The Carmelite Constitutions 1995
It gives me great joy to present the text of our new constitutions to you. These were approved at the General Chapter celebrated in September 1995. They are the fruit of all our contributions, of the work of various experts over a period of some nine years, as well as of the study and the evaluation of the chapter delegates themselves.
The first part outlines our charism and mission as a contemplative fraternity in the midst of the people.
The second part is dedicated to the fraternal life and it invites our communities to be a place of communion, of prayer and of service. In this way, they will become ever more a visible and credible image of the Holy Trinity.
The process of formation, in its various phases, is treated in the third part not so much as a list of things to do, but as a way of life. Finally the fourth part is devoted to government, considered as a function of service, guidance and inspiration.
Our lives and apostolates today as Carmelites will be enriched and animated by this text. For this reason it must not be simply left on the shelf as decoration. We must find the appropriate ways to deepen our appreciation of these constitutions and to live them out at a personal level. We must also make them known (at least the fundamental elements of them) to all the members of the Carmelite Family.
One way of achieving this goal will be to use aids prepared by the Order’s experts. Let us thank God that we have people well able to carry out this task. We wish to encourage them so that through study and reflection they will help us to appreciate, love and give flesh to the spirit of Carmel. On the eve of the third millennium this will make us feel heirs to a glorious past which is not to be belittled, but made living and active through the life and commitment to the Church and world of today.
Let us open ourselves to the Spirit of the Lord and welcome with gratitude the assistance of Mary, our mother and our sister. In this way we will be enthusiastic in considering and accepting this text as a humble but precious aid in our journey in the consecrated life.
Joseph Chalmers O.Carm.
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Copyright © 1996 Carmelite Communications
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Quotations from scripture are taken from the NRSV; those of the Second Vatican Council from Flannery. Quotations from other documents of the Holy See, various Congregations and the Carmelite Order have been re-translated for this edition.
The General Chapter in session # 35, 27th September1995, decreed the following:
The official text of the Constitutions is in Italian. Translations into English and Spanish will be prepared and approved by the Prior General, with the consent of his Council.
This translation was prepared by Ms Elena French and reviewed by Christopher O’Donnell, John Keating, Patrick Mullins, Redemptus Valabek, Paul Cahill, Jerome Watt, John Russell, Eamon Carroll and Wilfrid McGreal.
The final text was approved by the Prior General and his Council on October dd, 1996.
AA Apostolicam actuositatem, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, 18 November 1965
AG Ad gentes, Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, 7 December 1965
CD Christus Dominus, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, 28 October 1965
DV Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, 19 November 1965
GS Gaudium et spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 7 December 1965
LG Lumen gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 21 November 1964
OT Optatam totius, Decree on Priestly Formation, 28 October 1965
PC Perfectae caritatis, Decree on the Appropriate Renewal of the Religious life, 28 November 1965
PO Presbyterorum ordinis, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 7 December 1965
SC Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Liturgy, 4 December 1963
UR Unitatis reintegratio, Decree on Ecumenism, 21 November 1964
CL Christifideles laici, Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II on the laity, 30 December 1988
EE Essential elements in the Church’s teaching as applied to Institutes dedicated to works of the apostolate, Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, 31 May 1983
EN Evangelii nuntiandi, Apostolic Exhortation of Paul VI on evangelisation in the modern world, 8 December 1975
ET Evangelica testificatio, Apostolic Exhortation of Paul VI on the renewal of the religious life, 29 June 1971
LE Laborem exercens, Encyclical Letter of John Paul II on human work on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the encyclical Rerum novarum, 14 September 1981
MC Marialis cultus, Apostolic Exhortation of Paul VI on Marian devotion, 2 February 1974
PdV Pastores dabo vobis, Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II on priestly formation, 25 March 1992
PP Populorum progressio, Encyclical Letter of Paul VI on the development of peoples, 26 March 1967
RD Redemptionis donum, Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II on religious consecration, 25 March 1984
RM Redemptoris missio, Encyclical Letter of John Paul II on the permanent vitality of the mandate for mission, 7 December 1990
RMa Redemptoris Mater, Encyclical Letter of John Paul II on the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the pilgrim Church, 25 March 1987
SRS Sollicitudo rei socialis, Encyclical Letter of John Paul II on the 20th anniversary of Populorum progressio, 30 December 1987
Can. Canon from the Codex Iuris Canonicis, 1983
DCVR Dimensione contemplativa della vita religiosa, Congregation for Institutes of the Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 12 August 1980
LH De Liturgia Horarum, General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours, Congregation for Divine Worship, 11 April 1971
MR Mutuae relationes, Congregation for Bishops and Congregation for Institutes of the Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 14 May 1978
PI Potissimum Institutioni, on the formation of religious, Congregation for Institutes of the Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 2 February 1990
RdU La recherche de l’unité, on the application of the principles and norms on ecumenism, Pontifical Council for the unity of Christians, 25 March 1993
RPU Religiosi e promozione umana, Congregation for Institutes of the Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 12 August 1980
SanP Il Santo Padre, and attached document Orientamenti e proposte, Congregation for Divine Worship, 3 April 1987
Gen. Congr. 1974 The Carmelite Today: Brotherhood as a Way to God, General Congregation, Frascati, 1974, [in TPB, pp. 38-43]
Gen. Congr. 1980 Called to Account by the Poor, General Congregation, Rio de Janeiro, 1980, [in TPB, pp. 82-97]
Gen.Congr. 1986 Carmel Faced with the Vocational Challenge, General Congregation, Niagara Falls, 1986, [Carmelite Communications Melbourne, 1986]
Gen. Congr. 1992 Evangelisation for Carmelites Today, General Congregation, Caracas, 1992, [Carmelite Communications Melbourne, 1992]
PrayComm Praying Communities at the Service of the People, Joint Letter of the General Superiors of the Ancient Observance and Discalced Carmelites on the occasion of the Vth centenary of the Evangelisation of Latin America, 16 July 1992 [in AOC 43 (1992) 157-163]
Rule The Rule of St. Albert, ed. H. Clarke & B. Edwards, Aylesford & Kensington, 1973
I Prov. Pledged to the service of brotherhood, First Council of Provinces, Madrid, 1972 [in TPB, pp. 14-23]
II Prov. “Lord, Teach us to Pray”, Second Council of Provinces, Aylesford, 1973, [in TPB, pp. 24-37]
III Prov. In the midst of the people: small religious communities and basic communities, Third Council of Provinces, Dublin, 1975, [in TPB, pp. 44-55]
V Prov. A Return to the Sources: an examination of the biblical significance of Mary and Elijah, Fifth Council of Provinces, Mount Carmel, 1979, [in TPB, pp. 68- 81]
VI Prov. Growing in Brotherhood, Sixth Council of Provinces, Heerlen, 1981, [in TPB, pp. 110-129]
VII Prov. Enchanted by the Mysteries of God, Seventh Council of Provinces, Aylesford, 1982, [in TPB, pp. 157-161]
IX Prov. Our International Dimension, Ninth Council of Provinces, Fatima, 1985, [Whitefriars Street, Carmelite Priory, Dublin, 1985]
X Prov. Message to the Order, Tenth Council of Provinces, Manila, 1987, [Carmelite Communications Melbourne, 1987]
XI Prov. Letter to the Carmelite Family, Eleventh Council of Provinces, Dublin, 1988, [Carmelite Communications Melbourne, 1988]
XII Prov. Carmelite Charism: Journey into God, Following the Word, Twelfth Council of Province, Salamanca, 1991, [Carmelite Communications Melbourne, 1991]
XIII Prov. Message to the Carmelite Family, Thirteenth Council of Provinces, Nantes, 1994, [Carmelite Communications Melbourne, 1994]
AOC Analecta Ordinis Carmelitarum, Rome, 1910-
Bull. Carm. Bullarium Carmelitanum, ed. E. Monsignani and J. A. Ximénez, 4 vols., Rome, 1715-1768
RIVC Ratio institutionis vitae carmelitanae, Forming Prophetic Brotherhood, The Carmelite Guide to Formation, General Curia of the Carmelite Order, Rome, 1988
TPB Towards a Prophetic Brotherhood, Documents of the Carmelite Order 1971-1982, The Carmelite Centre, Melbourne, 1984
(Translation by Fr. Bede Edwards, originally published in The Rule of Saint Albert, ed. Hugh Clarke & Bede Edwards, Aylesford and Kensington, 1973)
Albert, called by God's favour to be patriarch of the church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.
Many and varied are the ways in which our saintly forefathers laid down how everyone, whatever his station or the kind of religious observance he has chosen, should live a life of alegiance to Jesus Christ -- how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master.
It is to me, however, that you have come for a rule of life in keeping with your avowed purpose, a rule you may hold fast to henceforward; and therefore:
The first thing I require is for you to have a prior, one of yourselves, who is to be chosen for the office by common consent, or that of the greater and maturer part of you; each of the others must promise him obedience -- of which, once promised, he must try to make his deeds the true reflection -- and also chastity and the renunciation of ownership.
If the prior and brothers see fit, you may have foundations in solitary places, or where you are given a site that is suitable and convenient for the observance proper to your Order.
Next, each one of you is to have a separate cell, situated as the lie of the land you propose to occupy may dictate, and allotted by disposition of the prior with the agreement of the other brothers, or the more mature among them.
However, you are to eat whatever may have been given you in a common refectory, listening together meanwhile to a reading from Holy Scripture where that can be done without difficulty.
None of the brothers is to occupy a cell other than that allotted to him or to exchange cells with another, without leave or whoever is prior at the time.
The prior's cell should stand near the entrance to your property, so that he may be the first to meet those who approach, and whatever has to be done in consequence may all be carried out as he may decide and order.
Each one of you is to stay in his own cell or nearby, pondering the Lord's law day and night and keeping watch at his prayers unless attending to some other duty.
Those who know how to say the canonical hours with those in orders should do so, in the way those holy forefathers of ours laid down, and according to the Church's approved custom. Those who do not know the hours must say twenty-five Our Fathers for the night office, except on Sundays and solemnities when that number is to be doubled so that the Our Father is said fifty times; the same prayer must be said seven times in the morining in place of Lauds, and seven times too for each of the other hours, except for Vespers when it must be said fifteen times.
None of the brothers must lay claim to anything as his own, but you are to possess everything in common; and each is to receive from the prior -- that is from the brother he appoints for the purpose -- whatever befits his age and needs.
You may have as many asses and mules as you need, however, and may keep a certain amount of livestock or poultry.
An oratory should be built as conveniently as possible among the cells, where, if it can be done without difficulty, you are to gather each morning to hear Mass.
On Sundays too, or other days if necessary, you should discuss matters of discipline and your spiritual welfare; and on this occasion the indiscretions and failings of the brothers, if any be found at fault, should be lovingly corrected.
You are to fast every day, except Sundays, from the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross until Easter Day, unless bodily sickness or feebleness, or some other good reason, demand a dispensation from the fast; for necessity overrides every law.
You are to abstain from meat, except as a remedy for sickness or feebleness. But as, when you are on a journey, you more often than not have to beg your way; outside your own houses you may eat foodstuffs that have been cooked with meat, so as to avoid giving trouble to your hosts. At sea, however, meat may be eaten.
Since man's life on earth is a time of trial, and all who would live devotedly in Christ must undergo persecution, and the devil your foe is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for prey to devour, you must use every care to clothe yourselves in God's armour so that you may be ready to withstand the enemy's ambush.
Your loins are to be girt with chastity, your breast fortified by holy meditations, for, as Scripture has it, holy meditation will save you. Put on holiness as your breastplate, and it will enable you to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself. Faith must be your shield on all occasions, and with it you will be able to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one: there can be no pleasing God without faith; [and the victory lies in this -- your faith]. On your head set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Saviour, who sets his own free from their sins. The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord's word for accompaniment.
You must give yourselves to work of some kind, so that the devil may always find you busy; no idleness on your part must give him a chance to pierce the defences of your souls. In this respect you have both the teaching and the example of Saint Paul the Apostle, into whose mouth Christ put his own words. God made him preacher and teacher of faith and truth to the nations: with him as your leader you cannot go astray. We lived among you, he said, labouring and wary, toiling night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you; not because we had no power to do otherwise but so as to give you, in your own selves, an example you might imitate. For the charge we gave you when we were with you was this: that woever is not willing to work should not be allowed to eat either. For we have heard that there are certain restless idlers among you. We charge people of this kind, and implore them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they earn their own bread by silent toil. This is the way of holiness and goodness: see that you follow it.
The Apostle would have us keep silence, for in silence he tells us to work. As the Prophet also makes known to us: Silence is the way to foster holiness. Elsewhere he says: Your strength will lie in silence and hope. For this reason I lay down that you are to keep silence from after Compline until after Prime the next day. At other times, although you need not keep silence so strictly, be careful not to indulge in a great deal of talk, for, as Scripture has it -- and experience teaches us no less -- sin will not be wanting where there is much talk, and he wo is careless in speech will come to harm; and elsewhere: The use of many words brings harm to the speaker's soul. And our Lord says in the Gospel: Every rash word uttered will have to be accounted for on judgement day. Make a balance then, each of you, to weigh his words in; keep a tight rein on your mouths, lest you should stumble and fall in speech, and your fall be irreparable and prove mortal. Like the Prophet, watch your step lest your tongue give offence, and employ every care in keeping silent, which is the way to foster holiness.
You, brother B., and whoever may succeed you as prior, must always keep in mind and put into practice what our Lord said in the Gospel: Whoever has a mind to become a leader among you must make himself servant to the rest, and whichever of you would be first must become your bondsman.
You, other brothers too, hold your prior in humble reverence, your minds not on him but on Christ who has placed him over you, and who, to those who rule the Churches, addressed the words: Whoever pays you heed pays heed to me, and whoever treats you with dishonour dishonours me; if you remain so minded you will not be found guilty of contempt, but will merit life eternal as fit reward for your obedience.
Here then are the few points I have written down to provide you with a standard of counduct to live up to; but our Lord, at his second coming will reward anyone who does more than he is obliged to do. See that the bounds of common sense are not exceeded, however, for common sense is the guide of the virtues.
From Constitutions of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. Approved by the General Chapter celebrated in September, 1995 and published by the order of the Most Reverend Father Joseph Chalmers, Prior General.
Chapters have been renumbered since the Rule was published in 1995. The Chapter numbers used aboveare the result of a joint meeting of the General Councils of the Carmelites and the Discalced Carmelites in January, 1999.
Innocentian additions are given in italics.
Our Life as Brothers
The Mission and Charism of the Carmelite Order
and its basic characteristics
Through Jesus Christ,
Son of the Father
and “firstborn of all creation”,
we live in union with God
and with our neighbours
in a new way.
And so, we share in the mission of the Incarnate Word in this world,
and we form the Church,
which is in Christ “as a sacrament - a sign and instrument
of communion with God, and of the unity of the whole human race.”
Living in allegiance to Jesus Christ,
and embracing his Gospel as the supreme norm of our lives,
by the power of his Spirit
who distributes his gifts to each according to his will,
we seek to live together in mutual service of one another
and of all people.
In this way, we co-operate in God’s plan
to gather all men and women into one Holy People.
Among the gifts of the Spirit is the evangelical life,
which we profess as religious,
called by Christ to live and to spread
his transforming and liberating power,
and even evangelical life itself,
in a manner that is specific to us,
effective, and contemporary.
This life is characterised by an intense search for God,
in total adherence to Christ,
finding expression in fraternal life and apostolic zeal.
Inherent in this vocation
is the full acceptance of the conditions
which Christ sets
for those who wish to follow him in this kind of life.
It involves acceptance of God’s will,
as sharing in Christ’s obedience.
It also includes the life of poverty
and community of goods,
as an expression of our unity in Christ
and of mutual gospel-inspired union with our brothers.
Finally, it is consecrated chastity,
as an expression of our love of God
and of our brothers and sisters.
We look upon our consecrated life above all as an invitation
and a great gift from God,
by which he consecrates us to himself,
that we may serve our brothers and sisters
following Christ’s example.
This vocation perfects in us, through our shared brotherhood,
the power, which is also charismatic, a gift of the Spirit,
received at baptism and at confirmation,
binding us in a special way to the Church
and making us ready to serve God and humanity,
“to implant and strengthen the Kingdom of Christ in souls,
and to spread it to the four corners of the earth.”
In this context,
we the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
are engaged in a process of self-examination
and seek to define the characteristics
among the many existing charisms and vocations
which give our religious family its particular identity
within the Church.
At the time of the Crusades to the Holy Land,
hermits settled in various places throughout Palestine.
Some of these, “following the example of Elijah,
a holy man and a lover of solitude,
adopted a solitary life-style on Mount Carmel,
near a spring called Elijah’s Fountain.
In small cells, similar to the cells of a beehive,
they lived as God’s bees,
gathering the divine honey of spiritual consolation.”
Later, St. Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem brought the hermits together,
at their request, into a single “collegium”;
he gave them a formula for living
which expressed their own eremetical ideals (“propositum”)
and reflected the spirit of the so-called pilgrimage to the Holy Land
and of the early community of Jerusalem.
Moved by “their love of the Holy Land”,
these hermits “consecrated themselves in this Land
to the One who had paid for it by the shedding of his blood,
in order that they might serve him,
clothed in the habit of religious poverty,”
persevering “in holy penance”
and forming a fraternal community.
This way of life was approved successively by
Honorius III in 1226, by Gregory IX in 1229,
and by Innocent IV in 1245.
In 1247, Innocent IV approved it definitively
as an authentic rule of life,
amending it to suit Western conditions.
These adaptations became necessary
when the Carmelites began to migrate to the West
to escape persecution, and expressed a desire to lead a life
“in which, with the help of God,
they would have the joy of working for their own salvation
and that of their neighbour.”
As a result of the approval of the Rule by Innocent IV,
the Carmelites placed themselves at the service of the Church,
according to the common ideal of the Mendicant Orders,
also known as the Orders of Apostolic Brotherhood.
However, they retained the distinctive features
of their original charism;
and over the centuries the Order and the Church
found these features to belong to Carmelites,
especially because of the teachers of spiritual life
whom God raised up in the Order.
The Rule outlines the guiding thrust of Carmelite life
in allegiance to Christ,
according to the spirit of the Order.
We are to ponder the law of the Lord, by day and by night,
in silence and in solitude,
so that the word of God
may dwell abundantly in the hearts
and on the lips of those who profess it.
We are to pray with perseverance,
especially by keeping vigil and praying the psalms.
We are also to be clothed in spiritual armour;
to live in fraternal communion,
expressed through the daily celebration of the Eucharist,
through fraternal meetings in chapters,
through shared ownership of all material goods,
through fraternal and loving correction of failings,
and through a life of austerity, with work and penance,
rooted in faith, hope and love,
always conforming one’s own will to God’s,
sought in faith through dialogue
and through the prior’s service to his brothers.
Carmelite spirituality is characterised by two features.
The first is its Elijan trait
which the Carmelites developed living as they did on Mount Carmel,
the scene of the great prophet’s deeds.
Its second feature is an intimacy with Mary in our spiritual life,
eloquently witnessed by the title of being her brothers and
the dedication of the first Church on Mount Carmel in her honour.
As the human race enters into a new period of its history,
we seek, as Carmelites inspired by the Spirit at work in the Church,
to adapt our way of life to new conditions.
We seek to understand the signs of the times
and to examine them in the light of the Gospel,
of our charism, and of our spiritual heritage,
so that we may incarnate this way of life in different cultures.
“To live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ
and to serve him faithfully
with a pure heart
and a clear conscience”:
these words, inspired by St. Paul,
are the basis for all the elements of our charism;
they are the foundation upon which Albert constructed our way of life.
