is prudently foreseen that at least three   members of the Congregation will be habitually assigned to it in the future.

092. Members who by way of exception live and work alone must be attached either to some local community according to the norm of the preceding statute, or at least to a (vice)province in accordance with the (vice)provincial statutes.

093. All members, whether they live in community or especially if they live outside it, should feel themselves really part of the whole (vice)province and that they share its fortunes. They should observe its norms and show zeal for its apostolic enterprises.

Art . 2: Superiors in General

094. a. Superiors shall protect the rights of the members who are entrusted to their authority and their care. In the same way, with all charity, prudence and fortitude, they shall draw the attention of the confreres to their defects, especially if they cause harm or are a source of annoyance to the community and are injurious to apostolic activity

b. So that superiors do not remain in office continuously for too long a period, (vice)provincial statutes must decide the length of time that members may hold the office of local superior without an interval; the length of time that members may hold the office of (vice)provincial superior; not, however, for more than three triennia; [37]

c. The Superior General shall not remain in office for more than two periods of six years.

095. a. Unless otherwise stated in particular law or by mandate of a competent superior, a superior enters on office when he is inducted according to the legitimate form.

b. This superior takes lawful possession of his office when the authentic document establishing that he has been appointed or elected and, if this is required, confirmed, to the office in question, is read in his own presence or that of his proxy, before any community of the (vice)province if he is the (vice)provincial superior, or before his own community if he is a local superior.

The (vice)provincial statutes may add other solemnities to this essential formality, while his obligation to make personally the profession of faith according to the norm of law remains.

c. If, however, when his period of office has elapsed, a superior is appointed or elected to the same office, a new installation in the office is not required.

d. Superiors remain in office until their successors assume office.

Before he is installed in office. the one appointed or elected superior must on no account intervene in government.

e. When the new superior has been installed in office, offices depending on the former superior cease without any declaration.

f. After he has been installed in office every superior shall keep in mind the ancient custom in the Congregation of making the spiritual exercises at an opportune time.

g. Superiors of communities must live each in his own house. A superior should not be absent from his house for too long a time without the permission of the (vice)provincial superior.

096. A superior’s office ceases by renunciation, transfer, removal and, saving St. 095 d, when the time of office has elapsed.

097. No renunciation of an office before it is assumed, or abdication of office already assumed, is valid unless it has been accepted by the competent superior.

098. The authority that is competent to appoint or confirm a superior can, for a grave cause, transfer that superior to another office even during the period of the office he holds.

099. The (vice)provincial superior, with the consent of his extraordinary council, can for a grave cause, even if there has been no delict, but observing natural equity, remove by decree the superior of any community. From the decree of the (vice)provincial superior recourse may be made to the general government, but it has devolutive effect only.

In the same way the (vice)provincial superior can, for a grave cause, even if there has been no delict, but observing natural equity, be removed from office by decree of the general government.

0100. In virtue of the principle of subsidiarity, no superior shall either assume the duties of superiors or officials under his authority or take their place, unless the common good demand this and he has the approval of his council. He can, however, for a proportionate reason, issue orders and grant permissions, but he must inform the competent superior or official.

Art. 3: Vicars in General

0101. A vicar shall use his faculties and act in accordance with the will of the superior. He must avoid innovations which he knows are contrary to the will of the superior and not in keeping with the mind of the community.

0102. The vicar shall uphold the authority of the superior, and when he is present he must neither issue any orders nor intervene in any way in government, with the exception of those matters which the superior may have entrusted to him.

0103. Should it happen that the vicar also is absent, or is impeded from exercising his office, then, saving St. 0123, the one designated by the superior takes on the name and function of pro-vicar, or if no one has been designated by the superior, the one whom the vicar himself shall designate.

0104. While another is taking his place, the superior should not ordinarily intervene in government except through his vicar, or at least he should inform his vicar of his intervention.

0105. A superior should make provision against uncertainties or difficulties in the government of the community while he is absent or impeded. (Vice)provincial statutes shall decide when by law a vicar takes the place of the superior.

Art. 4: Consultors in General

106. Consultors can require of the superior that meetings of the council be held at the appropriate time, that matters which the law requires to be treated be dealt with, and that they be enabled to inspect those things which they have a right to examine.

0107. So that the consultors may come duly prepared to a meeting of the council, the superior, as a general rule, shall announce it in good time, and communicate to them the list of matters for discussion.

0108. a. If it is a question of getting consent, it does not suffice that the superior seek the opinion of the consultors separately, but for valid action he must call them together and obtain the consent of an absolute majority of those present; he himself, however, does not vote. Nevertheless, should there be a tie, he may break it by giving his vote. [38]

b. If it is advice that is required, the superior is to call the consultors together, unless the (vice)provincial statutes declare otherwise; and for valid action he must hear them.

0109. If according to the norm of law the superior acts collegially with his consultors, then should the votes be equal, the matter is to be voted on again. If the votes remain equal the superior may break the tie by giving his vote.