The particular Palestinian context in which the Order originated,
and the approval bestowed by the Holy See
at the various stages of the Order’s historical evolution,
gave new meaning and inspiration
to the way of life set out in the Rule.
Carmelites live their life of allegiance to Christ
through a commitment to seek the face of the living God
(the contemplative dimension of life),
and through service (diakonia)
in the midst of the people.
The spiritual tradition of the Order has stressed
that these three fundamental elements of the charism
are not distinct and unrelated values,
but closely interwoven.
Down the ages the Carmelites have emphasised the dynamic
of the desert experience as a crucial factor in unifying these values.
The desert experience is a Carmelite commitment
to make the crucified Christ - stripped and emptied -
the very foundation of their lives;
to channel their energies entirely towards him in faith,
tearing down any obstacles which may stand in the way
of perfect dependence on him
or impede perfect charity towards God
and towards others.
This process of detachment which leads to union with God
- the ultimate goal of all human growth -
is found in our spirituality in the expressions
“purity of heart” (“puritas cordis”)
and “total availability to God (“vacare Deo”)
These indicate a total openness to God
and a gradual self-emptying.
Through this process, when we come to see reality with God’s eyes,
our attitude towards the world is transformed
according to his love,
and the contemplation of the loving presence of God
will be seen in our lives of fraternity and of service.
From its earliest days,
the community of Carmelites adopted a contemplative style,
both in its structures and in its basic values.
This is clearly reflected in the Rule,
which describes a community of brothers,
totally dedicated to a prayerful attention to the Word,
celebrating and praising the Lord with zeal.
The Rule speaks of a community
whose members are open to the indwelling of the Spirit
and formed by the Spirit’s values:
chastity, holy thoughts, justice,
love, faith, the expectation of salvation,
work accomplished in peace,
silence which, as the Prophet tells us,
is the cult of justice and brings wisdom to word and action;
and discernment, “the guide and moderator of all virtues.”
The tradition of the Order
has always interpreted the Rule
and the founding charism
as expressions of the contemplative dimension of life,
and the great spiritual teachers of the Carmelite Family
have always returned to this contemplative vocation.
Contemplation begins when we entrust ourselves to God,
in whatever way he chooses to approach us;
it is an attitude of openness to God,
whose presence we discover in all things.
Thus, contemplation is the inner journey of Carmelites,
arising out of the free initiative of God,
who touches and transforms us,
leading us towards unity of love with him,
raising us up so that we may enjoy this gratuitous love
and live in his loving presence.
It is a transforming experience
of the overpowering love of God.
This love empties us
of our limited and imperfect human ways of
thinking, loving, and behaving,
transforming them into divine ways.
Contemplation also has a gospel and an ecclesial value.
The practice of contemplation
is not only the source of our spiritual life;
it also determines the quality of our fraternal life
and of our service in the midst of the people of God.
The values of contemplation
- when lived faithfully in the midst of the complex events of daily life -
make Carmelite brotherhood a witness
to the living and mysterious presence of God among his people.
The search for the face of God,
and openness to the gifts of the Spirit,
make us more attentive to the signs of the times
and more sensitive to the seeds of the Word in history,
seeing and evaluating facts and events
within the Church and within society.
Through living like Christ,
in solidarity with the events
and the hopes of the human race,
Carmelites will be able to make appropriate decisions
to transform life, making it conform more closely
to the will of the Father.
Moreover, for the good of the Church,
the contemplative dimension
will encourage those who feel called to an eremetical life.
A contemplative attitude towards the world around us
allows us to discover the presence of God
in the events of ordinary daily life
and especially, to see him in our brothers and sisters.
Thus we are led to appreciate the mystery
of those with whom we share our lives.
Our Rule requires us to be essentially “brothers”,
and reminds us that the quality of interpersonal relationships
within the Carmelite community
needs to be constantly developed
and enhanced, following the inspiring example
of the first community in Jerusalem.
For us to be brothers
means to grow in communion
and in unity,
overcoming privileges and distinctions,
in a spirit of participation and co-responsibility,
in sharing material possessions,
a common programme of life, and personal charisms;
to be brothers also means to care for one another’s spiritual
and psychological well-being,
through walking in the way of dialogue and reconciliation.
These fraternal values find expression and nourishment
in the Word,
in the Eucharist,
and in prayer.
Hearing, praying and living the Word
- in silence, in solitude and in community,
especially in the form of lectio divina -
Carmelites are led, day by day,
to know and experience the mystery of Jesus Christ.
Inspired by the Spirit and rooted in Christ Jesus,
abiding in him by day and by night,
Carmelites allow every choice and every action
to be guided by his Word.
and in communion with the whole Church,
the brothers come together to praise the Lord,
and invite others to share in their experience of prayer.
Every day, if possible, the brothers are called,
from solitude and from their apostolic work,
to the Eucharist
- source and culmination of their lives -
so that, gathered together around the Lord’s table,
they may be “united, heart and soul,”
living true, fraternal koinonia in unselfishness,
in mutual service,
in faithfulness to a common goal
and in a spirit of reconciliation inspired by Christ’s love.
As a contemplative fraternity,
we seek the face of God and we serve the Church
in the world or possibly in eremetical solitude.
As a contemplative brotherhood,
we seek the face of God also in the heart of the world.
We believe that God has established his dwelling place
among his people,
and for this reason, the Carmelite brotherhood knows itself to be
a living part of the Church and of history
- an open fraternity, able to listen to the world it lives in,
and willing to be questioned by it;
ready both to meet life’s challenges
and to give an authentic, evangelical response
based on our own charism.
Carmelites will show solidarity and will be eager to collaborate
with all who suffer, who hope,
and who commit themselves to the search for the Kingdom of God.
The notion of travelling, hinted at in the Rule,
is an expression of the evangelical and apostolic style
of the mendicant orders.
It is a call to the Carmelite brotherhood to discern
and to follow the ways marked out by the Lord’s Spirit
for communities and individuals;
it is a sign of solidarity and of generous service
- both to the Universal and local Church,
and to the world of today.
The community residence is where the community “gathers” and lives;
for Carmelites, it is also a place of welcome and hospitality,
so that people share in a common spirit,
in fraternal reconciliation,
and in the experience of God lived in the community.
Finally, this way of being “in the midst of the people”
is a sign and a prophetic witness of new relationships
of fraternity and friendship
among men and women everywhere.
It is a prophetic message of justice and peace in society
and among peoples.
As an integral part of the Good News,
this prophecy must be fulfilled through active commitment
to the transformation of sinful systems and structures
into grace-filled systems and structures.
It is also an expression of
“the choice to share in the lives
of “the little ones” (“minores”) of history,
so that we may speak a word of hope
and of salvation from their midst
- more by our life than by our words.”
This option flows naturally from our profession of poverty
in a mendicant fraternity,
and is in keeping with our allegiance to Christ Jesus,
lived out also through allegiance to the poor
and to those in whom the face of our Lord is reflected
in a preferential way.
4. Elijah and Mary, our inspirations
All that we desire and all that we wish to be today was fulfilled
in the lives of the Prophet Elijah
and of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In their own way, both had “the same spirit,
... the same formation, and the same teacher
- the Holy Spirit.”
By looking to Mary and to Elijah,
we can more easily understand and internalise,
live out and proclaim
the truth which makes us free.
In Elijah we see the solitary prophet
who nurtured his thirst for the one and only God,
and lived in his presence.
He is the contemplative,
burning with passionate love for the Absolute who is God,
“his word flaring like a torch.”
He is the mystic who,
after a long and wearisome journey,
learned to read the new signs of God’s presence.
He is the prophet who became involved in the lives of the people,
and who, by battling against false idols,
brought them back to faithfulness to their Covenant
with the One God.
He is the prophet
who was in solidarity with the poor and the forgotten,
and who defended those who endured violence and injustice.
From Elijah, Carmelites learn to be people of the desert,
with heart undivided, standing before God
and entirely dedicated to his service,
uncompromising in the choice to serve God’s cause,
aflame with a passionate love for God.
Like Elijah, they believe in God
and allow themselves to be led by the Spirit
and by the Word that has taken root in their hearts,
in order to bear witness to the divine presence in the world,
allowing God to be truly God in their lives.
Finally, in Elijah they see, not only prophetic wisdom,
but also brotherhood lived in community;
and with Elijah they learn to be
channels of God’s tender love
for the poor and the humble.
Mary, overshadowed by the Spirit of God,
is the Virgin of a new heart,
who gave a human face to the Word made flesh.
She is the Virgin of wise and contemplative listening
who kept and pondered in her heart
the events and the words of the Lord.
She is the faithful disciple of wisdom,
who sought Jesus - God’s Wisdom -
and allowed herself to be formed and moulded by his Spirit,
so that in faith she might be conformed to his ways and choices.
Thus enlightened, Mary is presented to us
as one able to read “the great wonders”
which God accomplished in her
for the salvation of the humble and of the poor.
Mary was not only the Mother of Our Lord;
she also became his perfect disciple, the woman of faith.
She followed Jesus, walking with the disciples,
sharing their demanding and wearisome journey
- a journey which required, above all, fraternal love
and mutual service.
At the marriage feast in Cana, Mary taught us to believe in her Son;
at the foot of the Cross, she became Mother to all who believe;
with them she experiences the joy of the Resurrection.
United with the other disciples “in constant prayer,”
she received the first gifts of the Spirit,
who filled the earliest Christian community with apostolic zeal.
Mary brings the good news of salvation to all men and women.
She is the woman who built relationships,
not only within the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples,
but, beyond that, with the people:
with Elizabeth, with the bride and bridegroom in Cana,
with the other women, and with Jesus’ “brothers”.
Carmelites see in the Virgin Mary, Mother of God
and archetype of the Church,
the perfect image of all that they want and hope to be.
For this reason, Carmelites have always thought of Mary
as the Patron of the Order,
its Mother and Splendour;
she is constantly before their eyes and in their hearts
as “the Virgin Most Pure.”
Looking to her, and living in spiritual intimacy with her,
we learn to stand before God,
and with one another,
as the Lord’s brothers.
Mary lives among us, as mother and sister,
attentive to our needs;
along with us she waits and hopes,
suffers and rejoices.
The scapular is a sign of Mary’s permanent
and constant motherly love for Carmelite brothers and sisters.
By their devotion to the scapular,
faithful to a tradition in the Order, especially since the 16th century,
Carmelites express the loving closeness of Mary to the people of God;
it is a sign of consecration to Mary,
a means of uniting the faithful to the Order,
and an effective and popular means of evangelisation.
The many and various embodiments of the Carmelite charism
are for us a source of joy;
they confirm the rich and creative fruitfulness of our charism,
lived under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
- a fruitfulness to be welcomed with gratitude
All individuals and groups, whether institutional or not,
which draw their inspiration from the Rule of St. Albert,
from its tradition and from the values
expressed in Carmelite spirituality,
constitute the Carmelite Family within the Church today.
This Family includes ourselves
and our brothers of the Teresian Reform;
the women religious of both branches;
affiliated religious congregations;
the Third Orders Secular;
individuals affiliated with the Order through the sacred scapular;
and those who by whatever title or bond are affiliated with the Order;
those movements which, though juridically not part of the Order,
seek inspiration and support from its spirituality;
and any man or woman who is drawn to the values of Carmel.
Our Life as Brothers
The Holy Trinity, source and model of the Church,
is also the source and the model of our life as brothers.
The Trinitarian communion (koinonia) of knowledge
and love in which we share
comes to us as gift,
and urges us to open ourselves to knowledge and love of God
and of our neighbours.
Thus, growth in knowledge and in love within each local community,
open to the entire Order, to the Church and to the whole human race,
manifests ever more perfectly this fundamental element
of our identity as brothers of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel.
Fraternal life modelled on the Jerusalem community
is an incarnation of God’s gratuitous love,
internalised through an ongoing process
by which we empty ourselves of all egocentricity
- which can affect groups as much as individuals -
as we move towards authentic centering in God.
In this way we express the charismatic and prophetic nature
of the consecrated Carmelite life,
weaving harmoniously into it the personal charisms of each member,
in the service of the Church and of the world.
We are therefore called to renew ourselves,
as brothers in dialogue with one another,
open to the signs of the times
- and therefore to all people -
welcoming those who are involved in our ministry,
especially the young and the poor.
We are also open to developing new forms of community
and new ministries,
that they may have a decisive impact on the Church and on society,
inviting all people to conversion.
Community life, lived in the spirit of Elijah
and under the protection of Mary, Mother of God and our Sister,
is thus the expression and the test of our fraternal love.
Communal life must tend towards deeper union,
in mutual knowledge and love.
To this end, our life in common has moments of particular intensity and importance:
a) in the shared participation in the Eucharist, through which we become one body, and which is the source and the summit of our lives, and therefore the sacrament of brotherhood;
b) in communal celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours;
c) in prayerful listening to the Word;
d) in meetings to be held periodically, according to the Provincial Statutes, to discuss issues which concern the life of the community;
e) in other community meetings, to be held periodically according to the Provincial Statutes, where - in a spirit of dialogue and discernment -
- we study the Rule, the writings of our mystics, and the official documents of the Church and of the Order;
- we examine our faithfulness to the charism and to the mission of the Order;
- we share our experiences;
- we develop our aims for community life; (progetto comunitario)
- we learn to read the signs of the times;
- we make pastoral choices in the context of the local Church;
f) in the common table and recreation together;
g) in common work, manual and other, whether within the community or elsewhere on behalf of the community;
h) in the sharing of joys, anxieties and friendships,.
All our activities outside the house
shall be closely related to our life within the house,
and shall form with it a seamless whole.
It is the very purpose of houses of apostolic Brotherhood
to be present among the people:
to be open and closely joined with them,
stimulating a critical reflection on their human needs.
In this way, our communities will be authentic expressions of faith,
hope and charity,
and will become places conducive to full human development.
By its very nature, community life must promote human,
intellectual, spiritual and pastoral growth of all religious,
so that they may be fully integrated into the community
and into its mission, according to personal qualities and aptitudes.
Thus, the expression of unity is to be sought in organic diversity
- not in shapeless uniformity.
Discernment at all levels must precede both the appropriate distribution of work
and the community’s choice of particular activities.
In some cases, experts and facilitators may be called upon
to assist us in community dialogue.
Moreover, communities shall ensure that no member is so overloaded with work
- be it apostolic or other -
that community life and religious exercises become impossible
or too difficult.
Provincial Statutes shall stipulate the length of the annual vacation for each religious.
§ 1. In order to promote the growth
of the contemplative and fraternal dimensions of our lives,
both excessive activity and undisciplined behaviour
should be avoided,
and likewise any life-style which is contrary
to the deepest aspirations of the consecrated life.
§ 2. Carmelites are to be aware of the growing importance
of world-wide communication in present-day society,
and of the major technological innovations in this field.
There is no doubt that the mass media can play
an important role in evangelisation;
the abuse and manipulative use of the media, however,
can endanger human dignity and freedom.
Our communities shall therefore evaluate the best ways
to make use of the mass media,
with a view both to safeguarding the contemplative
and fraternal dimensions
of our lives, and to increasing the effectiveness of our apostolate.
Each community shall comprise a sufficient number of friars
to create an appropriate environment
in which a truly fraternal life can develop.
Any friar who, for reasons of health, study, or apostolate,
or for some other legitimate motive, must live outside his house,
shall be attached to a well-established community,
whose members shall encourage a fraternal relationship,
assisting him in his activities.
For his part, as far as he can, he shall visit the community on a regular basis,
and shall willingly take part in some of the community’s meetings,
in order to benefit more fully from the advantages of brotherhood.
Hospitality is a characteristic of the fraternal life,
and it is to be extended not only to the brothers within the Order
and to members of their families,
but also to others, insofar as possible.
To ensure that the economic structure of our religious life
does not resemble existing global systems of unjust inequality,
fraternity within the Carmelite family should find expression
in concern for and sharing with communities throughout the Order,
in particular the poorer among them.
It is necessary to foster attitudes of respect and gratitude
towards the elderly who have spent their energies
labouring for the Order
and for the Church.
The community shall welcome their contribution to its activities,
according to their abilities, and shall avoid evaluating individuals
on the basis of such anti-evangelical criteria as efficiency
Communities shall welcome as a gift the presence of sick brothers,
seeing in them the suffering Christ.
Our brotherhood must be expressed in a very special way
in the loving consideration with which we care
for our sick or infirm brothers.
Communities shall ensure that these brothers lack nothing
that might help them to regain their health;
they shall be sent, if necessary, to clinics or places of health care,
and shall have the support of every spiritual help.
To pray for the dead “is a holy and pious thought”;
we shall therefore devoutly remember in the Lord our dead brothers,
by offering Masses on their behalf and praying for them,
so that we may remain in spiritual union with them.
Provincial Statutes must define the particular intercessions
for the Supreme Pontiff,
for dead confreres within the Province or the house,
for members of the General Council who die in office,
for former Generals, and for the nuns of our Order.
The Prior General shall designate intercessions for religious
who are not attached to a particular Province.
On the death of a confrere, the local Prior
shall notify the Provincial Prior,
who, in turn, shall notify the Prior General
and every house within the Province,
providing a brief biography of the deceased,
to be published as soon as possible
in the official publication of the Order.
Daily conversion to the Gospel is essential
if we are to remain faithful to our vocation to fraternal life.
“Religious communities must be seen in the Church as prayerful
and in a constant process of conversion.”
We must seek concrete forms of conversion,
above all through a constant discernment of life
in the light of the Gospel,
of the signs of the times, and the experience of the poor;
and through the faithful fulfilment of our ministries,
taking into account the circumstances and traditions
of the local Church.
It is left to individual communities,
in accordance with their Provincial Statutes,
to develop the most appropriate ways to practise the spirit of penance.
Provided they do not contradict the prescriptions of canon law
or of the Bishops’ Conference of the country concerned,
norms concerning fast and abstinence
will be determined by Provincial Statutes,
in keeping with the Rule,
taking into account the customs and circumstances
of the local Church.
Our religious habit is “a sign of consecration,”
and consists of a brown or dark tunic, a scapular
and a cappuce of the same colour;
a leather belt shall be worn over the tunic.
Provincial Statutes may decide on a different colour,
if this is necessary for a particular reason (for example, climate).
On more solemn occasions, a white cloak shall be worn,
which is shorter than the tunic
and has a white cappuce of the same shape as the dark one.
Wearing of the habit inside or outside the house
is a matter to be decided by the Provincial Statutes,
with due regard for the rights of the local Ordinary.
In every house, there shall be an area for the brethren.
Its extent shall be determined by the community.
All friars shall respect the rules which apply
to this reserved area of the house;
for a just reason, the Prior may allow exceptions to these rules.
The essence and foundation of consecrated life
is the radical following of Jesus Christ.
The evangelical counsels of obedience, poverty and chastity,
publicly professed in the Church,
are a radical form of witness to the following of Christ.
As we follow the obedient, poor and chaste Christ,
we become less focused on ourselves,
and we orient ourselves in history to the search
for the Kingdom of God.
Our consecrated life,
configured to the life of Christ
by means of the three evangelical counsels
taken on by the vows, and by other evangelical values,
is a gift from God.
Its motivation is not that “of the world”,”
yet it places us in the world as witnesses to the value of life itself
as a precious gift.
This value, lived in the spirit of the beatitudes,
transfigures the world according to the Father’s design.
By means of religious obedience, genuinely observed in deeds,
we surrender our will fully to God.
Christ Jesus is the source and the reason of our obedience.
He lived his freedom not in self-sufficiency and personal autonomy,
but in obedience to the Father.
Christ’s obedience was not only a commitment to do his Father's works, it was also a faithfulness to humanity
and to the salvation of all.
Jesus obeyed because he loved his Father,
and because he loved us. Jesus was wholly of God,
and wholly for people.
The only purpose of his life was to bring about the Kingdom of God,
and to this goal he remained faithful unto death.
The Spirit of Jesus lives in us;
we are not under the law, but under grace.
Allowing the Spirit to guide us,
we shall be taught to discern the will of God,
and we shall be led to the complete truth.
For us today, following Christ in his obedience
means listening together to the word of God,
received and lived in the Church;
learning to read the signs of the times
in order to discern the will of God today,
and fulfilling faithfully, day by day,
whatever mission he entrusts to us.
This involves a constant and profound process of transformation
in order to internalise the will of God,
which is always creative and life-giving,
so that we may not only freely choose to act in accordance with the divine commandments,
but being purified we may adhere more and more fully
to the God who loves us.
We commit ourselves to obey God’s will not only as individuals,
but also as a community.
It is in community that together we seek to know the will of God.
We engage in this search in a spirit of mutual discipleship and co-responsibility,
as we listen to and fulfil the Word of God,
read in the light of the signs of the times
and in keeping with the charism of the Order.
In this way, we are brothers in obedience; side by side and together,
we face the challenges of the Gospel
and the coming of the Kingdom of God.
The Prior, conscious of the presence of Christ
and of his Gospel at the heart of the community,
shall place himself at the service of God’s will
and at the service of his brethren,
guiding them to mature and responsible obedience to Christ,
through dialogue and timely discernment,
while remaining firm in his authority
to decide and to command what must be done.
In the community, the Prior must be a stimulus
to live out our charism;
he must be a sign and a bond of unity.
The brothers are to “hold their prior humbly in honour,
thinking not so much of him
as of Christ who placed him over [them].”
In grave cases, a major superior may impose a precept
(praeceptum) on a member,
by virtue of the vow of obedience.
Such a precept shall be given in writing
or in the presence of two witnesses.
Jesus Christ the poor man, was born and lived in lowliness.
During his life on earth, he chose to be deprived
He took the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are,
and identified with the “little ones” and with the poor.
He shared all of his life with his disciples;
In this way, he became not only their master,
but their friend and brother.
On the cross, in keeping with the Father’s plan,
Jesus experienced absolute nakedness and radical poverty.
From the cross he gave himself up completely,
for the sake of humanity.
Rich though he was, Jesus became poor for us,
so that, through his poverty, we might be made rich.
As they followed Jesus, the poor man,
the early Christian communities, inspired by
fraternal communion (koinonia),
As we follow Jesus and take as our model
the life of the primitive Church,
we too wish to embrace willingly the gift
of the evangelical counsel of poverty,
by our vow to hold all things in common,
and by declaring that no object belongs to any of us personally.
We believe that all we have is gift, and that all we have
- all the spiritual, material, and cultural goods
that are obtained by our labour -
must be freely returned, in whatever way can best serve the good of
the Church and of our Order,
for the human and social development of all.
Poverty is a complex and ambiguous reality.
When it is the absence of the necessary means for survival,
resulting from injustice or personal and social sin, it is an evil.
But it can also be a Gospel form of life adopted by those
who trust in God alone, sharing all their possessions,
identifying with the poor in a spirit of solidarity, renouncing all desire for dominion or self-sufficiency.
In contemplation, we internalise the authentic attitude of poverty,
which is a deep process of inner self-emptying
through which we become less and less in control
of our own activity and ideas,
of our virtues and of our ambitions,
as we open ourselves to God’s action.
In this way, we become truly poor as Christ was poor,
even to the point of not owning the poverty we have chosen
in this process by which God’s love empties us.
Thus, we who freely chose poverty as our evangelical lifestyle
feel called by the Gospel and by the Church
to awaken people’s consciences
to the problems of destitution, hunger and social injustice.
We shall accomplish this purpose if
- first and foremost -
our own poverty witnesses to the human meaning of work
as a means of sustaining life and as service to others;
if we undertake to study and to understand
the economic, social and moral causes of that poverty
which stems from injustice;
if we use our possessions with restraint and simplicity,
making them available to others, even free of charge,
in the service of the human and spiritual development
of our fellow men and women;
and, finally, if we engage in healthy and balanced discernment
with regard to the ways in which we are present among the people,
choosing ways which foster the liberation
and the integral development of human beings.
Hence, solemnly professed religious
shall have no personal material possessions;
whatever they receive shall belong to the house, to the Province,
or to the Order, according to these Constitutions
and the Provincial Statutes.
Without prejudice to the canonical validity
of all that is set forth in article 55,
in countries where civil law does not recognise
the effect of solemn profession, members may perform
certain juridical acts (donations, wills, etc.) in civil courts
and with civil validity, in favour of the house, the Province,
or the Order.
In those cases where civil law does not even recognise the house,
the Province, or the Order as juridical persons,
members may act, in civil courts, as if they were owners,
but always without prejudice to the canonical validity
of the laws set forth above.
In our use of material goods, it is our responsibility before God
to observe faithfully the poverty which we have freely professed,
keeping in mind that we make the vow of poverty
in order to live a simple life, individually and within our communities,
avoiding whatever might offend the sensibilities of the poor.
Provincial Statutes shall decide what amount should be made
available to each religious for his personal expenses,
taking into account that needs may differ
from one country to another.
Rules concerning fasting and abstinence, set forth in article 40,
should also encourage us to live simply and to help the poor.
Let us remember that in our time the best way to make manifest
our vow of poverty
is to faithfully fulfil the common law of work.
Let us, therefore, embrace with enthusiasm the precept of the Rule,
which invites us to work assiduously,
for we know that by our toil we co-operate in God's work of creation
and, at the same time, develop our own personalities;
by our active charity we assist our confreres, and all others;
and we contribute to the good of the Order.
Moreover, we perpetuate the dignity Jesus gave to work
- for he never disdained manual labour -
and we follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
whose life on earth was full of ordinary concerns and work.
The God of the Kingdom and the Kingdom of God
are the essential points of reference
and the universal framework for our celibate lives,
and for all Christian existence.
“Only God’s love can call us decisively to religious chastity.
This love demands a fraternal charity so powerful
that it will lead religious to live more deeply with
their fellow men and women
in the heart of Christ.
The gift of self, to God and to others, will then be
the source of profound peace.”
Christ Jesus, the chaste man,
dedicated himself wholly to the cause of the Kingdom.
He loved everyone, especially the “little ones” and the poor.
totally dedicated to the service of his brothers and sisters.
His life was limpid and the epiphany of the face of the Father.
As we follow Jesus in his chastity,
our celibacy also takes on the quality of a full and total love for God
and for every human being.
Aware of God’s love, which stands over every individual,
Carmelites must be continually transformed
by this disinterested and unconditional divine love.
Such internalisation occurs through a process
of continuous transformation of all our affectivity,
so that we become truly chaste through full personal development.
Through the power of such chaste and undivided love,
our interpersonal relationships grow in truth and in transparency.
In a world often torn by struggle and division,
the one who is new and chaste in the Spirit
is the epiphany and radiance of the liberating presence of our Lord.
Love lived out in celibacy has for us
- as it had for Jesus -
both mystical value and social or political value:
it is at the same time the undivided love of God
- the only Absolute who gives meaning to our existence -
and a preferential, gratuitous and liberating love
for the humble and the poor,
in order that the values of the Kingdom of God
- equality, solidarity, and dignity of the human person -
may take root and spread throughout the human community.
The charism of consecrated chastity is a gift from God;
but we know that we carry this gift in earthen vessels,
that is, in our weak and fragile humanity.
For this reason, we feel the need to live according to values
which promote a balanced and mature integration of our affectivity
and of our capacity for a tenderness with evangelical attitudes,
in a way that is coherent with our way of living.
If our celibate life, chosen for the Kingdom,
is to be a suitable vehicle for our maturity as human beings
and for our growth in faith,
we need to be instructed,
first of all in authentic brotherly love;
in communication and community dialogue;
and in the ability to love others not possessively,
but appreciating them as persons.
We must learn also the meaning of gift, of gratuitous service,
and of straightforwardness in friendships.
Finally, we must come to understand silence
as attentiveness to the Word,
and Christian asceticism as that which purifies our feelings
and re-establishes our authentic relationships with others,
sharing in the Cross of Christ,
who carried to the limit his selfless love for his Father
and for his brothers and sisters.
1. Prayer in general
The Holy Trinity draws us into communion with themselves
and with one another, in faith, in hope and in charity.
These virtues are experienced, nourished and expressed in prayer,
as we turn our attention to God, in adoration and in love,
in obedient listening, in sincere contrition,
and in hope-filled petition.
Prayer is the fruit of the action of the Holy Spirit in us
and in our lives.
It is the Spirit who gives us words when we can find no words;
who leads us to unity with the entire Church;
who helps us to deepen our experience of intimacy with God.
The Carmelite tradition of prayer is built
on the concrete prayer experience of its members throughout history.
This experience tells the story of the loving presence of God
in the lives of Carmelites,
so that they can say, with the psalmist, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.,”
and “O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.”
From the beginning, the Carmelite Order has taken on both
a life of prayer
and an apostolate of prayer.
Prayer is the centre of our lives,
and authentic community and ministry spring from this source.
The prayer of the Carmelite community is
a sign of the praying Church to the world.
It recalls the example of Mary, Mother of Jesus,
who “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart,”
praising the wonders that the Lord had worked in her.
By meditating and entering ever more deeply into
the mystery of Christ,
we become more obedient in following him,
deepening our commitment to work as his disciples
for the redemption of humanity.
In the Our Father, Jesus taught us to pray in a way that
unites heaven and earth.
Thus in our spirituality we integrate our love for the world
and our sense of the transcendent.
Seeking inspiration in the authentic sources of Christian spirituality,
we bring together our sense of God and our human experience.
When we pray, we keep in mind the needs and the concerns
of the world we live in, together with an awareness of our own calling
to serve all the members of the Church.
This may require communities to search for new ways of praying,
such as shared meditation, communal biblical prayer,
and also other new forms.
Prayer can assume a variety of forms,
according to the needs of the community and of each individual;
it is nourished by the constant search for God,
supported by lectio divina,
and by the sacraments.
This constant search for God must be the foundation
and the highest expression of community life.
The silence of solitude which individuals
and communities must cultivate
makes us docile to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
In all the houses of the Order we must therefore create and foster
an atmosphere of silence, recollection and solitude.
This will enable us to engage more easily in personal prayer,
and to make our study and other activities more fruitful.
However, specific norms on such matters shall be decided
by local Chapters, according to the Provincial Statutes.
It is extremely desirable that wherever possible
Provinces and Regions establish and develop centres of spirituality, retreats and study, and to make these available,
both to the brethren and to others
who are drawn to the spirituality of our Order,
for retreats and spiritual exercises.
Moreover, regional and international co-operation among existing
spirituality centres and houses of study shall be promoted.
As in the primitive Church, as religious we are called
to celebrate together the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours.
Liturgical prayer is the highest form
of communal encounter with God,
and brings about what it celebrates.
Personal prayer is intimately linked with liturgical prayer;
one flows from the other.
The daily celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is to be
“the centre and the culmination of the life of the community.”
It is our way of expressing our desire to go with Christ to the Father.
We offer him in total sacrifice our daily lives
intimately united with Christ’s paschal mystery,
so that we may be perfected daily in union with God
and with one another,
through Christ the Mediator,
and so that God may finally become all in all.
In the celebration of the Eucharist, as we share
in the table of the Lord
and participate in the effects of Christ’s sacrifice,
community is built,
and our unity with the entire family of believers
is established and made manifest.
The sacred liturgy unites us with the apostolic witness
and with the faith of the entire Church.
Communal liturgical celebrations are moreover
a central characteristic of our Rule.
In addition to a diligent preparation of our liturgies,
we must grow in love for liturgy and in our concern for its renewal.
In this way, we hope to deepen our contemplative participation in the mystery which we celebrate.
The public prayer of the Church is the manifestation
of our participation in the Church at prayer,
which, together with Christ,
“is ceaselessly engaged in praising the Lord
and interceding for the salvation of the entire world.”
From its pre-eminence as the public and official prayer of the Church,
it is a fruitful source for the spiritual life of those who share in it.
“The Liturgy of the Hours extends praise and prayer
to the different hours of the day,
making present the mysteries of salvation,
the prayers of intercession,
and the foretaste of heavenly glory
which are offered to us in the Eucharistic Mystery.”
Together with the Eucharistic celebration,
the Liturgy of the Hours unfolds for us continuously
throughout the liturgical year
the mysteries of the redemption
accomplished for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ,
so that we may encounter them and thus be filled
with the grace of salvation.
The Liturgy of the Hours is to be celebrated in common;
provision should therefore be made to allow
all members to participate.
Where special difficulties exist in a particular community,
at least Morning and Evening Prayer shall be recited in common every day.
Those parts which, for whatever reason, are not recited in common,
shall be said in private.
In places where we engage in pastoral work,
it is fitting that we celebrate some part of
the Liturgy of the Hours with the faithful.
We shall confess our sins frequently to the Church
in the sacrament of reconciliation,
also celebrating it communally in keeping with the practices
of local Churches.
We shall thus obtain forgiveness
through God’s mercy
for the offences we have committed against him,
and shall at the same time be reconciled with the Church.
Every member of the Order can confess to any priest
in full communion with the Church;
by virtue of these Constitutions, the priest immediately receives
the necessary jurisdiction, if there is need of such.
Christians are certainly called to pray together;
however, they must also draw apart and pray to the Father in secret.
The practice of the presence of God,
which is a Carmelite tradition,
has become increasingly difficult in these modern times.
We must therefore make special efforts to help one another
to seek God through prayer
that is intimately linked with ordinary daily life.
In the same way Carmelites are called to a deeper experience
of those forms of prayer
which are most in harmony with our own particular spirituality.
We are encouraged to seek new forms of prayer in line with our charism.
Spiritual formation shall be closely linked with doctrinal
and pastoral formation,
and shall be presented in such a way
that it may teach us to live in intimate communion
and friendship with the Father,
through his Son Jesus Christ,
and in the Holy Spirit.
Let us live the paschal mystery
and seek Christ in our daily lives;
in active participation in the Eucharist
and in the Liturgy of the Hours;
In people, especially the poor,
the sick, children
and those who have no faith.
Our entire lives must be imbued with a deep religious sense,
so that we may view the events of our own lives
and of the world around us
in the light of God.
Thus our whole life must be deeply contemplative,
so that we may come to see all that happens
as if with the eyes of God.
Contemplation in the Carmelite tradition
is truly a free gift from God.
God takes the initiative, he reaches out to us
and fills us ever more deeply with his life and his love;
we respond to him by allowing him to be God in our lives.
Contemplation is an attitude of openness to God,
whose presence we discover everywhere.
In this way we follow the examples of the prophet Elijah,
who ceaselessly looked for God,
and of Mary,
who pondered all things in her heart.
Silent prayer is of great assistance
in developing a spirit of contemplation;
we should therefore practise it daily for an appropriate length of time.
A life of prayer also requires us
to examine our way of life in the light of the Gospel,
so that prayer may influence both our personal lives
and the lives of our communities.
Lectio divina is an authentic source of Christian spirituality
recommended by our Rule.
We therefore practise it every day,
so that we may develop a deep and genuine love for it,
and so that we may grow in the surpassing knowledge of Christ.
In this way we shall put into practice
the Apostle Paul’s commandment,
which is mentioned in our Rule:
“Let the sword of the spirit, the Word of God,
live abundantly in your mouth and in your hearts;
and whatever you must do,
do it in the name of the Lord.”
It is suggested that lectio divina be practised communally
on a regular basis,
so that the brethren may share their experience of God
and respond together to the challenges of his Word.
The reading of spiritual books,
especially the works of authors of our Order,
is highly recommended.
Retreats and days of recollection shall be decided by communities,
according to the guidelines given in the Provincial Statutes.
The one indispensable thing is
that prayer permeate our lives,
so that, in faith, hope and charity,
we may be able to glorify the name of the Father on earth,
in union with Christ. “We must pray at all times!”
During her life on earth,
the Blessed Virgin Mary showed herself to be
the perfect image for the disciple of Christ.
For this reason, in her apostolic mission
the Church follows the example of the Virgin Mother of God
- the perfect model of the following of Christ -
especially in her commitment to our redemption,
which Mary actively participated in from her “Fiat” to the Incarnation,
to her presence at the foot of the Cross,
and in her solidarity with the first Christian community
gathered in prayer.
Veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and the obligation to spread this devotion,
are intrinsic parts of the Order’s mission within the Church.
In keeping with the intention of the Church itself, therefore,
let us generously promote veneration of the Blessed Virgin,
especially in the liturgy.
The example of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
as it emerges from the liturgy itself,
will inspire the faithful to imitate their Mother
and, through her, her Son.
This will lead them to celebrate the mysteries of Christ
with the same dispositions and attitudes
with which the Virgin contemplated
her Son in Bethlehem, in Nazareth,
and in his self-emptying,
and exulted together with all of her new children
at his Resurrection.
We have great respect for the pious practices and devotions
to Mary recommended over the centuries
by the teaching authority of the Church.
While traditional forms of Marian devotion
(such as the wearing of the scapular
and the recitation of the Holy Rosary)
should be preserved, new ones may also be introduced.
As Carmelites, we express our devotion to
the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
by celebrating her Commemoration every year with special solemnity.
All other Marian feasts included in the liturgical calendar
shall also be celebrated solemnly
and, when liturgical law permits,
the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel
and the Office of Mary are recommended on Saturdays.
Moreover, it is recommended
that each community gather daily to sing
the Flos Carmeli (Flower of Carmel),
the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen),
or some other Marian antiphon,
in keeping with the liturgical season.
During the liturgical year, the Church celebrates
the paschal mystery of Christ
realised in the saints.
Carmelites are called to celebrate their saints with particular devotion,
finding in them the most intense and authentic expression
of the charism and spirituality of the Order through the centuries.
The feast of the prophet Elijah
and the memorial of the prophet Elisha,
and the feasts of the protectors of the Order
- St. Joseph, St. Joachim and St. Anne -
are to be celebrated with particular solemnity.
The Carmelite scapular is a sacramental of the Church;
as such, it is a fitting symbol
to express our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
and the affiliation of the faithful to the Carmelite Family.
The scapular calls to mind the virtues of the Blessed Virgin
with which we are to clothe ourselves
- in particular, intimate union with God
and humble service to others in God’s Church,
in the hope of eternal salvation.
The Marian shrines in which we exercise our apostolate
and to which the faithful traditionally come in large numbers,
are to be held in high regard.
They are to become more and more centres
where the Word is prayerfully heard
and where there is liturgical life
with appropriate celebrations (Eucharist and Reconciliation).
In particular, our shrines shall increasingly become
centres of reflection
on the path taken by Mary
and centres of evangelisation,
with special attention to popular devotion to the one
who is Mother of God,
of the Church, and of all humanity.
they are places of welcome, attracting vocations;
places of solidarity, providing services to needy brothers and sisters;
places of ecumenical commitment with meetings and prayers.
Our Carmelite mission shares in the mission of Jesus,
who was sent to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God
and to bring about the total liberation of humanity
from all sin and oppression.
Our ministry as Carmelites is, therefore an integral part
of our charism.
We are guided in this by the teaching of the pastors of the Church;
by our tradition
and by the values it upholds;
by the signs of the times;
and above all, by attentive listening to the Word,
having regard also for its interpretation
from the perspective of the poor.