0110. a. To reach a decision on any matter an absolute majority of votes suffices, unless something else to the contrary is expressly laid down.

b. The voting shall be public, but if one member of the council so request, or if it is expressly prescribed by law, it must be secret.

0111. Consultors are bound to secrecy whenever justice, charity or the proper conducting of business demand this.

Art. 5: Treasurers in General

0112. There shall be properly trained treasurers at every level in the Congregation, distinct from the respective major superiors, and also in so far as it is possible, from local superiors. These administer the goods of the Congregation entrusted to them in accordance with the instructions given by legitimate authority. As treasurers, however, they do not have the right to dispose of these goods.

0113. It is the function of the treasurer to draw up periodically a budget and financial report to be examined or approved by the competent bodies.

Art. 6 Secretariats

0114. Secretariats, either of a permanent or temporary nature, shall be set up for the examination and solution of special problems, if they seem to be necessary or useful.

They shall include experts, even from outside the Congregation, who will make a survey and analysis of the matters to be dealt with, propose solutions, draw up and initiate plans under the guidance of superiors, and review and appraise works already in progress.

Among others, as a general rule, secretariats are to be set up for apostolic life, for formation, for finance, and for foreign missions.

Second Section
Government at the General Level

Art. I: The General Chapter

0115. The competence of the general chapter, its convocation and the manner of conducting it are governed by the prescriptions of common law and the particular law contained in the constitutions, general statutes and the Directory of Chapters.

I. Its Competence

0116. a. The general chapter examines and appraises the state of the Congregation with regard to its apostolic life, government, formation, the fostering of vocations, and everything relating to temporal goods and their administration.

b. For this purpose the general government shall prepare relevant reports based on records drawn up by the [vice)provinces.

II. Its Composition

0117. The basic law regarding the representation of the provinces and viceprovinces is determined in greater detail in the Directory of Chapters.

III. Its Convocation

0118. An extraordinary general chapter must be convoked by the superior general:

a. If he himself, after consulting the provincial governments, decides on this with the consent of his consultors.

b. If, after consulting the provincial governments, two-thirds of the general consultors request it.

c. If two-thirds of the provincial superiors urgently request it.

0119. If the general chapter cannot be held at the usual time, it is to be held as soon as the cause that impeded it has ceased. Its postponement is decided by the general council with a two-thirds majority vote according to the norm of the statutes.

To defer the general chapter for a notable time, the consent of an absolute majority of the provincial superiors of the Congregation is required, in addition to the two-thirds majority vote of the general council

Art. 2: The General Government

0120. The general government is an expression of the unity of the whole Congregation, a unity which it is its duty to preserve. It sees to it that a living relationship exists between all its parts.

I. The Superior General and his Vicar

0121. The superior general has the right of assisting, either himself or through a delegate, at (vice)provincial chapters and at the inter-provincial meetings or conferences dealt with in C. 143 and St. 0187.

0122. So that he may devote himself with due attention to his office, it is not expedient that the superior general be a local superior.

0123. a. In the event of the renunciation of office, the death or permanent incapacity of the vicar general, a new vicar general shall be elected by the general council by a two-thirds majority vote.

b. In the case, however, of a temporary impediment, the general council shall elect a pro-vicar by an absolute majority vote.

II. The General Consultors

0124. In the election of general consultors provision is to be made for representation on a regional basis, so that the entire Congregation is in some way represented in the general government.

The general consultors are not assigned to any region exclusively, but are at the service of the whole Congregation.

0125. In the Directory of Superiors the cases are enumerated in which the general consultors have a consultative or deliberative vote, as well as the cases in which the general council acts collegially.

The other particular matters in which the general consultors are competent, and the matters in which the other officials of the general curia are competent, shall be enumerated in a Directory of the General Government to be drawn up at the beginning of each six year period, in accordance with instructions given by the general chapter.

0126. a. The general council can act only if there are at least three members present, namely the president of the council with two consultors. The opinion of those who are absent must be sought in the cases enumerated in the Directory of Superiors.

b. If, however, the number of consultors prescribed is not present, those who are present will elect a substitute from a list of persons drawn up and approved for this purpose by the entire general council, unless according to law the opinion of the absent consultors must be sought.

c. However, in matters of greater importance, and these are to be indicated by the general council, either the superior general himself or the vicar general and at least three consultors must always be present.

III. The Officials of the General Curia

0127. The general council elects the major officials of the general curia. They hold office for six years or for a shorter time in accordance with the decision of the council itself.

But the other officials are appointed by the superior general after he has heard his consultors. They also hold office for six years or for a shorter period.

1. The Procurator General

0128. The procurator general, under the immediate direction of the general government, is the representative of the Congregation with the Apostolic See. He gives his own judgment in relation to the business in hand as far as it requires it, or the Holy See requests it.

0129. All affairs, whether they relate to the Congregation, the (vice)provinces and houses, or to individual members, to be transacted with the Apostolic See, will be dealt with through the services of the procurator general.

2. The Treasurer General

0130. The treasurer general will have the care of the material goods which belong to the Congregation as such. He must give an account of his administration to the superior general and his council at least once a year, and likewise to the ordinary general chapter.