We are to evaluate and renew our service (diakonia) in the Church,
so that we may better respond to the questions raised
by the cultural, social and religious circumstances of the people.
In our mission, we must take into account
the talents and charisms of the brethren,
and be aware of the natural limitations of our contribution.
We Carmelites must fulfil our mission among the people
first and foremost through the richness of our contemplative life.
Our prophetic action may take many and different forms of apostolic service.
Since not all forms of apostolic work easily fit in with our charism
or with the resources of an individual community,
we must always discern among the various options presented in any given situation.
Inspired by the fundamental directions of our charism
and by present-day ecclesial and social contexts,
the following guidelines are offered
for the discernment of our apostolic mission:
- a life of brotherhood and prayer in the midst of the people;
- a response to the needs of the local and universal Church;
- a preferential service to the poor and the marginalized;
- a special attention to issues concerning women;
- a commitment to justice and peace;
- a care for those who show an interest in the spirit, the spiritual heritage, and the life of Carmel.
In these ways we commit ourselves to listening to God,
as he speaks to us in Scripture and in the history of our people.
We shall therefore study needs and demands,
both religious and social, in every time and place
so that we may strengthen our witness
to a spirit of community among all the People of God,
by means of various appropriate apostolic activities,
initiated and implemented in a spirit of fraternal co-operation.
Faithful to the spiritual heritage of the Order,
we shall therefore channel our diverse works
to the goal of promoting the search for God
and the life of prayer.
In our various apostolates we shall be inspired by Mary:
her presence among the Apostles;
her motherhood of the Church,
which she received at the foot of the Cross;
her attentiveness to the Word of God,
and her total obedience to the divine will.
To this end, we shall foster and nourish among the people
the memory of Mary and devotion to her.
In the Scriptures and in Carmelite tradition,
the prophet Elijah is respected as the one
who in various ways knew how to read the new signs
of the presence of God
and who was able, not least,
to reconcile those who had become strangers or enemies.
As Carmelites, heartened by this example
and by our strong desire to put into practice our Lord's teachings
of love and reconciliation,
we shall take part in the ecumenical movement
and in inter-religious dialogue,
promoted by the Second Vatican Council.
Through the former we shall promote relationships
with the Orthodox and other Christians.
Through the latter we shall promote dialogue at various levels
with Jews and Muslims,
with whom we share devotion to the prophet Elijah as a man of God;
we shall enter into dialogue also with Hindus and Buddhists
and those of other religions.
Moreover, Carmelites are to make themselves available
to accompany those who genuinely desire
to experience the transcendent in their lives
or who wish to share their experience of God.
While preserving its universal character,
the Order shall endeavour to be fully involved
in the life of local Churches.
This implies close co-operation with the various elements
of these Churches.
Within local Churches, we shall offer the contribution of our charism
to the task of evangelisation
by fostering a deeper grasp of the contemplative dimension of life,
of fraternity, and concrete commitment to justice.
To the extent that it is possible, we shall be prepared to undertake
- in keeping with the legal and pastoral provisions of the Church
and of our Order -
various forms of apostolate requested by the Church,
in accordance with the needs of time and of place.
We achieve this through parish work,
service to the faithful in churches,
instruction of young people in schools and elsewhere,
preaching of retreats, study, spiritual direction,
guidance about spiritual problems,
and other initiatives.
Guided by the Magisterium,
by the official documents of the Order,
and by the signs of the times,
we shall willingly invite and introduce the faithful
to our rich tradition and to the experience of contemplation.
We shall encourage lay people to develop
their own particular gifts and charisms
so that they may be involved in the mission of the Church.
Let our mission,
inspired by the criteria set forth in articles 93 and 97,
be one that both evangelises and is evangelised within the Church
- a mission that is particularly concerned
for those who have lost their way.
We also accomplish our mission through the work we do in parishes
in response to the pastoral needs of local churches.
A new parish is accepted by means of a written agreement
which shall be drawn up, in accordance
with the requirements of canon law,
between the Prior Provincial, with the express consent of his Council,
and the local Ordinary.
Provincial Statutes shall define the criteria to be applied
when accepting parishes.
If a parish is erected in a church belonging to the Order,
the above agreement must clearly define the relationship
between the parish and the religious community,
particularly with regard to the use of the church
and to financial matters.
§ 1. For the conferral of offices in a diocese,
the Prior Provincial, after consultation with his Council,
shall admit or present to the bishop those brethren
who give sufficient evidence of suitability.
§ 2. As religious, those friars who are engaged in diocesan duties
in accordance with some agreement remain subject
to the authority of their own superiors.
In matters pertaining to their duties,
they are subject to the authority of those
in whose service they are employed.
Those who are engaged in any type of ministry within a diocese
are subject to the jurisdiction of the Bishop,
in keeping with canon law,
in all matters pertaining to the faithful execution
of their pastoral duties.
Provincial Statutes may determine whether or not
the offices of pastor and local prior may be held by the same person,
and set the maximum time for which a religious may hold the office
of parish priest in the same parish;
they may also define the relationship between
the parish priest and the community of religious,
as regards co-operation in the apostolic activities of the parish.
The mission ad gentes
- in other words, the task of announcing the Gospel
in places where it is not known -
is one of the fundamental activities of the Church,
for the Church is missionary by its very nature.
The main agent of the mission ad gentes is the Holy Spirit,
who inspires Provinces and Commissariats
to appoint members to this task.
It is the Spirit who gives the missionary charism
to those who are sent.
In this work the Order recognises “immense opportunities
in such areas as charity, evangelical proclamation,
Christian education, culture,
and solidarity with the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed,
and those who suffer discrimination.”
All our communities shall support this essential task
with their prayers and by encouraging the faithful
to become personally involved
and, according to their circumstances, to provide material help.
Missionary work requires a specific spirituality
and a process of inculturation;
we are confident therefore, that the mission ad gentes
will reveal the heart of the Carmelite charism in a new way
for the good of the Church and of the Order.
The Apostle enjoins us to do good to everyone,
especially our brothers and sisters in the faith.
Therefore, the members of the Order shall develop
a love and concern for those who are inspired
by the same Carmelite ideal.
Since the Carmelite charism is given to the whole Carmelite family,
all its members have an important role in the formation of others
in whatever sphere these are found,
so that the various expressions of Carmelite life
may be mutually enriched.
We shall accompany the Carmelite nuns
and we shall support each other as far as possible.
A Provincial Delegate for the nuns shall be appointed in each Province
in accordance with the Provincial Statutes,
in provinces where there is at least one monastery of Carmelite nuns.
In addition, a General Delegate shall be appointed,
who shall be responsible for developing relationships
between monasteries and exchanging information.
The General Delegate shall work in collaboration
with the Religious Federal Assistant, where there is one.
Mutual co-operation with the sisters of institutes affiliated with the Order
is to be promoted.
The Carmelite Order is enriched by the faithful who,
inspired by the Holy Spirit, order their lives according to the Gospel
and in the Carmelite spirit.
The Third Order and the other forms of Carmelite laity
influence the spirit and the structure of the entire Carmelite family.
Let us help them to reach the goal they have set for themselves:
of healing and developing human society
through the leaven of the Gospel.
A General Delegate shall be appointed for the various forms of Carmelite laity.
Provincial Statutes shall provide for delegates at other levels.
Christ did not bring about the salvation of the human race
as an outsider or as a stranger to the history of the world.
On the contrary, he identified both with his people
and with the whole human race.
Those who “claim to be followers of Christ must heed his call,
especially when he says:
‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat;
I was thirsty and you gave me to drink;
I was a stranger and you welcomed me;
I was naked and you clothed me;
I was sick and you visited me;
I was in prison and you came to me.’”
We live in a world full of injustice and disquiet.
It is our duty to contribute to the search for an understanding
of the causes of these evils;
to be in solidarity with the sufferings of those who are marginalized;
to share in their struggle for justice and peace;
and to fight for their total liberation,
helping them to fulfil their desire for a decent life.
The poor, the “little ones” (minores),
constitute the vast majority of the world population.
Their complex problems are linked and, to a large extent,
are caused by current international relations
and, more directly, by the economic and political systems
which govern our world today.
We cannot turn a deaf ear to the cry of the oppressed
who plead for justice.
We must hear and interpret reality from the perspective of the poor
- of those who are oppressed by the economic and political systems
which today govern humanity.
Their problems are many, and we must set priorities
in responding to them.
In this way, we shall rediscover the Gospel as good news,
and Jesus Christ as the liberator from all forms of oppression.
Social reality challenges us.
Attentive to the cry of the poor, and faithful to the Gospel,
we must take our stand with them,
making an option for the “little ones”.
“There is a growing desire within the Order to choose solidarity
with the “little ones” of history,
to bring to our brothers and sisters
a word of hope and salvation from their midst,
more by our lives than by our words
... We recommend this option for the poor,
because it is in keeping with the charism of the Order,
which can be summarised as
‘a life in allegiance to Jesus Christ’;
allegiance to Jesus also means allegiance to the poor
and to those in whom the face of Christ is mirrored preferentially.”
Our Elijan inspiration, which our prophetic charism is founded on,
calls us to walk with the “little ones”
along the paths the prophet travelled in his time
- along the path of justice, opposing false ideologies
and moving towards a concrete experience of the true living God;
along the path of solidarity,
defending the victims of injustice and taking their part;
along the path of mysticism,
struggling to restore to the poor faith in themselves
by renewing their awareness that God is on their side.
To prepare and educate ourselves so that we may take on
“the circumstances of the poor” in an evangelical manner,
we propose to re-read the Bible,
also from the perspective of the poor,
of the oppressed and of the marginalized;
to consider the Christian principles of justice and peace
as an integral part of our formation at every level;
to immerse ourselves in the circumstances of the poor;
to use the tools of social analysis, in the light of faith,
as a means to discover the presence of sin
incarnated in certain political, socio-economic
and cultural structures;
to defend and to encourage even the smallest traces of vitality.
Carmelite formation is a specific process through which a person learns to identify fully with the Carmelite ideal of life, which consists in contemplative fraternity lived in the midst of the people.
Carmelites learn to be more and more authentic disciples of Jesus Christ through their formation, participating in the offering he makes of himself to the Father, and sharing fully in his mission for the good of humanity, in keeping with the specific charism of the Carmelite Order.
Carmelites are called to maturity in Jesus Christ by virtue of baptism and confirmation and are therefore engaged in a continual process of conversion of heart and spiritual transformation. This is a life-long process which brings them into ever deeper communion with Jesus Christ our brother, in a spirit of solidarity and interdependence with all those in need of liberation and with the whole of creation which awaits redemption.
Through this process of growth in maturity, religious are enabled to grasp objectively a reality which is both personal and communal, to evaluate critically and then express the difference between theory and practice, and to grow continually in interpersonal and community relationships.
Our communities are to develop a lifestyle which will show this conversion and continual development of life in Christ, expressed in a spirit of thanksgiving for the vocation they have received. In this way their very existence will evangelise, attracting and inviting new vocations.
The following guidelines are offered for candidates in initial formation. They reflect the process of formation in which we are engaged. The relationship between professed religious and new candidates should be based on interaction and openness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Committed members personify what the Order demands and the living charism of our tradition; new candidates challenge and stimulate us through the personal gifts they have received from the Holy Spirit, thereby enriching and renewing Carmelite life.
The process of formation in its various stages shall be entrusted to formators who are mature, both in human experience and in the consecrated life, and capable of providing guidance and of accompanying the candidates on their journey.
Major superiors or chapters shall appoint suitable formators, trained specifically for the work they are to do; they shall not hesitate to exempt these formators from other duties which may appear more important, but which cannot be compared with that of formation.
In view of the importance and the heavy responsibilities attached to the role of formator, those who engage in this task are to receive particular support and consideration, and special attention is to be paid to their general state of health.
At every stage of the process, formators shall be assisted by a team, which may include non-Carmelites, and which shall assist them in accompanying the candidates and in making evaluations and decisions in their regard.
The Prior Provincial and his Council, together with the team, shall be directly involved in formation - through visitations, meetings, and inquiries - and in making evaluations and final decisions.
The general direction and guidance of all that pertains to formation is the prerogative of the Prior General or his delegate for the Order as a whole; and of the Prior Provincial or his delegate for each Province. All of these officials must ensure that the task of formation is addressed in a spirit of fraternal co-responsibility.
The primary responsibility for formation rests with the candidates themselves. They share this responsibility with their formators, with the community in which they receive their formation, and with the major superior and his delegate.
Whatever assistance the candidates receive from these must enable them to develop their personal gifts, with a view to their gradual insertion into Carmelite life and their incorporation into the Order.
Candidates should be guided in a way that encourages them to share with others their experiences, their activities and their duties.
Norms and procedures pertaining to the formation of new candidates must include these criteria: personal talents and aspirations, the demands of communal living, and the concrete requirements of the Church. The norms for formation must also keep in mind the Rule, the present Constitutions and other official documents of the Order
The mission of all educators implies grave responsibilities, which can be summarised in the following norms: openness, with discernment, to new ideas and new methods of forming candidates; development of the candidates’ sensitivity to the problems and aspirations of the people whom they are to serve; education of the candidates to view human life, and the concrete problems it raises, in the light of the Word of God; preparation of the candidates for the transformation of men and women into authentic partners in the task of building a human and evangelical community, and enable them to have upright consciences so that they may collaborate in God's work of transformation.
All aspects of the formative process are defined in the Ratio Institutionis Vitae Carmelitanae (RIVC), approved by the Prior General with his Council. It is the task of the Prior General’s delegate for formation to promote its implementation. The Prior General and his Council shall convene a meeting of all the formators of the Order, at least once every six years, to revise and update the RIVC.
Finally, they are to remember that there are no ready-made answers to the ever-changing problems of formation. All of us must live our formation as an ongoing process of development and growth, and seek in this way the new paths by which God leads us. By sharing and exchanging our experiences, we shall be better able to understand what God wants of us. Our efforts in the area of formation must always be inspired by the words of the Gospel: “We are merely servants; we have done no more than our duty.”
The vocation to the consecrated life in the Carmelite Order is a gift of God; but this gift is mediated by Carmel. The attitude of individuals and of communities within the Order helps in discerning such vocations. Nothing promotes vocations more effectively than the enthusiasm of the friars, which reflects their pride in being Carmelites. This is expressed in their love for the Word of God, for the celebration of the liturgy, for community living, for the memory of Carmelite Saints, for being among the people in service and in ministry, and in the interest they take in promoting Carmelite activities and publications.
Every Province shall have at least one member responsible for promoting vocations; his task shall be:
a) to stimulate communities, encouraging members to become involved in the ministry of vocations and in particular among the young;
b) to promote and co-ordinate vocation initiatives, involving especially younger Carmelites;
c) to discern signs of a vocation in candidates;
d) to accompany candidates as their vocation develops.
Though all our communities are to be involved in promoting vocations nevertheless, appropriate and specific bodies are necessary at provincial and/or inter-provincial levels. These bodies shall organise experiences of brotherhood and prayer, in conjunction with whatever activities are initiated by other communities and individuals to promote vocations; in particular, they must be adequately prepared to welcome, to discern, and to accompany those who are in the process of discerning their vocation.
Some link shall be established in each country between our vocational promoters and local bodies for vocational ministry.
While formation is a life-long process, it has specific and progressive moments and stages. Initial formation consists of the following stages: the pre-novitiate, the novitiate, and the period of first profession. Formation for various ministries begins during initial formation and continues after solemn profession. Ongoing formation is a life-long process.
Initial formation and ongoing formation must be understood as stages in one continuing process, each with its own specific goals.
The goal of the pre-novitiate is to help candidates to know themselves better and understand their deeper vocational motives, to nourish their strength in responding to that call, and to provide them with the opportunity to experience God’s call in a climate of freedom and objectivity.
The right to admit to the pre-novitiate belongs to the major superior or his delegate, after hearing the views of those in charge of the pre-novitiate.
It is for the Provincial Statutes to stipulate the form, the duration and the elements of the pre-novitiate.
Candidates shall be admitted to the novitiate in accordance with the norms of canon law, when they have reached an awareness of being called by God and have been judged suitable.
The novitiate is a time of initiation in Carmelite life. During this stage, candidates shall experience our way of life in order to learn whether they are suited to it. Novices must come to know and live the following of Christ, poor, chaste and obedient, within the framework of the Carmelite charism.
The novitiate shall take place in a house which has been canonically designated for this purpose. It is the right of the Prior General, with the consent of his Council and after consulting the Prior Provincial concerned, to designate, transfer or close any novitiate house by written decree. In particular circumstances, he may designate more than one novitiate house within the same Province.
In special cases, the Prior Provincial may authorise novices who are under his authority to reside for a certain time in another house of the Order.
Before entering the novitiate, candidates shall make a retreat for a period of at least five full days.
Candidates can be validly admitted to the novitiate only after their seventeenth birthday.
The novitiate begins with the rite of acceptance to the novitiate according to our ritual.
The whole community in which the novice resides is jointly responsible for his formation. However, particular guidance and direction of the candidate’s formation are to be entrusted to one specific religious who shall possess the appropriate gifts and a discerning judgement of modern culture which will enable him to prepare the candidate for life within the Order, in accordance with the spirit of the Gospel, of the Rule, and of the Constitutions of our Order.
The programme of the novitiate shall follow the guidelines of the RIVC.
Ordinary studies shall be suspended for the duration of the novitiate. However, the major superior may allow, or prescribe, courses in subjects which may help to complete the formation of the novice.
To complete the novice’s formation, if the major superior in consultation with the novice director judges it opportune and he has the consent of his Council, he may allow the novices to undertake, for one or more periods of time, some form of apostolic activity, consonant with the nature of the Order, outside the novitiate house.
The time allocated to apostolic activity outside the novitiate house may be divided into several periods; however, the total number of days each novice spends outside the novitiate house for such activities shall be added to the twelve months required for the validity of the novitiate, keeping in mind that the total duration of the novitiate shall not extend beyond two years.
Such apostolic activity shall not begin before the novice has spent at least three months in the novitiate house. Moreover, it must be carried out in such a way that the novice shall live in the novitiate house for at least six uninterrupted months, and return to the novitiate house at least one month before making his temporary profession.
With due regard to articles 147 and 148, an absence from the novitiate house for a period longer than three months, whether consecutive or interrupted, shall invalidate the novitiate, which shall then have to be repeated. An absence in excess of 15 days shall be made up. Decisions concerning absences not exceeding 15 days shall be made by the major superior in each individual case, in consultation with the novice director and taking into account the reasons for the absence.
If a religious who left the Order either at the end of his novitiate or after his profession wishes to be re-admitted, the Prior General, with the consent of his Council and in consultation with the Prior Provincial concerned, may re-admit him. The Prior General is not obliged to require the candidate to repeat his novitiate; however, after hearing the Prior Provincial concerned, he shall impose a probation period, after which the candidate can be admitted to take vows. The Prior General shall also determine, after hearing the Prior Provincial concerned, the duration of temporary vows before solemn profession, in keeping with articles 655 and 657 of the Code of Canon Law.
Novices enjoy all the spiritual benefits granted to the Order. The norms of canon law are to be observed with respect to the novice’s material goods.
§1. At the end of the novitiate, candidates who are suitable and who freely ask to make profession shall do so. This profession marks the beginning of consecrated life. Formation in Carmelite life, however, must continue; each stage must flow from the previous one in a systematic and balanced way.
§2. During this period, it is important that candidates deepen and consolidate their Carmelite consecration in order to reach a final decision maturely. Professional and technical training for various ministries shall also take place at this time.
If candidates are to benefit fully from this stage of their formation, they must endeavour to integrate their academic work and apostolic activities with a life of prayer and brotherhood. During the period of initial formation, young religious are not to be burdened with offices or works which might interfere with their formation.
At the end of the novitiate, it is the prerogative of the major superior, with the consent of his Council and after hearing the local Chapter, to admit to temporary profession those candidates who have been found suitable.
The major superior has the right to receive first profession and renewal of vows, or, provided the major superior has made no other arrangements, to the local superior who, in turn, may delegate.
For a valid reason, the major superior may allow first profession to be anticipated by a period not exceeding 15 days. Similarly, for a valid reason, he may permit first profession to be made outside the novitiate house.
§1. Temporary profession shall be made for a period of three years. The Provincial Statutes can stipulate that temporary profession may be for a period of one year, to be renewed yearly for three years.
§2. If appropriate, this period can be extended to up to six years, during which the candidate shall renew his temporary vows.
In special cases however, the major superior may grant a further extension of the period of temporary profession, but this shall not exceed three years.
§3. For a valid reason, and with due respect for the provisions of article 657, §3 of the Code of Canon Law, the major superior may allow the renewal of temporary profession to be anticipated, by no more than a month.
Solemn profession shall be preceded by approximately one month of spiritual preparation. Candidates shall spend this month in prayer and recollection, reflecting and meditating on the importance of this decisive and crucial act by which religious consecrate themselves forever to God.
§1. For a solemn profession to be valid, the following conditions must be met:
a) the candidate must have reached the age required by canon law, i.e. he must be at least 21 years of age;
b) the candidate must have completed at least three years of temporary profession; for a valid reason, the major superior may
c) the major superior shall admit candidates to profession, with a deliberative vote of his council and a consultative vote of the chapter of the candidate’s community.
§2. Through solemn profession, candidates are definitively incardinated into the Order, with all the rights and obligations that this implies.
With respect to the material possessions of the professed, the norms laid down by canon law are to be observed.
5. Formation for various ministries
The various ministries in which Carmelites engage, each according to his personal vocation, grow out of the strength of a living brotherhood, and at the same time bear witness to that brotherhood among the faithful.
In addition to a Carmelite formation, our religious must receive an appropriate human, professional, scientific and technical education, according to their legitimate desires and capabilities, and in keeping with the needs and plans of the Province and of the Order, so that they may fulfil their tasks with real competence, for the good of the people of God.
In order to promote the international character of the Order, and to foster an attitude of openness towards other cultures and other ways of thinking and feeling, candidates will be expected to learn a second language during the period of formation.
Special attention shall be given to those subjects which are specifically Carmelite or in any way related to those ministries which are most akin to our charism and to our spiritual heritage.
Religious who do not feel called to priestly ordination shall be encouraged to engage in academic work, possibly leading to a higher degree, in order to be able to meet the needs of the people and of the Province they serve. They shall be given the opportunity to attend courses in theology and especially in biblical studies. Care shall be taken to provide them with a thorough Carmelite formation, so that
§1. It is the function of those who have received priestly ordination to co-operate with their Bishop; to spread the Word of God; to administer the sacraments; to provide leadership in the community; and to be Christ’s instruments in forming the people of God and in building the Gospel community. It follows that those of our religious who wish to receive Holy Orders should prepare themselves appropriately, completing their studies and their spiritual and pastoral training, in accordance with the norms established by the Holy See, by the episcopal conference of each country, and by the RIVC.
§2. Solemn profession must precede reception of the diaconate.
Religious who attend courses of study outside their houses shall be assisted by brethren who are experts in the academic field and who can help them to direct their higher education into an integrated Carmelite formation.
In our houses of formation, candidates shall be helped to integrate their theoretical, practical and professional studies into other aspects of Carmelite life.
National and international co-operation are recommended for the novitiate and for initial formation.
In each house, and especially in every house of formation, there shall be a well-furnished and up-to-date library, since this is an indispensable aid to learning and to the study of Carmelite authors.
There shall be international study centres within the Order to promote internationality, to undertake in-depth studies of Carmelite spirituality and of the history of our Order, and to train formators and other specialists. St. Albert’s Centre in Rome is such a structure - an expression of the unity of the Order. This Centre shall have its own specific statutes, and shall be under the direct jurisdiction of the Prior General.
The Institutum Carmelitanum, to be located in Rome, has the task of making known the spiritual heritage of Carmel throughout the Order and throughout the modern world. It shall include competent scholars chosen from the entire Order.
Ongoing formation is a response to the call of God, who calls each of his own at every moment and in new situations. The grace of a vocation is a seed which constantly grows and develops; to follow Christ is to undertake an ongoing journey.
Hence, formation is never finished; and it requires us to be particularly attentive to the signs of the Spirit in our times, allowing ourselves to grow in awareness and in sensitivity, so that we may offer suitable responses to the problems of our contemporaries. This will enable us to live our Carmelite identity today.
Ongoing formation includes every undertaking which is designed to help us live our charism with dynamic faithfulness through the various stages of our lives. Thus, ongoing formation is not an option, but an essential component of our growth.
We are each responsible for our own ongoing formation - for making space in our lives for a sense of the living God, in order to accomplish our ministry following Christ in a way that is ever more profound and contemporary.
It is very important that the Order should offer each of its members the opportunity for ongoing formation, at every level and at every stage of their lives, in accordance with that which is set out in the RIVC.
Major superiors shall provide adequate means for ongoing spiritual, theological, doctrinal and professional formation. They shall encourage young members to undertake higher studies in order to raise the overall academic level of the Province and of the various ministries and activities.
Our international, inter-provincial and provincial centres shall offer all the brethren opportunities for personal renewal and for the renewal of their gift of Carmelite life and apostolic activity. Periodically every Carmelite shall be given the opportunity to take part in international courses on Carmelite spirituality, in other formation courses, especially Carmelite, or at other levels.
The Government of the Order
The Carmelite Order is included by the Church among the clerical institutes. It is composed of friars who profess the three solemn vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, and who share a common purpose: to live the consecrated life according to the spirit of the Order.
For the common good, and to provide better for the needs of the apostolate, Carmelites are exempt from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary and are subject to the Supreme Pontiff alone.
§1. Members are incorporated first into the Order as a whole, and subordinately, into a Province or General Commissariat. Membership is received through temporary profession, but only becomes final when members make their solemn profession, having completed the period of preparation.
§2. By virtue of profession, all the friars are equal with respect to rights and religious obligations, except for rights or obligations pertaining to specific offices or ministries.
Membership in the Order confers the right to receive from the Order all that is necessary for life. Nevertheless, the brethren remain subject to the common law of work and are expected to promote the development of the Order.
§1. The Order is structured into Provinces, General Commissariats, and houses under the direct jurisdiction of the Prior General.
§2. Whenever the life and activities of the Order so require, the General Chapter - and, outside the Chapter, the Prior General with the consent of his Council - may institute other entities (Delegations, Regions, etc.), and also define their rights as well as obligations concerning persons and things. Entities thus instituted by the Prior General and his Council shall be submitted for approval to the following General Chapter; in the absence of such approval, they shall cease to exist, and their members shall return to their respective Provinces or General Commissariats.
It is the prerogative of the General Chapter, and, outside the Chapter, of the Prior General with the consent of his Council:
a) to divide the Order into Provinces; to unite existing provinces or redefine their boundaries; to found new provinces or abolish existing ones, after obtaining the consultative vote of the members concerned;
b) to dispose of the goods belonging to a Province or to a General Commissariat which has been abolished, with due regard for justice and for the will of the founders.
The Province is the basic unit of the life and activity of the Order. It consists of the friars who belong to it, gathered in several houses and governed by a Prior Provincial with his Council, in accordance with the norms of canon law and with the Order’s own laws.
§1. The Provincial Chapter, with the consent of the Prior General and of his Council, and after hearing the views of those concerned, may establish a Provincial Commissariat for the purpose of good government of the Province.
§2. The Provincial Commissariat is part of the Province, even though it enjoys a degree of autonomy, as defined by the present Constitutions and by Provincial Statutes.
§3. With the consent of the Prior General and of his Council, the Provincial Chapter may limit or change the organisation of a Provincial Commissariat, or suppress the Commissariat, after hearing the views of its members.
§1. Where there is the hope that a new Province of the Order might be founded in future, and where there are at least three canonically established houses and thirty solemnly professed members, the Prior General, with the consent of his Council, following a careful examination of the situation and having consulted the Prior Provincial and his Council as well members concerned, can found a General Commissariat. Once the General Commissariat has been established, the members’ juridical bonds to the Province to which they originally belonged are automatically severed.
§2. The Prior General, with the consent of his Council, and after hearing the views of the members concerned, may change or suppress a General Commissariat.
If the number of religious should increase over time, and a General Commissariat or a Provincial Commissariat should comprise at least four canonically established houses and about forty solemnly professed religious with adequate means of support, the Prior General, with the consent of his Council and observing due process of law, may provide for the erection of a new Province.
Unless otherwise explicitly stated, all norms contained in the present Constitutions concerning Provinces shall also apply to General Commissariats.
§1. In addition to Provinces and General Commissariats, the General Chapter, and outside the Chapter, the Prior General with the consent of his Council, and after hearing the views of those concerned, may erect General Delegations, by establishing in autonomous entities religious originating from one or more provinces.
§2. The decree by which a General Delegation is established shall specify its purpose and its offices.
§3. a) A General Delegation is headed by a superior; he shall have faculties determined by the Prior General and his Council (ad nutum)
b) If necessary, the Delegate General may be assisted by two Councillors.
c) The Delegate General and his Councillors, if there are such, shall be appointed by the Prior General with the consent of his Council.
§4. The statutes of the General Delegation shall define the relationship between the members of the Delegation and the Provinces from which they come, including all matters pertaining to the exercise of active and passive voice.
Canonically erected houses are governed by canon law and by the present Constitutions; all other houses are governed by Provincial Statutes.
§1. A house is canonically erected by means of a decree, issued by the Prior General, with the consent of his Council, after obtaining written consent from the Diocesan Bishop, in accordance with canon law and with the law of the Order.
§2. The Diocesan Bishop’s consent to the erection of a house implies the right to have a church, but in compliance with canon 1215, §3 of the Code of Canon Law, and the right to exercise therein the sacred
The consent of the Diocesan Bishop is required in order to reassign a house, which had already been canonically erected, to apostolic works other than those for which it was originally established, except where such changes concern only internal structure or religious discipline.
The Prior General, with the consent of his Council, and after hearing the views of the Prior Provincial and those of the Diocesan Bishop concerned, may close a legitimately erected house.
In addition to the universal law of the Church, our Order is founded on:
a) the Rule of St. Albert;
b) the Constitutions;
c) other general codes of law;
d) the deliberations of General Chapters, General Congregations, and Priors General;
e) legitimately established customs which are not in desuetude
§1. The Constitutions contain fundamental laws which are necessary to govern the lives of all the friars, wherever they may be, in accordance with the Rule.
§2. All the friars undertake to observe the laws contained in these Constitutions, knowing that it will be difficult to attain our goals of fraternal communion and evangelical perfection according to the charism of the Order if we do not comply faithfully with these norms.
It is the prerogative of the General Chapter to approve, amend, repeal, or revoke the Constitutions.
It is the prerogative of the General Chapter, and outside the Chapter, of the Prior General with the consent of his Council, to approve, amend, repeal or revoke other general codes.
Authentic interpretations of the Constitutions and of other general codes of law pertain to the General Chapter. In accordance with canon law, outside the Chapter, interpretations are given by the Prior General, with the consent of his Council; however, such interpretations are only valid for the specific cases for which they are given, and they cease to be valid with the following General Chapter, unless they are confirmed by the same Chapter.
Decisions made by a General Chapter are considered confirmed unless they are explicitly revoked by the following Chapter.
§1. Provinces, General Commissariats, and other bodies within the Order, whatever their denomination, shall have their own particular Statutes, designed to meet local needs; such Statutes shall not contradict superior codes of laws.
§2. All Statutes must be approved by the Prior General, with the consent of his Council.
The Prior General, with the consent of his Council, may issue decrees for the entire Order; however, such decrees lose all validity if they are not confirmed by the following General Chapter.
Priors Provincial and other major superiors, with the consent of their respective councils, may issue decrees for their respective jurisdictions, provided they do not contradict a superior code of law. Such decrees lose all validity if they are not confirmed by the following Chapter of the Province or of the Commissariat concerned. Similarly, outside chapters, Priors Provincial and General Commissaries, with the consent of their respective Councils, may give interpretations of the Statutes, observing the above stipulations.
§1. In matters pertaining to discipline, the Prior General, after hearing his Council, may exempt individual friars within the entire Order from the Constitutions and from other laws of the Order, for a just and reasonable cause.
§2. For a just and reasonable cause, the Prior Provincial, after hearing his Council, may exempt his friars, wherever they may be, from disciplinary norms issued by the Order, with the exception of those norms which are explicitly excluded; in special cases, he may even grant an habitual dispensation.
§3. The local Prior may dispense the friars under his jurisdiction from the disciplinary laws of the Order, except where such authority is reserved to higher superiors.
§4. However, habitual dispensation in favour of the members of an entire Province pertains to the Prior General, and habitual dispensation in favour of all the members of a house pertains to the Prior Provincial.
§1. Dispensations and other concessions of whatever kind, granted in writing by major superiors to individual members or to communities, do not cease to be valid when the right of granting them ceases, except where provisions to the contrary are made in a special clause.
§2. A request denied by the Prior General or by the Prior Provincial may not be validly obtained - even if the denial is made known - from their respective vicars, without the consent of the Prior in question.
All solemnly professed religious have right to active and passive voice in their Province, except where the nature of the case or the present Constitutions clearly indicates otherwise. Provincial Statutes may, however, define other conditions for the exercise of active and passive voice.
Members who have not yet made their solemn vows shall have neither active nor passive voice, even though they belong to the community. Nevertheless, they must be consulted, and their opinion must be obtained with respect to matters pertaining to the common good, especially when these concern them directly.
Religious living in a Province that is not their own shall have active voice either in their Province of origin, or in their Province of residence, according to written agreements between the two major superiors concerned, based on proposals from the religious in question; they shall in any case have passive voice in both Provinces.
The Prior General has voice in the entire Order; the Prior Provincial in his own Province; and the local Prior in his house, unless there are provisions to the contrary.
The competent major superior, with the consent of his Council, may deny active and/or passive voice to religious living legitimately outside a house of the Order, after interviewing them and ascertaining that it is impossible for them to participate in any way in the life of the Province.
§1. Except for acquired rights, precedence among the brethren shall be as follows:
a) the Prior General in the whole Order;
b) the Vice Prior General in the whole Order;
c) the members of the General Council in the whole Order;
d) Priors Provincial and General Commissaries in their respective Provinces and General Commissariats;
e) Provincial Commissaries in their Commissariats;
f) local Priors in their house;
g) provincial councillors in their Province.
§ 2. After the Prior General and the Vice Prior General, the members of the General Council have precedence among themselves according to the date of their first profession; if they made their first profession on the same day, precedence shall be determined by date of birth. Precedence among Provincial Councillors is determined by the order in which they were elected, unless Provincial Statutes provide otherwise.
§3. Except where Provincial Statutes provide otherwise, precedence among all the other members of the Order is determined by the date of first profession; and among those who made their first profession on the same day, precedence is determined by age.
The unity of the Order is founded on charity and on harmonious co-operation in the fulfilment of the ideal which we have set for ourselves. This unity is consolidated by authority, which stimulates us both to set our goals ever higher and to put into practice the norms issued by the Church for all religious and the decisions made collegially “with the consent of the brethren.”
The brethren are fundamentally equal with respect to rights and obligations. However, in order that “those things that need to be done may “be well ordered,”, they choose among themselves some whose task it is to ensure the common good, as defined by the Constitutions; to foster community life and apostolic work; and to channel the strengths of all the members so that they may converge into unity, in keeping with the provisions of these Constitutions and with those of individual communities. Those who are appointed to positions of authority shall seek to follow the example of Our Lord who “did not come to be served, but to serve.” All the other brethren, for their part, are to honour them, and willingly co-operate with them, for authority can only accomplish its purpose if everyone strives together to build the common good, especially through mutual communication.
The religious who has authority to govern the community is officially known as the Prior - Prior General for the entire Order, Prior Provincial for a whole Province, local Prior for an individual house. The Prior may be known by a different title in the local language of each country, in keeping with local custom and with the Provincial Statutes. The Prior is the sign of unity within the community which he is appointed to serve. He becomes a model, in words and in deeds, for the group which is entrusted to him; as such, he shall be at hand to provide assistance to each and every religious; to foster community life; to care for all, and especially for the sick and the old; to supervise communal activities and initiatives so that these may become means by which the brethren can authentically live “in allegiance to Jesus Christ, and serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience.”
The major superiors of the Order are: the Prior General, the Prior Provincial, the General Commissary, and their vicars. These officials are also Ordinaries, with all the faculties which canon law confers upon Ordinaries.
§1. In accordance with canon law and with the present Constitutions, the superiors and the chapters of our Order enjoy both internal and external jurisdiction.
§2. Only the General Chapter can issue laws for the entire Order. The Provincial Chapter can enact Provincial Statutes and issue decrees, provided they do not contradict in any way the Constitutions or decrees issued by the General Chapter.
§3. The local Chapter may issue specific norms, provided these do not contradict in any way the Constitutions or any decisions approved by the General Chapter or by the Provincial Chapter.
§4. Priors, assisted by their Councils, have the obligation to ensure, in the first place, that existing regulations are implemented. They may also issue decrees according to their competence, provided these do not contradict the Constitutions.
§1. The Prior General has ordinary power over each and every friar; over the Provinces; and over the houses. He exercises this authority on his own or with his Council, in keeping with canon law and with the law of the Order.
§2. The Prior Provincial governs the Province with ordinary power, on his own or with his Council, in keeping with canon law and with the law of the Order.
§3. The local Prior governs the house with ordinary power, on his own or with the local Chapter (or with his Council, where it exists), in keeping with canon law and with the law of the Order.
§1. When the law requires the consent of the Council, the Prior General or Prior Provincial act invalidly when they go against the vote of their respective council. The same holds true if a local Prior acts against the vote of his council or the House Chapter.
§2. When all that is required is consultation, the Prior’s action will be valid if he has asked for the views of his Council or house Chapter. He is not obliged to follow their advice, if in conscience he feels that he must act otherwise. However, the Prior shall hold their opinion in high regard, in particular if it is given unanimously by the Council
members, and he shall not reject it without a reason which in his opinion is more valid. In urgent cases, the opinion of Council members may be sought individually, by letter or by any other means of communication.
Judicial power within the Order belongs to the General Chapter and the General Council, to the Provincial Chapter and the Provincial Council. The Chapter exercises this power through judges elected by the gremiales * at the same Chapter; these judges pass sentence and issue decrees on behalf of the Chapter. In special cases, in view of the seriousness of the matter, and at the request of the brother concerned, judges shall be appointed by the General Council or by the Provincial Council, according to each case.
Without prejudice to canon law, all cases may be introduced through administrative channels unless there is an objection from the religious concerned. In every case, the brother who is brought to justice is to be given ample opportunity to exercise his rights.
Although canon law authorises chapters and superiors to impose penalties, no one shall be punished ordinarily without first being admonished. If, through human weakness, a brother commits some fault, let the Priors remember that they are pastors, not despots, and seeking inspiration in the words of the Apostle, let them first reprove and exhort with great patience and charity, keeping in mind that, more often than not, for the one who has to be corrected, leniency is more effective than severity, entreaty more productive than threats, love more efficacious than authority.