Assistant treasurers shall be appointed by the general government to help the treasurer general in his work.

0131. There shall be a financial secretariat for matters of greater importance with which the treasurer general shall enter into consultation.

0132. If the treasurer general is not one of the general consultors, the general council must call him to its meetings when questions of a financial nature are to be dealt with, or when there are questions which involve the administration of material goods; on such occasions he acts after the manner of a general consultor.

0133. The general council shall elect someone to act as auditor of the finances of the general financial office. It will be his duty to examine the documents of every section of the financial office and give to the general government and to the secretariat itself a report on whether books are being properly kept in accordance with the norms laid down. This report is to be attached to the annual survey presented by the treasurer general.[39]

3. The Secretary General

0134. The secretary general renders various forms of assistance to the general government in its administration, whether as secretary at the meetings of the general government and council, as chancellor in preparing decrees and rescripts, or as archivist in preserving carefully the acts and documents of government, as director of the office of statistics, and as notary of the Congregation.

4. The Postulator General

0135. The postulator general, in the name of the whole Congregation, deals with the causes of beatification and canonization of the members of the Institute with the competent Congregation. He will discharge his office in accordance with the norms of the sacred canons and the instructions of the Holy See.

0136. The postulator will give a report on the state of the causes of the members of the Congregation to the general chapter.

0137. While duly observing the prescriptions of common law, for the purpose of supervision, the postulator general will submit to the superior general and to the major superiors on whom the causes depend, at least once every year, an account of the business transacted, of income and expenditure, and the money on hand. Moreover, the major superiors themselves can seek from the postulator general an estimate in advance for a particular type of business or expenditure.

5. The Other Officials

0138. a. Under the name of other officials here are included:

general archivist;
general chronicler;
secretaries of the superior general;
director of the office of communication.

b. The general government has the right, after hearing the (vice)provincials, to appoint members who will give their services to fulfilling the needs of the general curia and the house of Saint Alphonsus in Rome.

Third Section
Government at the (Vice)provincial Level

Art. 1: The (Vice)provincial Chapter.

0139. The (vice)provincial chapter in governed by the prescriptions of common law, and the particular law contained in the constitutions, general and (vice)provincial statutes, and in the Directory of Chapters.

I. Its Competence

0140. It is the function of the (vice)provincial chapter to:

a. make, amend, authentically interpret or abrogate (vice)provincial statutes, give decisions, and if necessary, issue decrees;

b. examine the state of the (vice)province;

c. issue suitable directions for the promotion of the apostolic life of the members (cf. St. 084);

d. lay down the mode of procedure for the erection and suppression of communities;

e. examine the financial condition of the (vice)province as presented by the treasurer in his report, and approve the report;

f. confirm or revoke the decrees of the (vice)provincial superior or his council.

0141. In the chapter, a two-thirds majority vote is required to enact, amend, authentically interpret or abrogate statutes. But in other matters, an absolute majority of votes is sufficient, unless the contrary is stated in the common or particular law.

0142. (Vice)provincial statutes as well as decrees issued by the chapter which have reference to the subject matter of the constitutions and statutes, cannot be promulgated until they have been approved by the general council.

Furthermore, viceprovincial statutes are approved by the general council only after it has consulted the extraordinary council of the province.

0143. Saving the prescription of the preceding norm, statutes, decrees, and decisions of the chapter come into force at the time indicated in them; if no elapse of time is provided for, they have force immediately after promulgation.

II. Its Composition

0144. The chapter is composed of members in virtue of office and members who are elected (cf. C. 122b).

(Vice)provincial statutes shall determine who are members in virtue of office, and who are members by election, taking the following into account:

a. At least the ordinary consultors shall be members by virtue of office.

b. The provincial superior or his representative shall be a member in virtue of office of the viceprovincial chapter.

c. Viceprovincial superiors or their representatives shall be members in virtue of office of the provincial chapter.

0145. The substitution of a member of the chapter or supplying for him is carried out in accordance with the Directory of Chapters

III. Its Convocation and Preparation

0146. The chapter is convoked by the (vice) provincial superior; this convocation must be made in good time before the beginning of the chapter.

0147. The (vice)provincial superior must see that the convocation of the chapter is made known to all the members, and that the general government is informed about it. The provincial government also is to be informed of the convocation of the viceprovincial chapter.

0148. Moreover, the (vice)provincial government shall see that elections of members of the chapter, if they are to take place, are held as soon as possible.

0149. As soon as possible a preparatory commission shall be set up on the lines laid down in the (vice)provincial statutes.

0150. The preparatory commission will consult the secretariats, and circulate to the communities the outlines of the matters to be dealt with; this will be done in good time before the chapter. All members, either individually or collectively, will forward their comments and proposals at the appropriate time to the commission.

IV. Its Mode of Procedure

0151. With regard to the mode of procedure in the chapter, the norms set forth in the Directory of Chapters and in the particular law of the (vice)province shall be observed.