§1. When applying penalties prescribed by canon law, the norms of the same law shall be observed.
§2. Devolutionary recourse against penalties is possible, with due respect for the provisions of canon law.
Chapters and other collegial gatherings of the brethren are necessary to foster the spiritual and apostolic life, updating them continuously in response to the demands of our time; to strengthen brotherly love; and to examine and resolve common problems in the Order, in each Province and in each house, in a spirit of cooperation.
Unless prevented for a just reason, the gremiales shall attend chapter meetings and other collegial meetings, to promote the common good.
At the appointed time, the Prior or his substitute shall convene the members, observing the norms for convening electors, as set out in article 234.
Similarly, whenever the consent or the opinion of several members gathered together is required, the gremiales shall be duly convened, in keeping with the same norms. Exceptions are listed in articles 346 a) and 395 §2.
§1. The local Chapter and other collegial meetings shall be called whenever such a gathering is requested by a majority of the community members or of the college.
§2. Chapters and all other collegial meetings, at whatever level, shall be considered valid if a majority of those eligible to attend are present, unless otherwise stipulated in the particular Statutes.
General Chapters and Provincial Chapters may change the number of gremiales, but only for the following chapter.
§1. No person who is not a gremialis shall be allowed to vote. Should such a person cast a vote, all the acts of the meeting shall automatically become null and void.
§2. The college has the power to invite outsiders to a Chapter and to choose in which sessions of the Chapter they may participate; however, these individuals shall not have the right to vote.
Unless it has been otherwise specified, the highest ranking gremialis, according to the order of precedence, shall preside over Chapter meetings and other collegial meetings.
Gremiales and others whose consent or advice is required, shall express their views with respect, fidelity and sincerity. The president may impose secrecy on them, if he considers it necessary and prudent in view of the gravity of the matter being treated.
Problems in which elections are not involved and which are to be determined collegially, must be examined maturely and resolved according to the vote of the absolute majority of the gremiales present, as shown in a first or second ballot. Otherwise the vote is repeated only a third time. If there is an equal number of votes, the president has the power to break the tie with his vote, or call for a further meeting to arrive at a final solution.
During elections, and in votes concerning individuals, voting shall be by secret ballot, and any form of acclamation is excluded.
In other business to be dealt with collegially, voting need not be secret, provided there is no objection from any of the gremiales..
Offices and positions within the Order are conferred by duly confirmed election; by postulations made in accordance with the law, and approved by the Prior General with the consent of his Council; or by appointments, following appropriate consultations.
All offices shall be conferred in accordance with canon law and with the law of the Order.
At the opening of a Chapter, all offices which are to be conferred during the Chapter become immediately vacant; however, outgoing officials continue to exercise their functions until the newly-appointed take up office.
Unless the contrary be specified, no office which is normally conferred by election shall remain vacant for a period of more than three effective months (trimestre utile), to be calculated from the day of notification of the vacancy.
Unless there are norms otherwise specified for particular cases, no one shall hold two incompatible offices, i.e. offices which cannot be simultaneously exercised by the same person—for example, offices which demand different residences.
No member of the Order shall accept an office or function outside the Order without the permission of his Prior Provincial or of his local Prior.
For reasons relating to jurisdiction, only those religious who have received priestly ordination may be elected or designated to the offices of prior, vicar or substitute.
Appointments must be made in a spirit of fraternal dialogue. Therefore, the superior, who has the right freely to confer an office, must hear the subject on whom he intends to confer it. It is for the superior to weigh the reasons given by the candidate, and then accept or reject them.
All who have the right to vote must be summoned for elections. However, they need not be summoned personally; a general convocation is sufficient, by means of a letter addressed to each house or published in the official newsletter of the Order, or in some other manner sanctioned by the Provincial Statutes or by custom. If an elector is overlooked, and hence is absent at the time of voting, and the oversight and absence are proven, the election remains valid; however, should he so request, the election is made null by the competent superior, even if the election has been confirmed, provided it is juridically certain that the recourse was made within three days of the notification of the election. If more than one third of the electors have not been notified, the election is null and void by virtue of the law itself. If, however, those who were not notified are in fact present for the voting, failure to notify them is no obstacle to validity.
Respecting, however, article 238, those who are present at the place and time stated in the convocation have the right to vote.
Those who are excluded from voting by virtue of article 171 of the Code of Canon Law, or by the present Constitutions, cannot vote.
If one or more of the electors is present in the house where the election takes place, but is unable to take part for reasons of health, the scrutineers shall collect his written vote.
Provincial Statutes may permit voting by mail, provided the required secrecy is carefully observed.
Voting by proxy is permitted in the following cases:
a) for a just motive, the Prior Provincial, the General Commissary, or the Commissary Provincial may send a proxy to the General Chapter or to the General Congregation from his own Province or Commissariat, who shall have the right to vote; if, however, the proxy is chosen from another Province or General Commissariat, the consent of the Prior General is required;
b) with the consent of the Prior General, a delegate to the General Chapter may also send a proxy with the right to vote, provided neither he nor a substitute delegate can attend the Chapter;
c) Provincial Statutes shall stipulate the right to send a proxy to a Provincial Chapter.
Any one individual may cast only one vote, even if he has the right to vote on several grounds.
§1. A vote is null and void:
a) if it is not free; hence it is not valid if the voter was constrained by grave fear or by fraud, directly or indirectly, to vote for a certain person or for several persons separately; and
b) if it is not secret, certain, absolute and determined.
§2. Conditions attached to a vote before the election shall be disregarded.
All shall avoid soliciting votes for themselves or for others, whether directly or indirectly. It is permissible, however, within the boundaries of justice and charity, to discuss the suitability of candidates.
Unless otherwise provided in particular cases, the president shall appoint at least two scrutineers and an equal number of tellers, as well as a secretary, for the voting process. All of these, including the president, are in conscience bound to carry out their duties faithfully and to preserve secrecy with regard to the business done in the assembly, even after the election. On a signal from the president, the scrutineers shall take care that the votes are cast in secret. When all the votes have been collected the scrutineers shall verify, in the presence of the president and of the gremiales, that the number of votes corresponds to the number of voters; they shall examine the votes, and announce publicly the number of votes received by each candidate, while the tellers shall record the numbers. Should the number of votes cast exceed the number of voters, the vote is null and void and must be repeated. The ballots shall be destroyed immediately after each vote, or at the end of the session if several votes take place in one session. The secretary shall accurately record all the acts pertaining to the election in registers for this purpose; all the gremiales, or at least the secretary and the president, shall sign the record, which shall be carefully preserved in the archives.
With the approval of the Chapter, a suitable interval may be allowed between elections or between rounds of balloting in the same election.
Unless otherwise specified in particular cases, and if an absolute majority of those who must be convoked is present at the voting, the candidate who has received an absolute majority of the votes of those present shall be considered elected, and proclaimed as such by the president. If the first two ballots prove indecisive, voting shall be between the two candidates who have received the highest number of votes. If more than two have received the same number of votes, voting takes place between the two who are senior based on first profession, or if they were professed on the same day, based on age. The two candidates shall have no active voice in this ballot, and the one who receives the greater number of votes shall be considered elected. If in the third ballot, both candidates receive the same
The person who has been elected shall be notified immediately of his election. Within eight days of the notification, he must indicate whether or not he accepts the election, failing which he forfeits all rights deriving from this election. If the person concerned is present at the time of the election, the proclamation mentioned in article 245 shall serve as notification.
If the person elected does not accept the appointment, he loses all rights deriving from it as soon as the president receives his refusal, even if he subsequently regrets the decision to renounce the appointment. He may, however, be re-elected.
In cases where confirmation is not required, the elected person, upon accepting his election, enters immediately into office. In cases where confirmation is required, he acquires only the right to his office; thus, until confirmation is obtained, he may not exercise his office by virtue of the election, be it in temporal or in spiritual matters, and the effects of any such action shall be invalid.
No confirmation is required for the election of the Prior General or of the members of his Council. The election of the Prior Provincial must be confirmed by the Prior General or by the Chapter president appointed by him. All other elections must be confirmed by the president presiding over the election.
The electoral college automatically loses its right to elect:
a) if the election does not take place within the required time;
b) if, contrary to articles 220 and 221, the gremiales have endeavoured to increase their numbers and have deliberately allowed one or more unauthorised persons to vote.
The electoral college may not be deprived of its right to vote without due process, except for the circumstances described in article 250, or in the case of some failure which is imputable to the college itself.
When, for whatever reason, an electoral college is deprived of its right to elect, the right of free conferral belongs to the immediate major superior with the consent of his Council.
In the case of a postulation to office to which there is an impediment in the laws of the Order, the Prior General, if he considers it advisable, may dispense from the impediment, with the consent of his Council, and admit the postulation.
§1. A candidate may be postulated only if he has obtained two thirds of the votes in the first or the second ballot.
If no candidate obtains the necessary majority in the first two ballots for postulation or for election, voting shall begin again from the first ballot, and the candidate for postulation shall lose his passive voice.
§2. If the postulated candidate does not accept, voting shall begin again from the first ballot and proceed according to article 245.
The General Chapter is the supreme authority of our Order; it is also the principal sign of the unity of our Order, in all its diversity. It is the fraternal gathering in which we reflect together, in community, to strengthen our faithfulness to the Gospel and to our charism, and our sensitivity to the needs of time and place. By means of the General Chapter, the entire Order, allowing itself to be guided by the Holy Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, seeks to know the will of God at a particular moment in history, so that we may best serve the Church.
§1. The ordinary General Chapter shall be celebrated every six years.
§2. Before convening a General Chapter, the Prior General shall consult the major superiors of the entire Order concerning the date and the place of the General Chapter; the questions and problems to be discussed at the Chapter; and the choice of several suitable brothers to be appointed to the preparatory commission.
The Prior General, with the consent of his Council and after consulting the other major superiors, may convene an extraordinary General Chapter. Elections may also be held at such a Chapter to fill vacant offices which are of the competence of the Chapter.
§1. The gremiales of the General Chapter are the following:
a) the Prior General;
b) former Priors General;
c) the members of the General Council;
d) the Priors Provincial;
e) the General Commissaries;
f) Provincial Commissaries of those Commissariats which on the date of the convocation have at least 20 voting members;
g) the Prior of St. Albert’s International Centre in Rome;
h) the superiors of General Delegations which on the date of convocation of the General Chapter have at least 20 voting members, otherwise they may participate, but without the right to vote.
i) delegates of the Provinces, as defined in the following paragraph.
§2. Any Province which, on the day of the convocation of the General Chapter, has fewer than 20 voting members, shall send no delegate to the General Chapter. Any Province which, on the same day, includes more than 100 voting members shall have the right to send three delegates to the Chapter. All other Provinces may send two delegates each. In computing the number of voting members for the purpose of establishing the right to send a third delegate, voting members of Provincial Commissariats may not be counted if the Commissariats in question are sending their own Commissaries. General Commissariats are not entitled to send delegates.
§3. Members of the General Council who are released from office continue to enjoy the right to vote throughout the Chapter at which they are released from office. Newly elected Councillors, if they are not already gremiales, shall be summoned immediately, and have the right to vote at the Chapter.
§4. The Provincial Commissaries of Commissariats with fewer than twenty voting members and the Presidents of Regions are also entitled to attend the General Chapter, but they shall not have the right to vote.
It is the responsibility of the General Chapter:
a) to approve the Constitutions and other general codes of the Order’s law for the Order in general; to foster spiritual and apostolic vitality; to draw up and communicate to the General Council guidelines and criteria to be used by the General Council in the government of the Order during the following six years; to adapt laws for the needs of the time through an appropriate updating.
b) to elect the Prior General and the members of the General Council according to articles 276. §1. and 295;
c) to define the means and channels through which the life of the Order may radiate, in fraternal communication, to all the members;
d) to decide on any other matters which the Chapter may consider appropriate.
§1. At least one year before the beginning of a Chapter, the Prior General shall send a letter of convocation to all the major superiors, informing them of the date and place of the Chapter and inviting all the brethren to pray for its success.
§2. At the same time, the Prior General with his Council shall set up a preparatory commission and a secretariat for the General Chapter.
§3. Six months before the celebration of the Chapter, the Prior General shall send to all the gremiales a written report and documentation on the state of the Order and any problems which are
expected to arise over the ensuing six-year period.
§1. Before the opening of the Chapter, the secretariat shall act as the executive and co-ordinating centre for all technical and administrative matters. Moreover, the secretariat shall receive all proposals and forward them to the Preparatory Commission.
§2. During the Chapter, the secretariat shall place its facilities at the disposal of the gremiales, and prepare the acts of the Chapter, in collaboration with the commission appointed for this purpose under article 271 c).
§3. The secretariat of the General Council shall work together with the secretariat of the General Chapter.
§1. The preparatory commission will be composed of several brethren expert in the matters to be discussed at the Chapter.
§2. The preparatory commission shall:
a) organise the proposals sent to it according to appropriate criteria;
b) state their views concerning these proposals;
c) summarise these in a formula suitable for voting.
§1. All the brethren are entitled to make proposals and to state their views on problems and matters concerning the good of the Order, and to send these to the secretariat of the Chapter .
§2. Throughout the Order, open meetings of voting members should be strongly encouraged at the house level, at the provincial level, and at the inter-provincial level, in order to discuss, in fraternal dialogue and with sincere and loving concern for the development of the Order, issues which might seem pertinent to the good of the Order, with a view to presenting them to the preparatory commission. The Provincial Council and the delegates to the General Chapter shall promote and encourage such exchanges, in line with the Provincial Statutes.
At least six months before the opening of a Chapter, a document drawn up by the preparatory commission shall be sent to the Priors Provincial, to local Priors, and to all the gremiales of the General Chapter.
§1. Upon receiving the letter of convocation, the Priors Provincial shall provide, as soon as possible, for the election of delegates to the General Chapter.
§2. Delegates shall be elected from among all the voting members, excepting those who are already gremiales of the Chapter. Provincial Statutes may set out particular procedures for elections, and determine the number of votes required to be elected, provided they respect the obligation to ensure that voting is by secret ballot, and that the candidates chosen are truly capable and expert in the matters to be discussed at the Chapter.
§3. Substitute delegates equal to the number of delegates shall also be elected.
§4. The results of all the ballots, and the names of those elected, shall be communicated at the earliest possible date to the secretariat of the General Chapter.
If, for a just reason, a delegate is unable to be present at the Chapter, he shall be replaced by the first substitute to be elected.
As soon as possible after every ordinary General Chapter, a catalogue of the Order shall be published, containing a list of all the newly appointed members of the Curia and general officials; a list of the brothers, nuns and sisters affiliated with the Order; a list of all houses and some indication of their various activities.
The General Council shall provide for competent individuals to be present and available to the gremiales, during the Chapter, to explain the issues which are to be discussed.
At least three members of the preparatory commission shall take part in the Chapter. This shall not give them, or any other experts appointed by the General Council, the right to vote. Should the Chapter so decide, the above mentioned may however take part in the debates and address the Chapter on the questions to be treated.
The procedure and the norms for the conduct of the General Chapter shall be defined in the Rules of Procedure, to be approved in keeping with these Constitutions, and to be considered relatively stable. The General Chapter may amend a rule only by a two thirds majority of those present, during the session described in article 272 b); an absolute majority is required if the amendment is to apply to the subsequent General Chapter.
The Prior General of the preceding six-year term shall preside over the first session of the Chapter, which shall proceed as follows:
a) If an apostolic letter has been sent to the Chapter by the Holy See, it is read following the customary prayers for the opening of the Chapter.
b) The secretary then reads out the list of the gremiales.
c) The names of the chapter officials appointed by the Prior General after hearing the views of his Council, are made public: three scrutineers and three tellers; three auditors for the expenses of the Chapter; the members of the commission for the revision of the acts, which shall include representatives of the various language groups and whose task it is to draft the acts of the Chapter, in keeping with article 261, # 2. These officials must all be gremiales.
d) One of the members is canonically elected president of the Chapter; it is his task to preside over the Chapter until the election and acceptance of the Prior General. The Prior General of the preceding six year period does not have passive voice in the election of the president.
e) The gremiales elect five judges to hear any cases which may arise, and to settle them on behalf of the Chapter.
The second session of the Chapter shall proceed as follows:
a) the Prior General of the preceding six-year term shall read a report on the spiritual and temporal state of the Order and on if and how during the preceding six-year term, the Order has responded to directives from the Holy See, from the previous Chapter, and from the General Congregation; and on the reasons which may have impeded the fulfilment of such directives.
b) In keeping with article 270, the gremiales are then given the Rules of Procedure for the Chapter.
The gremiales then determine the order in which the items on the agenda are to be discussed; specify when the required elections are to take place; and decide whether some brothers who are not gremiales may participate in the sessions, in accordance with article 221, § 2.
The judges shall hear and examine any controversies which might arise concerning the right to take part in the General Chapter, and reach decisions on behalf of the Chapter.
The one who is chosen to be Prior General shall be distinguished for such natural gifts and virtues, such experience and wisdom, as qualify him to take in hand the direction of the Order, worthily and effectively, according to the needs of the time. It is his task to ensure effectively the common good of the whole Order; to work strenuously so that the authentic spirit of Carmel, especially with respect to the life of prayer, may be truly present in every Province, and increase day by day; to promote tirelessly the growth and development of the Order and the apostolic and academic vitality of the religious.
§1. The Prior General shall be elected for a six year term, at the end of which he may be re-elected to the same office; he may not, however, occupy the same office for a third consecutive six-year term.
§2. The election shall take place in accordance with article 245.
§3. A consultative vote shall take place before the canonical election.
To be validly elected to the office of Prior General, a candidate must have received priestly ordination; he must be at least thirty-five years of age; and he must have completed ten years in the Order since his first profession.
§1. In addition to the powers conferred on him by canon law, the Prior General shall have authority:
a) to appoint, as soon as possible after the end of the Chapter, and with the consent of his Council, the general officers, the president of the Institutum Carmelitanum, the general archivist, and the Priors and other officers of the houses under his direct jurisdiction, if the above offices are vacant;
b) with the consent of his Council, and for grave motives, to remove from office a Prior Provincial, after hearing his views and those of the members of the Provincial Council;
c) with the consent of his Council, and for a just reason, to anticipate or postpone the celebration of the General Chapter, by no more than six months;
d) for a just reason, to transfer religious from one house to another, or from one Province to another, after hearing the views of the religious concerned, and after consulting the Priors Provincial concerned.
§2. The Prior General has the right to preside, with active voice, over provincial and local Chapters, and over meetings of provincial and local councils, in the entire Order.
In addition to the obligations attached to his office by virtue of article 275, the Prior General is required:
a) to reside ordinarily in the same house with the other members of the General Council;
b) at least once during his six-year term of office, to make canonical visitations to all the Provinces, General Commissariats and other foundations of the Order, either personally or through others;
c) to send a report on the state of the Order to the Holy See, in accordance with canon law.
For a just reason, the Prior General may resign from his office. Such resignation requires no acceptance; however, to be valid, it must be made either in writing and submitted to the General Council, or orally in the presence of two witnesses who shall immediately inform the General Council.
If the Prior General’s health should deteriorate to such an extent that, in the opinion of the doctors and of the majority of the members of the General Council, he no longer has full possession of his mental faculties, the Vice Prior General shall take in hand the government of the Order, and continue to do so for as long as this situation continues, with all the rights and obligations of the Prior General, except as stipulated in article 282, § 2.
§1. If the office of Prior General should become vacant less than one year before the end of his six year term, the Vice Prior General shall assume the government of the Order until the completion of the six year term, with all the rights and obligations of the Prior General.
§ 2. However, if such a vacancy occurs more than one year before the end of the six-year term, the Vice Prior General shall assume the government of the Order with all the rights and obligations of the Prior General, and shall convene, within two months, an extraordinary General Chapter, in accordance with articles 260, § 1, 265 and 266. This Chapter shall elect a Prior General who shall remain in office until the end of the above six-year term. At the end of the six-year term, an ordinary General Chapter shall be celebrated.
A Prior General who has completed his term of office, or resigned from it, may choose to reside in any house of the Order.
Former Priors General have the right to vote in the Provincial Chapters of the Provinces in which they reside.
Two years before the General Chapter, the Prior General, with the consent of his Council, shall convene a General Congregation to
discuss matters of common interest to the whole Order.
§1. The members of the General Congregation are:
a) the Prior General;
b) the members of his General Council;
c) the Priors Provincial;
d) the General Commissaries;
e) the Provincial Commissaries of those Commissariats which, on the day of the convocation of the General Congregation, have at least twenty voting members;
f) the Superiors of those General Delegations which, on the day of the convocation of the General Congregation, have at least twenty voting members.
§2. Each Prior Provincial and each General Commissary may be accompanied by one religious who is truly expert in those matters to be dealt with at the Congregation, and who shall have the right to take part in the meetings of the Congregation, but not the right to vote.
§3. Those Provincial Commissaries and General Delegates who are not included under § 1.f) above, and the Presidents of Regions, participate in the Congregation, but shall not have the right to vote.
It pertains to the General Congregation, gathered in collegial assembly,
a) to assist the Prior General and his Council in their task of governing and animating the Order;
b) to foster communication and contact between the General Curia and the various areas of the Order;
c) to ensure the implementation of the decisions and decrees of the previous General Chapter; to assess the effectiveness of the guidelines provided; to make decisions and issue decrees, which shall be valid only until the following Chapter;
d) to assist in the preparation of the following Chapter, and to advise the Prior General concerning the venue of the Chapter;
e) to discuss the financial matters of the Order.
The Council of Provinces is a consultative organ established for the purpose of:
a) ensuring greater participation of the Provinces in the central government of the Order;
b) monitoring trends and needs within the Order, with a view to providing orientations to the Prior General and to his Council;
c) contributing to an evaluation of the development of the Order, on the basis of written reports presented by the members of the General Council.
The Council of Provinces consists of the following members:
a) the Prior General;
b) the members of the General Council;
c) the Priors Provincial;
d) the General Commissaries;
e) the Provincial Commissaries;
f) the Presidents of the Regions;
g) the Superiors of the General Delegations.
The Council of Provinces is convened two years after the General Chapter.
Provinces, General Commissariats and Provincial Commissariats may form Regions, with a view to promoting greater communication and co-operation.
Each Region shall be organised in whatever manner it deems appropriate or necessary, and shall draw up its own Statutes to regulate its activities. These Statutes, to be approved in keeping with article 195, §2, shall specify what regional officials are elected or appointed, and define their functions (President, Secretary, etc.).
6. The General Council
§1. As a collegial body established in accordance with the law, the General Council consists of the Prior General, the Vice Prior General, two General Councillors for the North (a General Councillor for North and Central Europe and for North America, and a General Councillor for Mediterranean Europe), two General Councillors for the South (a General Councillor for Latin America, and a General Councillor for Asia, Africa, and Australia), the Procurator General and the Bursar General. As the Prior General’s Council, it consists of the same persons, excluding the Prior General. The Prior General may however vote with his councillors.
§2. When matters of their competence are being discussed, general officials may be invited to express their opinions at the meetings of the General Council.
The canonical election of each member of the General Council by the General Chapter shall be preceded by a consultative vote.
All the members of the General Council shall be elected for a six-year term of office, at the end of which they may be re-elected to the same office; however, they may not be re-elected for a third term, unless they have been out of the office for at least three years.
When acting explicitly as a collegial body, the General Council must proceed according to the law. As the Prior General's Council, its role is to assist him, and to give consent and advice, in keeping with canon law and with the law of the Order.
§1. With due regard for the prescriptions of canon law, when discussing matters of ordinary administration, a session of the General Council is valid if a quorum of four members is present.
§2. Whenever, according to law or to the Order’s own laws, the business to be discussed requires the presence of more members than are available, the Council itself may, for the occasion, grant voice and the right to vote to general officers in the Curia, observing precedence and rank according to article 205 §3, or if these too should be absent, to the nearest major superiors.
For more important matters, the Prior General shall avail himself of the services of his Council, even in those cases where he is not required to do so by law. He shall also hear the opinion of the officers mentioned in articles 311 and 312, on matters pertaining to their office.
The Prior General and the members of his Council shall have frequent contact with the major superiors of the Order, so as to share in the life experience of the entire Order.
It is the duty of the Vice Prior General:
a) to conduct the affairs of the Order in the absence of the Prior General;
b) to represent the Prior General at his request;
c) to organise and to co-ordinate the work of the General Council;
d) to supervise the functioning of the various administrative offices of the Curia.
The members of the General Council shall be solemnly professed, and shall have the following qualities:
a) the ability to coordinate, and the ability to work with others;
b) the ability to implement promptly the decisions taken by the General Chapter;
c) to be inspirational and creative.
In fulfilling their duties, the General Councillors shall endeavour to keep the following four elements in proper balance, according to principles of collegiality, subsidiarity, and mutual co-operation:
a) General Councillors are first and foremost members of the General Council, councillors to the Prior General; therefore they share in the responsibility of promoting the common good of the entire Order.
b) General Councillors report to the General Council on the concerns and experiences of those regions of the Order which fall within the geographical area of their competence. With regard to relationships with provinces, commissariats and delegations within their particular geographical territory, each General Councillor shall be a link between the various local jurisdictions and the General Council.
c) Keeping in mind the evolving dynamics which characterise both those areas of the Order which are already established, and those which are emerging, General Councillors for the North and the South are expected to follow closely the situation in their particular areas, with a view to identifying resources and needs and providing adequate information to the central government of the Order.
d) Within the General Council, each Councillor shall be given an area of special responsibility. In addition, each General Councillor shall be involved in articulating the various areas of responsibility, defined in article 303, within his particular geographical territory, and shall report to the General Council on their concerns.
The General Council shall distribute among its members the following areas of responsibility:
a) The Carmelite Family:
- to be a link with the Carmelite nuns, with the sisters of Carmelite congregations, and with the secular institutes; and to promote an ever increasing involvement of lay Carmelites in the Order and in the Church.
- to keep the Order abreast of contemporary problems in the Church in the area of evangelisation, and to encourage and support Provinces in their initiatives in this area;
- to study and to promote new forms of service in the Order;
- to coordinate the activities of the international Justice and Peace Commission;
- to develop and sustain a network of contacts with the more important organisations and programmes in the area of Justice and Peace;
- to organise and co-ordinate existing programmes in the area of Justice and Peace throughout the Order.
c) Spirituality, Formation, Cultural and Academic Activities:
- to develop guidelines for the vocations ministry;
- to be in close contact with formation programmes in the different parts of the Order, giving special attention to the needs of formation in emerging areas, and providing assistance for exchanges of formation personnel;
- to develop leadership, with a view to establishing a formation system for the Order as a whole, in keeping with the RIVC. To this end, the Councillor responsible for this area may call on experts and/or establish an international commission for formation;
- to develop and organise a training programme for formators;
- to direct formation in the Order, and to promote an exchange among Provinces of formation programmes currently in use;
- to take a special interest in the various formation, spirituality, and study centres within the Order (the Institutum Carmelitanum in Rome, the Titus Brandsma Institute in Nijmegen, etc.);
- to call to the Order’s attention new studies on its charism and spirituality, and to promote interest in such studies by means of courses, congresses, publications of original works and translations;
- to work towards a clear strategy within the Order in the area of theological and other studies.
d) new foundations;
e) houses under the direct jurisdiction of the Prior General.
A member of the General Council who participates in a Provincial Chapter as socius of the Prior General has active voice in that Chapter.
If the office of a member of the Council should become vacant in the course of the six-year term, the General Council, acting collegially, shall replace him as soon as possible with a suitable religious, who shall remain in office until the end of the six-year term.
It is the task of the Procurator General to act on behalf of the Prior General in all the affairs of the Order with the Holy See.
§1. The Bursar General shall:
a) manage the assets of the Order;
b) administer the financial affairs of the General Council;
c) be in communication with the bursars of the Provinces, General Commissariats, and Provincial Commissariats;
d) prepare estimated budgets for projects proposed by the General Chapter and by Councils of Provinces;
e) convene the international financial commission, and, together with the commission, submit a proposal to the General Council for the taxes to be paid by the Provinces; draw up a financial plan; examine the yearly financial reports of the Provinces; establish criteria so that the financial orientations of the Order are consistent with the Order’s preferential option for the poor and the marginalized; prepare books and accounts for periodic controls by the General Council;
f) coordinate the promotion of and the necessary helps coming from various provinces for communities in difficulties.
§2. In the performance of his duties, the Bursar General may enlist the assistance of experts, whether religious or lay, approved by the General Council.
§1. The Secretary General, and the secretaries of the Order's special priority areas, are appointed by the Prior General, with the consent of his Council. The Secretary General is the official secretary (notaio) of the Order.
§ 2. The Order's special priority areas are:
a) the Carmelite Family;
c) formation, spirituality, and cultural and academic activities.
Should he consider it advisable, the Prior General, with the consent of his Council, may appoint a co-secretary to assist the Secretary General.
§1. The Secretary General shall:
a) prepare the meetings of the General Council; attend the meetings, without voice or vote; and prepare the acts of the meetings;
b) send and receive official letters and other documents;
c) be responsible for the technical and administrative preparation of the General Congregation, of the Council of Provinces, and of all other meetings convened by the competent authority;
d) facilitate communication between the General Council and the various Provinces of the Order, in the best way possible.
§2. The secretaries for special priority areas shall, together with the respective Councillors:
a) prepare assemblies, meetings of commissions, and any other gatherings dealing with their particular area;
b) develop projects in their particular area to promote the development of the Order;
c) submit to the Bursar General estimates of expenditures for the projects mentioned under b) above;
d) at the end of each year, submit a report to the General Council on the activities of their area.
Other offices attached to the General Curia are the following:
- the office of the Postulator General for the promotion of causes of beatification and canonisation;
- the office of the Delegate for social communication.
The Prior General, with the consent of his Council, shall appoint officials to fill the general offices mentioned above and any other offices which may be created, and define their rights and responsibilities.
The Provincial Chapter is the fraternal gathering in which local communities strengthen their sense of belonging to the provincial community, through shared concern for common problems.
The ordinary Provincial Chapter shall be celebrated every three years, during the month chosen by the preceding Chapter and approved by the Prior General.
The extraordinary Provincial Chapter shall be celebrated in accordance with article 353, §2 of these Constitutions.
Provincial Chapters shall be conducted according to these Constitutions and the prescriptions of the Provincial Statutes.
Provincial Statutes shall clearly define who are the gremiales of the Provincial Chapter, keeping in mind that the number of delegates must be at least equal to that of the members who attend by right, without prejudice to the norms set out in articles 278. § 2, 284, and 304.
Where the number of religious and other circumstances permit, Provincial Statutes may stipulate that all religious who have active voice in the Province shall be gremiales of the Provincial Chapter.
For the election of delegates to the Provincial Chapter, only voting members of the Province who are not already gremiales of the Provincial Chapter shall have active and passive voice.
On the occasion of the celebration of the first Provincial Chapter of a newly erected Province, it is the prerogative of the Prior General, after hearing the views of his Council and of the interested parties, to decide who shall be the gremiales of the Chapter; to convene the Chapter, either directly or through another person; and to do what is set out in articles 316, 319, 324-331.
It is the responsibility of the Provincial Chapter:
a) with due regard for the norms set forth in article 322, to elect by canonical election the Prior Provincial and the Provincial Councillors, and, if the Provincial Statutes so provide, a Vice Prior Provincial and an Assistant Provincial;
b) to draw up and amend Provincial Statutes, and issue other decrees;
c) to establish guidelines and criteria to be followed in the government of the Province;
d) to decide, if appropriate, the sharing of the goods of the whole Province, with due regard for justice and charity;
e) to determine the contributions to be made by some or all of the houses of the Province towards common needs;
f) to make other decisions, as appropriate, for the proper functioning of the entire Province or of any house within it.
Provincial Statutes may decree that all religious who have active voice in the Province shall take part in the election of the Prior Provincial and of Provincial Councillors. The Statutes shall specify precisely the manner in which voting shall take place, and the number of votes that must be obtained so that a person may be declared elected.
At least six months before the celebration of the Provincial Chapter, the Prior Provincial shall send a written convocation to individual houses, indicating the place and the date of the opening of the Chapter, and inviting the religious to pray for the success of the Chapter.
§1. Within a month of the convocation of the Chapter, the Prior Provincial, with the consent of his Council, shall institute a secretariat and a preparatory commission. Where circumstances advise it, only a preparatory commission may be established, and this will also serve as secretariat.
§ 2. In addition to the preparatory commission for the entire Province, a special commission may also be instituted for the Provincial Commissariat.
The preparatory commission shall consist of several religious knowledgeable in the matters to be discussed at the Chapter. However, major superiors shall not be members of the commission. All necessary means shall be put at the disposition of the commission to fulfil its task.
Before and during the Chapter, the secretariat shall be the executive and coordinating centre for all technical and administrative matters.
Both local chapters and individual members of the Province have the right to send to the preparatory commission proposals to be examined at the Provincial Chapter.
It is the responsibility of the preparatory commission:
a) to organise the proposals it receives, according to appropriate criteria;
b) to express its own views with regard to the proposals;
c) to summarise the proposals, in a form suitable for voting.
The documents prepared by the preparatory commission shall be collated in a single file and sent to all the gremiales of the Chapter, and to all the houses of the Province, at least one month before the opening of the Chapter.
As soon as the Chapter is convoked, delegates shall be elected. The results of all the ballots and the names of the elected candidates shall be published immediately.
If the Provincial Statutes so require, the preparatory commission, as soon as it is established, shall arrange for all the voting members of the Province to give their consultative vote on the candidates to the office of Prior Provincial and on the candidates to the office of provincial councillor. The results of this consultation shall be made public at the first session of the Chapter, in accordance with article 333, f), unless Provincial Statutes stipulate otherwise.
§1. The Prior General has the right to preside over the Provincial Chapter, in person or through a delegate.
§2. If the Prior General is absent, and has not designated a president, the Chapter shall canonically elect one of the gremiales to the presidency. The outgoing Prior Provincial shall preside over this election, but he shall have no passive voice.
§ 3. The president, elected according to §2 above, has the right and the obligation to preside over the Chapter until the new Prior Provincial is elected and has accepted the office. In this case, the election must be confirmed by the Prior General in accordance with article 249.
The first session of the Chapter shall proceed as follows:
a) The Prior General, or the president designated by him, or, in the absence of both, the Prior Provincial of the preceding three- year term, shall give an appropriate address;
b) If the Prior General has sent a letter designating the president of the Chapter, the letter is read.
c) If necessary, the president of the Chapter is elected, in accordance with article 332, §2.
d) After hearing the views of the Provincial Council, the president appoints the following Chapter officials from among the gremiales: a secretary, two revisers of the acts, two scrutineers, and two tellers.
e) If they consider it advisable, the gremiales elect three judges to hear and settle, on behalf of the Chapter, any legal conflicts or other cases which may arise. The judges must report to the gremiales on the outcome of their work, at the appointed time.
f) The ballots of the consultative vote, mentioned in article 331, are opened and their contents made known, if this has not been done beforehand.
During the second session of the Chapter, the outgoing Prior Provincial shall present a written report on the spiritual and temporal state of the Province; the other provincial officials shall report on their activities, in accordance with the Statutes of the Province.
The gremiales shall next determine:
a) the agenda of Chapter, and the days on which elections are to take place;
b) whether some religious who are not gremiales may take part in the sessions, in accordance with article 221, §2.
The gremiales shall next examine the document drafted by the preparatory commission, and discuss it in chapter commissions; they shall then return to the plenary assembly to discuss and ratify whatever conclusions might best serve the good of the Church, of the Order and of the Province.
Decisions made by the Provincial Chapter are valid for the entire Province until such time as they may be revoked; they may be revoked or amended in subsequent Provincial Chapters.
The acts of the Provincial Chapter shall be recorded in a special book, and shall be read at the last session; they shall be sealed with the seal of the Province, and signed at least by the president and by the secretary. As soon as possible, the Prior Provincial shall send a copy of the acts to the Prior General, whose prerogative it is to approve them, with the consent of his Council. After the acts have been approved, copies shall be sent to all the houses of the Province.
Other meetings either of a particular category of religious or of all the voting members of the province are to be encouraged. These meetings are to study more carefully and to resolve problems affecting the whole province, and to increase common responsibility.
§1. To be validly elected to the office of Prior Provincial, the candidate must be one who has received priestly ordination, has had five years of solemn profession in the Order, and is at least 30 years of age.
§2. Only a religious belonging to the Province can be elected Prior Provincial. In exceptional cases, for a good and grave reason, and with the consent of the Prior General, the Provincial Chapter, with due regard for article 322, may elect a friar from another Province to the office of Prior Provincial.
Provided the Provincial Statutes do not stipulate otherwise,
a) for the election of the Prior Provincial, only the three candidates who have obtained the largest number of votes during the consultation mentioned in article 331, shall have passive voice.
b) If at least two of the above candidates declare that, if elected, they have the intention of not accepting the office, the Provincial Chapter has the power of deciding how to proceed in this case.
§1. The Prior Provincial is elected for a three year term, at the end of which he may be re-elected to the same office; he may not be re-elected for a third three-year term, unless he has been out of office for at least three years.
§2. A Prior Provincial who has come into office to complete his predecessor’s three-year term in accordance with article 353, §2, is eligible for two further consecutive three-year terms.
§3. a) The Prior Provincial, if the Provincial Statutes allow it, may be elected for a six-year term. However, he may not be re- elected thereafter, unless he has been out of office for at least three years.
b) If the office should become vacant before the end of the three-year term, the Prior Provincial who fills the vacancy in accordance with article 353. § 2, shall remain in office only until the completion of the same three-year term.
The election of the Prior Provincial shall take place as specified in article 245, unless the Provincial Statutes provide otherwise.
The Prior Provincial has full authority of office once he has accepted election and it has been confirmed.
The Prior Provincial shall send a report on the state of the Province to the Prior General, in accordance with the Prior General’s instructions.
In addition to the rights conferred on his office by canon law, the Prior Provincial has all the faculties attributed to local superiors by the present Constitutions. Ordinarily, however, he shall not interfere in the government of individual houses. Moreover, with due regard to article 350, for a just motive commensurate to the action, the Prior Provincial has the following power:
a) with the consent of his Council, and after hearing the views of the persons concerned, for a grave reason, to remove from office provincial and local officials; in the case of local officials, he shall first hear the views of the Priors concerned, and/or separately those of the voting members of the houses concerned;
b) with due regard for articles 283 and 348, to transfer religious from one house to another;
c) with the consent of his Council, to allow members to live outside their community for just reasons, but not for longer than one year. For reasons of study, health, or apostolate in the name of the Order, such authorisation may be given for as long as there is need;
d) to dispense individual religious, even habitually, from the obligation to recite the Divine Office, and from laws concerning fast and abstinence;
e) without prejudice to article 201, §4, to dispense individual religious and specific houses, or even the entire Province, from specific provisions of the Provincial Statutes, provided the dispensation concerns purely disciplinary matters;
f) in accordance with canon 832 of the Code of Canon Law, to authorise members of his Province to publish writings on moral or religious matters.