The (vice)provincial superior is the president of the (vice)provincial chapter. Should the superior general be present, he inaugurates the first plenary session and concludes the last session, and he has the right to vote; all other functions belong to the (vice)provincial superior as president.

0152. The chapter itself determines the frequency of its sessions in such a way that, unless the (vice)provincial statutes decide otherwise, it must assemble at least every three years.

a. The members of the chapter are elected for the triennium.

b. An extraordinary session of the chapter can be summoned:

       1. either by the (vice)provincial superior with the consent of the extraordinary council;

       2. or by the extraordinary council;

3. or by two-thirds of the members of the chapter.

c. In the cases mentioned in nn. 2 and 3, the chapter must be convoked by a letter of the (vice)provincial superior written in the name of the council or of the capitulars. [40]

d. The holding of the chapter is invalid if more than a third of the capitulars are absent.

Art. 2: The (Vice)provincial Government

I. The (Vice)provincial Superior and his Vicar

1.Their Designation

0153. The (vice)provincial statutes must decide the manner of conferring the office of (vice)provincial superior and his vicar, and the manner of substituting the vicar, should he cease from office.

a. After the provincial superior and his vicar, and the viceprovincial superior have been designated, they need the confirmation of the general government.

b. But the viceprovincial superior shall not be confirmed by the general government unless he has first been approved by the extraordinary council of the province.

c. The viceprovincial vicar, however, requires only the confirmation of the extraordinary provincial council.

d. The (vice)provincial superior and his vicar are to be designated for three years, saving the prescription of oriental law. [41]

When the three year period has elapsed they may be designated again for the same length of time.

0154. Renunciation of office before undertaking it on the part of the (vice)provincial superior and his vicar, or abdication of it after they have undertaken it, requires acceptance by the chapter for its validity, if the chapter is actually assembled; outside the chapter, however, it must be accepted by the extraordinary council.

But in the case of the (vice)provincial superior and the provincial vicar, the acceptance of the resignation of office already undertaken also requires confirmation by the general government.

2. Duties and Rights of the (Vice)provincial Superior

0155. The (vice)provincial superior must get to know the (vice)province thoroughly in order to be able to give it inspiration and co-ordinate it. Consequently, to encourage dialogue, he will not only gladly receive the members, but he will also frequently visit the communities and share the life of the members.

At least once every three years he shall make a canonical visitation of the entire (vice)province. Indeed, the provincial superior will also visit the viceprovinces periodically.

0156. (Vice)provincial superiors are ordinaries and major superiors. The principal faculties they possess are enumerated in the Directory of Superiors.

0157. The (vice)provincial superior can delegate or sub-delegate all the faculties listed in the Directory of Superiors, in so far as they are communicable.

But should the case arise where communication with the general government becomes impossible, the (vice)provincial superior enjoys all the necessary faculties in accordance with the norm of law; if the superior himself cannot be approached, then the members of the extraordinary council, according to the order laid down in St. 0210 enjoy the same faculties. The superior or the one who acts in his place is to proceed with or without the consent of the consultors, depending on whether contact with them is possible or not.

II. The (Vice)provincial Consultors

1. Their Designation

0158. a. The (vice)provinces shall set up an extraordinary council to deal with matters of greater importance.

b. The (vice)provincial statutes must lay down the manner in which the consultors both ordinary and extraordinary are to be designated.

c. (Vice)provincial consultors are to be designated for three years, saving the prescription of oriental law. At the end of the three year period they may be designated again for the same length of time.

2. Their Competence

0159. Unless the (vice)provincial statutes state something to the contrary, all the consultors or substitutes for them shall always be present at consultations.

a. Substitutes, however, cannot be co-opted when the opinion of the consultors must necessarily be sought; this opinion is to be given in writing or in some other way that is safe, while it still remains necessary that the number required for valid action be present.

b. Should one of the ordinary consultors be absent from the council, a substitute shall be elected, as far as possible from among the extraordinary consultors.

0160. The (vice)provincial chapter shall determine the cases for the decision of which the opinion of the (vice)provincial consultors must be sought.

0161. The extraordinary (vice) provincial council, during the inter-sessional time, i.e. when the chapter is not actually assembled up to the time it next assembles, has the faculty of authentically interpreting and suspending decisions of the chapter itself, and of issuing new decrees. However, in the case where it suspends a decision, it must inform the (vice)province of the causes for the suspension.

Indeed, if the statutes are in question, the general government must be informed (cf. SS. 0141 and 0142).

Then it is for the (vice)provincial chapter to confirm or abrogate such interpretations and decrees of the (vice)provincial council (cf. St. 0140 f). If, however, it makes no decision on these, they cease automatically.

0162. Other matters in which consultors have consultative or deliberative vote, or act collegially, are given in the Directory of Superiors and in the (vice)provincial statutes.

3. Co-operation with the General Government

0163. Since the general government needs full information regarding the life and state of the Congregation in order to give guidelines and encouragement to projects, the (vice) provincial superior every year will draw up a written report on the matters indicated in the Directory of Superiors. This shall be signed by himself and his consultors. The financial report shall be signed by the treasurer also.

Art. 3: Institutions and Other Offices of the (Vice)province

0164. The manner of designating and substituting the members of institutions and the holders of other offices in the (vice)province shall be decided by the (vice)provincial statutes.

0165. What is laid down in our law regarding election and the obligation of accepting office and renouncing it holds equally for any kind of designation to office.

I. Secretariats

0166. The (vice)provincial statutes shall decide the function of secretariats and their co-operation with the corresponding bodies of other (vice)provinces.

0167. The secretariat for formation is to be consulted in relation to the designation of directors of formation, and the erection or suppression of institutions of formation in the (vice)province; however, all must be in keeping with guidelines given by the (vice) provincial chapter.

0168. The extraordinary (vice)provincial council shall, in collaboration with the secretariat for formation, determine in more detail the manner in which the institutions of formation are to fulfil their function.

II. Directors of Formation

0169. a. Under the term directors of formation come:

the director of the juvenate;
the master of novices;
the prefect of students;
the prefect of studies;
teachers in the studentate;
the director of pastoral initiation;
the prefect of the new brothers for the entire (vice)province.

b. The (vice)provincial government shall lay down appropriate norms determining the position of the directors of formation in relation to the authority of the local superior.

III. The Officials of the (Vice)provincial Curia

0170. The secretary of the (vice)province is by his office, in keeping with canon law, the notary and chancellor of the (vice)provinicial curia. He is not necessarily taken from among the consultors.

0171. It is the duty of the (vice)provincial archivist to keep in good order and carefully preserve documents of greater importance relating to the history and state of the (vice) province.

0172. The treasurer, under the authority of the (vice)provincial superior and his council, administers the goods of the (vice)province in accordance with the norms laid down by the (vice)provincial chapter.

The (vice)provincial government must call in the treasurer when financial affairs or matters which involve the administration of material goods are being dealt with, following the norm of the (vice)provincial statutes.

0173. At the beginning of each financial year, the treasurer will present to the (vice)provincial government a budget worked out by himself with the approval of the secretariat for finance. This budget will cover the income and expenditure both of the (vice)province and the individual communities.

0174. The (vice)provincial treasurer will draw up the following reports:

a. To be submitted to the (vice)provincial superior and his extraordinary council an annual report on the financial state of the (vice)province and the communities. This report is to be discussed and approved by the secretariat for finance.

Likewise, he will present to the (vice)provincial government any other reports which it may request (cf. SS. 190 and 0208).

b. To be submitted to the general government: a shorter report bearing the signatures and comments of the (vice)provincial superior and his council.

The report of the viceprovince shall, moreover, be signed by the provincial superior and his consultors. The form this report is to take will be set out by the same general government.

Art. 4: Mutual Co-operation between the Province and Viceprovince

0175. The actual manner of co-operation between the province and the viceprovince shall be set out in an agreement which will deal with the question of mutual help in regard to personnel and temporal goods. This agreement shall be drawn up after discussion by superiors or their representatives on both sides.

In the agreement or in statutes, saving the prescription of St. 0144, it can also be decided in what way the province is actually to participate in the chapter of the viceprovince and the \/viceprovince in the chapter of the province. This convention, however, requires the approval of the general government.

0176. To provide more efficient care for the missions, the province shall have a mission procurator with whatever assistance he may need, distinct from the treasurer of the province. In accordance with the provincial statutes he shall take care of the needs of the viceprovinces and communities outside the province. He shall be responsible for maintaining good public and personal relations, and shall enlist the co-operation of all concerned, especially of the families of the missionaries.

0177. Regarding communication of the vice provinces with the general government, the norms laid down by the same general government shall be observed.

However, viceprovinces should not conduct ordinary business with the general government except through the province.

Art. 5: Government of Communities in the (Vice)province

0178. a. The (vice)provincial statutes must decide on a suitable time which will be required after perpetual profession before a member can be designated a local superior.

b. Superiors of communities are to be designated for three years, saving the prescription of oriental law. When the three years have elapsed they may be designated again for the same length of time. When, however, there is a question of designating a superior for a third period of three years in the same house, the confirmation of the general government is required.

c. In every community the superior shall have a vicar designated according to the norm of the (vice)provincial statutes.

0179. The frequency of community meetings and the manner of convoking them shall be decided by the (vice)provincial statutes.

0180. All the members of the community shall be given information in good time of the matters to be dealt with in the meeting, so that they may be well prepared when they assemble .

0181. The superior shall have consultors, taking into account the different types of communities. The (vice)provincial statutes shall decide their number, how they are to be designated, and how substitution is to be made.

0182. The (vice)provincial statutes shall decide the matters to be treated by the council or by the meeting of the community, and the cases in which the council or meeting acts collegially.

0183. In every community there shall be a treasurer who will look after its temporal affairs, under the authority of the superior and his council.

184. Either the meeting of the community or its government, according to the (vice) provincial statutes, shall fill the other offices customary in our communities.

Art. 6: Relations and Co-operation between (Vice)provinces

0185. The territorial division of (vice)provinces should not be over-emphasized, but rather projects in common should be encouraged.

0186. When there is question of setting up a community in the territory of another (vice) province, before seeking the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority, the (vice) province requires the approval of the extraordinary (vice)provincial council of the territory in question, as well as the approval of the general government; if there is question of viceprovinces, then the approval of the respective province is also necessary.

0187. If, in accordance with CC. 141-143, inter-provincial meetings or conferences are held, the conferences themselves will decide their composition, their convocation, their competence and functions.

The general government shall be informed in good time of their convocation and the programme, so that it may be present, and a report on their proceedings is to be sent to it.

0188. Members who go to the territory of another (vice)province with the intention of remaining there for a considerable time, shall inform its superior.

But if there is question of working there for a considerable time, then the (vice)provincials must both agree to it.

Fourth Section
Temporal Goods of the Congregation

Art. 1: Disposal of the Temporal Goods of the Congregation

I. In General

0189. All temporal goods belonging in any way to the Congregation, according to the nature of the case, shall be properly administered in accordance with the norms of both civil and ecclesiastical laws. with the assistance of qualified lay people in so far as this can be done.

0190. The goods of a moral person shall be administered by its treasurer under the authority of the superior and his council, saving the right of the major superior to intervene in administration according to the norms of common law and saving especially SS. 0191 b, 2° and 0192.

II. In Particular

0191. a. It belongs to the general government to examine and approve the budget and financial report of the general government prepared by the treasurer.

b. It belongs to the general council:

1° together with the treasurer general, to determine in proportion the contributions to be made for the general government, after consulting with those concerned.

2° to lay down norms for the planning and carrying out of administration.

0192. While observing the dispositions of common and particular law, and with the approval of the general government, it belongs to the (vice)provincial chapter to lay down norms regarding the manner of holding temporal goods and disposing of them, especially when there is question of immovable goods.

0193. a. It is for the (vice)provincial chapter, taking into account the relative value of money, to decide the limits within which individual superiors, observing the dispositions of the Holy See, with or without their consultors, may spend money, undertake alienations and contract debts.

However, the highest limits within which superiors, with or without their consultors, can do this, require the approval of the general government.

b. By alienation here is understood any transfer of the dominion of goods which by lawful assignment constitute the stable patrimony of a juridical person, and every transaction by which the patrimonial condition of the same person could deteriorate, as for example the contracting of a debt, leasing, and any disposal of stable patrimony which is not merely administrative.

c. It is also the function of the (vice)provincial chapter to determine the acts which go beyond the limits and manner of ordinary administration, and lay down what is required for validly placing acts of extraordinary administration.

0194. The (vice)provincial chapter and council can lay down general norms regulating the investment of money.

0195. It is the duty of the (vice)provincial superior and his extraordinary council, at least once a year, to examine and approve the budget and financial report of the (vice) provincial government and the communities under its authority. Moreover, the provincial superior and his extraordinary council will inspect every year the budget and financial report of the viceprovinces.

0196. The extraordinary (vice)provincial council can, if there is need for it, for a determined time, impose taxes on, or burden in some other way communities beyond the limits defined by the (vice)provincial statutes. It must render an account of this matter to the (vice)provincial chapter.

0197. According to the norm of the (vice) provincial statutes, either the government or the meeting of the community shall inspect and discuss the budget and financial report of the community itself.

0198. There should be a spontaneous sharing of temporal goods between individual communities and (vice)provinces. They should gladly make contributions from their own goods, according to their means, to other needs of the Church and to the support of those in want, saving St. 0193.

0199. Superiors shall see that lay people who work for us are treated with charity and justice. Their wages shall at least correspond to what is prescribed by the civil law. If such wages are not- sufficient, they must get a higher wage.

III. Assuming Obligations

0200. When temporal goods are offered on condition of assuming an obligation, the superior shall not accept them unless the obligation imposed is in keeping with the aims and the good of the Congregation, and he must have the consent of his council, and always the consent of the (vice)provincial council .

A contract made in accordance with the norm of civil law, setting out the mutual obligations will be drawn up, unless there is some reason against it.

0201. Any agreement regarding goods received with an obligation attached must:

a. give the value of the donation;

b. give a list of the obligations and their duration;

c. state what is to be done with the capital when the obligation has been fulfilled or if its fulfillment becomes morally impossible;

d. contain a clause regarding the reduction of obligations in accordance with the real value of money at any given time.

0202. Mass foundations, saving the common law, come under the regulations given for onerous contracts. A Mass foundation which is to last beyond thirty years will not be accepted.

Art. 2: Administration of Goods

0203. What is laid down concerning the administration of goods, applies, with the necessary adjustments, to all members who administer goods which do not belong to the Congregation, unless statutes relevant to their own offices determine otherwise.

0204. Where administration must be submitted to the control of the civil law, authentic records of every item of income and expenditure will be made out according to the norm of that same law, and they will be filed for the prescribed period. The same system, moreover, is recommended even through the civil law does not demand it. At least records of expenses will be kept for whatever length of time seems expedient.

0205. In places where social services are not well organized, while taking ecclesiastical law into account, provision shall be made for appropriate insurance and health assistance, as it is called, for the members of the Congregation.

0206. In every office of administration there will be:

a. a day book or file in which all items of income and expenditure will be entered;

b. a book or file in which the real financial position for the year is clearly shown, and in which there is a clear statement of income and expenditure set out according to categories;

c. a list of investments;

d. a complete collection of contracts concerned with financial matters.

0207. The right to inspect books of administration belongs to the appropriate superiors and their delegates, and to the duly authorized visitor and his socius. Temporal goods belonging to parishes entrusted to the members of the Congregation shall be administered by the parish priest; but the superior has a right of supervision to ensure that the prescriptions of law regarding this matter are accurately observed. For this purpose the superior can inspect the parochial books of income and expenditure, not indeed to administer the property of the parish, but to ensure proper administration on the part of those responsible.

0208. The (vice)provincial government can, as often as it considers it opportune, demand an account of the administration of temporal goods, whether they are the property of the Congregation or not, and it must, once a year, on the lines of St. 0191 demand an account of the real state of administration of the communities and of other goods which are in any way whatsoever the responsibility of the Congregation.

Fifth Section

0209. The order of provinces already existing is established according to the list recorded in the Directory of Chapters. Provinces to be erected in future will be added at the end of the list, according to the date of their erection. Should several provinces be erected on the same day, that will be first which has the house longest founded.

Should a province be divided into two provinces, the section which has the house longest founded will retain its place of precedence, the other taking the last place on the list.

0210. The prescriptions of the common law retaining their force, superiors precede vicars, vicars consultors, consultors others.

Among those of equal standing, unless there is some contrary provision, precedence is decided by priority of profession, priestly ordination, age.

Sixth Section

Art. 1: Absence from the Community

0211. The major superior, for a just reason and with the consent of his council, can permit a member to live outside a house of the Institute; such an absence is not to exceed one year, unless it be for the purpose of caring for poor health, for studies or for an apostolate exercised in the name of the institute. Such a member remains under the care of superiors; however, he is deprived of both active and passive voice, unless his absence is for study or health reasons or for the exercise of the apostolate of the Institute.

Art. 2: Separation from the Community

0212. A member who withdraws from the living contact with the Congregation to which he is bound, and from the authority of superiors, shall be diligently sought out and helped by these same superiors, in order that he may persevere in his vocation.

However, if all this is to no purpose, and the member does not return, he is to be dismissed in accordance with the norm of law.



So as to avoid all future controversy about the nature of the vow of poverty in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, founded by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, His Holiness Pope Pius X, having fully considered everything, in an audience given to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Religious, promulgated the following decree, which is to be observed perpetually by every member of the same Congregation:

1° The members of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer take a simple vow of poverty and of a perfectly common life. By virtue of this vow:

2° They retain only the radical dominion of their property and the right to receive the fruits or revenues coming from it.

3° They cannot acquire new property for themselves, except by inheritance or by gift from relatives, unless the title of acquisition already existed, certainly and formally, before the taking of the vows.

4° They cannot form, or increase, for themselves a capital sum from the fruits or revenues of their property.

5° They cannot dispose of their property, either by act inter vivos, or in view of death, except in favour of relatives to the fourth* degree inclusively whether of consanguinity or affinity, but not of spiritual relationship, or in favour of the Congregation, or for Masses for themselves or for their relatives, or for a determined pious work in favour of a third party, in which case the permission of the superior general or of the provincial is necessary. (*i.e., the eighth degree acc. to Can. 108, CCL, 1983)

6° They must dispose of the fruits or revenues of their property as soon as is morally possible.

7° They can dispose of them only in the same way as they dispose of their property.

8° They can and should dispose in the same way of dividends, pensions, life-interests, annuities, and the like if they have any.

9° They cannot have in their own name any kind of deposit, under any pretext or for any reason whatsoever.

10° They cannot keep in their own hands any administration whatsoever, either of their own property or of its revenue.

This declaration shall not merely have the force of perpetual statute or constitution, but also of an apostolic decree and mandate, and all power of mitigating or altering, totally or partially, the tenor of the same declaration is taken away, even from the general chapters .

In order that all the members of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer may deserve richer blessings from heaven, and that they may feel more abundantly the strong protection of their father and lawgiver Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori and of Saint Clement Mary Hofbauer, the illustrious propagator of the same Congregation, the Holy Father earnestly recommends them to conform faithfully to this declaration notwithstanding everything to the contrary, even worthy of special mention.

Given at Rome, August 31st, 1909.
Fr. Jos. C. Vives, Prefect.
Vinc. La Puma


From an audience with the Holy Father on 7th May, 1918.

Our Most Holy Lord, Pope Benedict XV, when the matter was referred to him by the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Religious, to guard against any doubt or controversy that might arise on the occasion of the Code of Canon Law, in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer founded by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori concerning the nature and force of the vow of poverty, commanded the following answers to be given to the doubt proposed by the Most Reverend Patrick Murray:

1. The members of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer are bound in everything, even for the future, by the decree given by this Sacred Congregation on 31st August, 1909.

2. Those, however, who shall make their profession after the Code of Canon Law began to have binding force, that is, from the 19th of May of this year 1918:

a. must make a civil will, according to the provisions of Canon 569, n. 3, and this they shall be able to change only in accordance with the disposition of Canon 583, n. 2;

b. they are forbidden to alienate the dominion of their property by gift inter vivos, according to the prescriptions of Canon 583, n. 1. Everything to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given at Rome on the day, month and year. as above.

L + S J. Card. Tonti, Prefect.
Adolphus, Episc. Canopitan.,



The formulae given here express only what is required juridically in the liturgy. Hence, the respective formulae for the making of vows suffice as they stand. On the other hand either provinces or the candidates themselves, according to their own way of thinking and their own disposition, are at liberty to add what they may deem appropriate. But everything must be in harmony with what the new rite already published by the Congregation for Divine Worship prescribes.


The candidate says:

Eternal God, who established the mystery of salvation in your Son, and made human beings share in the work of redemption in the Church, 1, N.N…. guided by your Holy Spirit, resolve to dedicate myself entirely to you, by following closely Christ, the Saviour of the world. For this purpose I now freely choose the Christian life sealed by the evangelical counsels, by making (for one year, for three years) the vows of chastity, of poverty, and of obedience, according to the spirit and way of life proper to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. And so I bind myself to live faithfully a life of brotherly love, imbued with apostolic charity in the same Congregation, founded by Saint Alphonsus especially for preaching the Gospel to the poor. May your grace, the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the whole Church, and the co-operation of my confreres be constantly with me.

The superior receives the profession saying:

And I receive you fraternally as a member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer professed with religious vows, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The community concludes by answering:

Amen .


The candidate says:

Eternal God, who established the mystery of salvation in your Son, and made human beings share in the work of redemption in the Church, I, N.N…. guided by your Holy Spirit, resolve to dedicate myself entirely to you, by following closely Christ, the Saviour of the world. For this purpose I now freely choose the Christian life sealed by the evangelical counsels, by making for life the vows of chastity, of poverty, and of obedience, together with the vow and oath of perseverance, according to the spirit and way of life proper to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. And so I bind myself to live faithfully a life of brotherly love, imbued with apostolic charity in this same Congregation, founded by Saint Alphonsus especially for preaching the Gospel to the poor. May your grace, the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the whole Church, and the co-operation of my confreres be constantly with me.

The superior receives the profession saying:

And I receive you fraternally as a member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer professed with perpetual vows, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The community concludes by answering:



The person renewing vows says:

I resolve to continue with confidence to follow Christ the Saviour of the world in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. And so I renew my profession of chastity, of poverty, and of obedience. I do this so that apostolic charity may always increase in me and in the whole Congregation, for the good of the whole Church.

The community concludes by answering:


Following Christ, the Saviour of the world, with fidelity and perseverance, I … renew my vows of chastity, of poverty, and of obedience, together with my vow and oath of perseverance, according to the spirit and way of life proper to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, so that apostolic zeal may increase in me and in the whole Congregation, for the good of the whole Church. Amen.



[1] LG 45; CD 35; MR 22. 53.

[2] [Acta Cap. XXI: 1991, 123ff; Acta Cap. XXII: 1997, 128].

[3] PP 63.

[4] CD 11; AG 40.

[5] Doc. M, p. 60.

[6] LG 13; AG 9. 11. 16. 21. 22. 26.

[7] AG 15. 18.

[8] AG 22.

[9] AG 6; GS 19. 22.

[10] UR 7-9.

[11] SC 9.

[12] GS 7.

[13] LG 31; AA 1; AG 21.

[14] GS 30; AG 39.

[15] PO 22.

[16] LG 8.

[17] CD 14.

[18] GS 26. 42; AG 11.

[19] IM 2.

[20] Pope Paul VI to the General Chapter of 1967.

[21] Pope Paul VI to the General Chapter of 1973.

[22] GS 9.

[23] PC 15; PO 8.

[24] SC 110.

[25] OT 3.

[26] OT 6.

[27] OT 3.

[28] OT 3.

[29] OT 10. 11.

[30] OT 8. 9.

[31] OT 9.

[32] OT 19.

[33] PC 18. 21.

[34] OT 4. 5.

[35] Acct Cap. XXI: 1991, 87f].

[36] RC 23 [Can 647,3. 648,2].

[37] [Cf. Acct Cap. XXII: 1997, 169].

[38] [Cf. DS 202-c (p. 191); Acct Cap. XXI: 1991, 88].

[39] Acct Cap. XXI: 1991, 114].

[40] [Cf. DC 404-a. 602-g; Acct Cap XXII: 1997, 169.

[41] [Cf. DS p. 189; Acct Cap. XXI: 1991, 88].