The Prior Provincial shall visit frequently the houses of his Province, in particular houses of formation, and the monasteries of nuns under the jurisdiction of the Order. During visitations, in keeping with canon 628, §3 of the Code of Canon Law, he shall enter into dialogue with the brethren and with the nuns on all matters pertaining to the observance of the consecrated life.
§1. Before transferring religious from one house to another, the Prior Provincial shall, as far as possible, hear their views and those of the local Priors concerned; moreover, he shall take into consideration the circumstances and abilities of individual friars.
§2. Transfers shall be made by a precept, given at the opportune time in writing.
When the two Priors Provincial concerned agree, and with due regard for article 202, religious who agree to it or request it, can be transferred from one province to another; the Prior General must be previously informed.
Once the Provincial Chapter has been convened, the Prior Provincial may not, without the consent of the Provincial Council, act in any way which would result in changes to the voting members of the Chapter or which would increase or diminish their numbers.
§1 If the Prior Provincial is absent or otherwise impeded, he may appoint as vicar any member of the Province who has received priestly ordination, with due regard for article 321, a). If he does not appoint a vicar, the Prior Provincial shall be replaced by the first provincial councillor, according to the order of precedence.
§2. The vicar shall have the same duties and the same faculties as the Prior Provincial, but he shall make no changes in the Province without the consent of the Provincial Council.
§1. The Prior Provincial ceases to be in office at the end of the time for which he was elected, if he is removed from office by the Prior General, in accordance with article 278 §1, b), or if he resigns from office.
§2. To be valid, his resignation must be made in writing, or orally in the presence of two witnesses, and accepted by the Prior General, after hearing the views of his Council.
§1. If the office of the Prior Provincial becomes vacant less than six months before the end of the three-year term, the vice Prior Provincial or the first provincial councillor, according to precedence, shall govern the Province until the end of the three-year term, with all the rights and obligations of the Prior Provincial.
§2. If, however, the office becomes vacant more than six months before the end of the three-year term, the vice Prior Provincial or the provincial councillor mentioned in §1 above shall take in hand the government of the Province with all the rights and obligations of the Prior Provincial; however, within one month of the date of the vacancy, with due respect for the provisions of article 322, he shall either convene an extraordinary Provincial Chapter, which shall have the same gremiales as an ordinary Provincial Chapter, in accordance with articles 317 or 318; or, if the Provincial Statutes allow, he shall convene the electors in accordance with article 322. In either case, a Prior Provincial must be elected who shall retain the office until the end of the three-year term, when an ordinary Provincial Chapter shall be celebrated.
The Prior Provincial of the preceding three-year term shall communicate to the Provincial Council any and all information which might be necessary or useful for the good government of the Province.
The office of Prior Provincial is not compatible with the office of local Prior.
§1. The Provincial Council, as a collegial body, in keeping with the law, is composed of the Prior Provincial, the Provincial Councillors, the Vice Prior Provincial and the Assistant Provincial , where these offices exist, except where, with respect to the latter office, the Provincial Statutes stipulate otherwise. As the Council of the Prior Provincial, it is composed of the same persons excluding the Prior Provincial. The Prior Provincial may however vote with his councillors.
§ 2. The provincial secretary is the official secretary (notaio) for all the sessions of the Provincial Council.
The Provincial Council, as a collegial body, must act according to the norms of the law. As the Prior Provincial’s Council, its task is to provide assistance and give consent and advice, in accordance with canon law and with the law of the Order.
The Provincial Council is the collegial court of first instance in legal controversies and penal cases within the Province.
§1. Without prejudice to article 322, four provincial councillors shall be elected at the Chapter by all the gremiales. As soon as the elections have been proclaimed, accepted and confirmed, the provincial councillors shall have voice in the Chapter and in the Provincial Council.
§2. In a General Commissariat, if the Provincial Statutes so provide, only two councillors may be elected,
§3. Provincial Councillors are elected for a three-year term, at the end of which they may be re-elected for a further three-year term; they may only be re-elected for a third term after an interval of three years, unless Provincial Statutes stipulate otherwise.
§4. Should a vacancy occur in the Provincial Council in the course of a three-year term, the Provincial Council shall elect a substitute who shall hold office until the following Provincial Chapter, unless Provincial Statutes stipulate otherwise.
To be validly elected to the Provincial Council, a friar must be solemnly professed.
The main task of the Provincial Council is to provide effectively for the common good of the Province by implementing existing norms and by other appropriate means; and furthermore to promote cooperation and co-responsibility among all the religious. To this end, the Provincial Council may issue decrees for the Province as a whole or for any individual house, with due respect for canon law and for the law of the Order. In order to accomplish their tasks more effectively, the Councillors, in their particular areas of activity, may call upon the assistance of other religious and of lay people, experts in law, in economics, in technical matters, etc.
During the Chapter, and after the Chapter if the Provincial Statutes so provide, it is the prerogative of the Prior Provincial, with the consent of his Council, to appoint:
a) a Provincial Commissary , where this is required, in keeping with article 375 §1, and after consultation with those concerned;
b) Priors and other officials in each house, where this is required by the Provincial Statutes;
c) the director of novices;
d) one or more formators;
e) the provincial bursar;
f) a delegate for the nuns and sisters of the Order;
g) other officials for those offices which concern the Province as a whole.
In addition to the faculties conferred on him under article 362, it is the prerogative of the Prior Provincial, with the consent of his Council:
a) without prejudice to article 370, to appoint officers for the province whenever such offices become vacant before the completion of the three-year term;
b) in special cases, and after hearing the views of the persons concerned, to determine extraordinary contributions to be paid by individual houses;
c) to give authentic interpretations of the Statutes of the Province; such interpretations are no longer valid after the following Provincial Chapter, unless the Chapter confirms them;
d) with the previous consent of the Prior General, and at the request of the majority of the electors of the Province, to postpone or anticipate the celebration of the Provincial Chapter, but not by more than three months.
For a session of the Provincial Council to be legitimate, the Councillors must be present together, according to the norms of article 219, §2.
In keeping with Provincial Statutes, the Prior Provincial must convene his Council whenever matters which are the competency of the Provincial Council need to be discussed, or when the consent of the Council is required.
At every session, following a prayer for divine assistance, the minutes of the previous meeting shall be read; thereafter, the Council shall proceed to a thorough and careful discussion of the affairs of the Province. The bursar’s accounts for the Province shall be examined at least once a year.
§1. The minutes of every session of the Council shall be recorded in a special book, signed by all the gremiales, and sealed with the seal of the Province. The Prior Provincial shall take care that adequate information concerning the matters discussed should be made available, from time to time, to all the houses of the Province.
§ 2. Copies of the minutes mentioned in §1. above shall be sent to the General Council solely for information. (pro informatione)
A Provincial Councillor may also hold the office of local Prior if the Provincial Statutes allow it.
Those religious who are chosen to fill provincial offices should be outstanding for their prudence, learning and experience, since they will be collaborators of the Prior Provincial, who will avail himself of their work and advice in the government of the province.
All the officials of the Province (secretary, bursar, etc.) shall be designated for a three-year term and may be re-appointed to the same offices. Should any of these provincial offices become vacant before the end of the three-year term, another friar shall be designated to fill the office, but only until the end of the three-year term.
§1. The Prior Provincial may appoint a religious to be his assistant and help him to fulfil his obligations, as so directed. This religious shall remain under the authority of the local Prior in all matters pertaining to the common life, insofar as his responsibilities to the Prior Provincial allow it.
§2. The Assistant Provincial can also be a local Prior, unless otherwise stated in the Provincial Statutes.
§3. If the office of Prior Provincial should become vacant at any time during the three-year term for whatever reason, the office of Assistant Provincial shall immediately also become vacant.
The Prior Provincial shall entrust the archives of the Province to the care of a qualified religious. The archives shall be kept with the utmost care, if possible in the house in which the Prior Provincial resides; all business files and important documents shall be preserved therein, in an orderly fashion.
§1. Other offices, functions and commissions shall be created in every Province, whenever they seem necessary or useful to the life and activities of the Province.
§2. The offices, functions and commissions mentioned in §1 above are governed by the Provincial Statutes.
Without prejudice to article 371 §3, provincial officials cease in office at the end of the three-year period for which they were designated, as provided under article 346 a); or by means of a written resignation or in the presence of two witnesses and accepted by the Prior Provincial, after hearing the views of his Council.
§1. Unless otherwise stipulated in the statutes of the province, it is the prerogative of the Provincial Council, after obtaining the consultative opinion of the voting members of the Commissariat, to elect by canonical election to the office of Commissary one of the three candidates who has received the largest number of votes in the above mentioned consultation.
§2. Unless otherwise determined by the Provincial Statutes, two councillors shall be elected by canonical election by all the voting members of the Commissariat.
§3. The Provincial Commissary shall be elected for a three-year period, to coincide with the term of office of the Prior Provincial, in accordance with article 342.
Although the Provincial Commissary is not included among the major superiors, he is nevertheless bound by the same obligations as the Prior Provincial, and, by delegation, enjoys the same faculties as the Prior Provincial, with the exception of those which the Prior Provincial may explicitly reserve to himself.
§1. If necessary, a director of formation, a director of novices, a bursar for the Commissariat, and other officials may be appointed within the Provincial Commissariat, in accordance with the statutes of the province.
§2. The above officials shall be appointed by the Provincial Commissary, with the consent of the councillors, and with due respect for article 370.
§3. With the consent of the councillors, and for a just motive, the Commissary may remove the above officials from office and/or appoint new ones.
The statutes of the province may include specific norms for the government of the Provincial Commissariat, provided they are not contrary to these Constitutions.
§1. The local Chapter, over which the Prior or the one who takes his place presides, is the fraternal governing body of the house, in keeping with these Constitutions and with the Provincial Statutes.
§2. In houses where there is no council, the local Chapter will act as the Prior’s council.
§1. In individual houses, all the solemnly professed brethren are members of the local Chapter.
§2. The manner in which brethren who are not yet solemnly professed are to participate in the local Chapter shall be defined in the Provincial Statutes.
It is the responsibility of the local Chapter to evaluate, especially through dialogue and to choose according to common criteria, the initiatives of the community; to encourage and stimulate responsible cooperation by all members; to examine and assess any commitments made by the community or by individual members; to draw up specific norms for the house and to amend or revoke them for acceptable reasons; to discuss the more important matters; when this arises, to express to the relevant superiors opinions concerning the admission of candidates to profession and to ordination.
Except as provided in article 390, the local Chapter of each legally established house, in which at least four solemnly professed religious reside habitually, may elect the Prior, the bursar and other local officials, provided the Provincial Statutes allow it.
§1. On a suitable date after the Provincial Chapter, the local chapter of the houses treated in article 382 shall meet to carry out the matters specified in that same article. The chapter is also to decide other questions which seem necessary or opportune to it.
§2. Other meetings of the local Chapter shall be held at times set by the Provincial Statutes.
§1. Besides meetings of local Chapters, in accordance with the format and times set out by Provincial Statutes, gatherings of all the religious of a community, including non-voting members and, if necessary, experts not belonging to the community, shall be held to discuss matters pertaining to the consecrated life, the apostolate, etc. These meetings are to be planned in advance and discussions should take place even if the Prior, or some of the brethren, are absent.
§2. Different points of view concerning the consecrated and Carmelite life of the community should be discussed at these meetings, keeping in mind the teachings of the Gospel and the form of life which the religious have freely embraced through profession.
In houses where more than ten voting members are assigned a Council of the Prior shall be set up, if the Provincial Statutes so provide.
Where it exists, the Council shall have the task of assisting the Prior in the fulfilment of his office as leader and animator of the community. Moreover, the Council shall give advice and consent, in the most simple and effective way, in accordance with the norms of canon law and of the law of the Order, concerning those matters, as determined by Provincial Statutes or by the local Chapter.
§1. The number of council members, and the manner in which they are to be designated, shall be specified in the Provincial Statutes; they shall remain in office for a three-year term, and may be immediately re-elected for successive three-year terms.
§2. If the common good demands it, and for grave reasons, the Prior Provincial may remove the councillors from office, or accept their resignation.
§1. Every house of the Order, even if not canonically erected, in which at least three brethren habitually reside, shall be headed by a Prior, designated in accordance with either article 362 or articles 382, 390, and 392.
§2. A house which depends on another main house shall be governed in accordance with the Provincial Statutes.
To be elected Prior, a religious must be solemnly professed for at least five years and must belong to the Province, except as provided in article 202.
When the Prior and other local officials must be elected by the local Chapter:
a) the voting member who is first by order of precedence shall preside over the election of the Prior. Without prejudice to article 355, the Prior Provincial shall have no voice in this election, except in the house in which he resides.
b) The election shall take place in accordance with article 245 and must be confirmed by the Prior Provincial.
When the local Prior is nominated by the Prior Provincial with his Council, the appointment shall be preceded by appropriate consultations.
§1. The Prior shall be designated for three years; if his office should become vacant before the end of the three-year term, another person shall be elected to complete the term.
§2. At the end of the three-year term, the Prior may be re-elected to the same office; however, he may not be elected for a fourth successive three-year period, even in a different house, without an interval of at least three years.
The Prior shall:
a) direct the activities of the brethren and promote their active and responsible obedience in a climate of authentic brotherhood;
b) reside in his house, and not absent himself except for a just reason;
c) ensure that his community know and put into practice the directives of the Holy See, of the Conference of Bishops, and of the Conference of Major Superiors; and that it observes these Constitutions and any directives issued by the Order and by the Province;
In addition to the faculties conferred on him by canon law, the Prior and his vicar or substitute may, for a just reason:
a) on a case by case basis, dispense individual members or the entire community from the obligation to celebrate in common the Divine Office, in whole or in part. The obligation to recite the Office privately shall remain in force;
b) on a case by case basis, dispense individual members or the entire community from obligations concerning fast and abstinence imposed by canon law or by the laws of the Order;
c) allow individual members to live outside the community on a temporary basis, in accordance with the conditions set forth in the Provincial Statutes;
d) grant permission to clerics to preach in the community’s church.
§1. For a just reason, the Prior may resign from office before the end of his three-year term. However, to be valid, his resignation must be made in writing, or orally in the presence of two witnesses, and must be accepted by the Prior Provincial with the consent of his Council.
§2. For a just reason, and with the consent of his Council, the Prior Provincial may remove a Prior from office before the end of his three-year term. Before doing so, however, he shall hear the views of the Prior himself and of each of the voting members in the house, individually.
§1. The Provincial Statutes shall decide whether the office of sub-prior (vice priore) should be instituted, and determine the extent of his authority.
§2. With due regard for the prescriptions of canon law, the Provincial Statutes shall stipulate who is to govern the house in the absence of the Prior.
§1. The offices of sacristan, bursar and secretary, and those of other officials, shall be defined by the Provincial Statutes.
§2. Provincial Statutes shall determine the manner in which these offices are to be filled, and their duration.
The Order, the Provinces and the houses as juridical persons can acquire, administer, alienate and use temporal goods, in accordance with canon law and with the law of the Order.
§1. It pertains to the General Chapter, and outside the Chapter, to the Prior General with the consent of his Council, to approve the Financial Directory of the Order containing norms concerning the ordinary and extraordinary administration of goods, and the duties and requirements of bursars.
§2. National and regional financial directors, where they exist, must meet the requirements of the civil legislation in their respective countries.
§1. There shall be a bursar or financial administrator for the Order as a whole, and one for each Province and house. The office of bursar or financial administrator shall not be held by the Prior General, the Prior Provincial, or, where possible, by the local Prior.
§2. To assist bursars in their duties, boards for financial affairs are to be instituted, in accordance with the Financial Directory and with Provincial Statutes.
Every Province and General Commissariat shall make an annual contribution to the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the General Council, to the institutions which depend from the General Curia, and to common projects of the Order approved by General Chapters and General Congregations, in accordance with the percentages assigned to them by the General Council immediately after the Chapter. These percentages may be adjusted, if necessary, by the General Congregation or by the Council itself, in extraordinary circumstances, always on the proposal of the General Financial Commission.
The bursar shall exercise his office in the service of the brethren, with attentive concern for all their needs, as the administrator of goods belonging to all, in a way that will help them to observe their vow of poverty.
§1. For the execution of any administrative, legal, or financial act, the official representatives of the Order, of a Province and of a house shall be, respectively, the Prior General, the Prior Provincial, and the local Prior. The Prior, for the area which is his competence may, if he so wishes, delegate this authority to his bursar,
§2. When for the purposes of civil law the office of legal representative is necessary to execute acts valid in the civil forum, such persons shall be nominated in accordance with the Financial Directory and the Provincial Statutes.
To execute acts in accordance with his office the legal representative must obtain the authorisation of the competent authority.
It is the responsibility of the respective Prior to supervise with care the administration of all property belonging to the Order, to the Province, and to the houses under their authority. Moreover it is their responsibility to ensure the orderly management and administration of temporal goods.
The Financial Directory determines the frequency with which the Bursar General and his board shall meet with provincial bursars to discuss financial and economic matters of the Order.
With regard to temporary separation, that is, exclaustration, whether freely requested or imposed on a religious by the Holy See against his will, the norms of canon law and of the law of the Order shall apply.
§1. A friar who, for a grave reason, requests to leave the Order during the time of his temporary profession may be granted the appropriate indult by the Prior General, with the consent of his Council.
§2. At the end of his temporary profession, the friar is free to leave the Order. Likewise, for a just reason, and following consultation with his Council, the Prior Provincial may deny him further profession.
§1. Any physical or psychological infirmity which, in the opinion of experts, renders the friar mentioned in the previous article unsuited to life in the Order, even if such infirmity was contracted after profession, is sufficient reason for not admitting the friar to the renewal of temporary profession or to solemn profession, unless the infirmity was contracted through negligence on the part of the Order or because of work performed within the Order.
§2. If, however, a professed member in temporary vows should become insane, he shall not be dismissed from the Order, even if he should be incapable of making his profession.
A solemnly professed brother shall not request an indult to leave the Order except for very grave reasons, pondered before the Lord. He shall submit his request to the Prior General, who shall forward it, together with his opinion and that of his Council, to the Holy See, to which is reserved the concession of such an indult.
The indult itself, once made known to the brother concerned and not rejected by him at the moment of notification, constitutes by force of law dispensation from vows and from all obligations deriving from profession.
§1. A member is ipso facto dismissed from the Order in cases specified by canon law.
§2. In such cases, if the facts are known with certainty, it is sufficient for the Prior Provincial with his Council to issue a statement of the facts. He shall take care, however, to inform the dismissed member, and to ensure that the evidence collected is preserved in the archives of the Province. The notice and a summary of the documents shall be sent to the General Curia.
A brother may also be dismissed from the Order for other reasons, provided they are serious, external, imputable and juridically proven as required by canon 696 of the Code of Canon Law, and provided the norms of canon law are observed.
With legitimate dismissal, the vows and any rights and obligations deriving from profession cease ipso facto. However, if the dismissed brother is a cleric, he may not exercise Holy Orders until he has found a bishop who will accept him, or at least permit him to exercise his ministry.
Brethren who have left the Order shall have no claims on the Order for any activity performed in its favour. Superiors, however, should feel themselves bound in charity to contribute to their needs, in keeping with the statutes, especially at the beginning of their new way of life.
It is recommended that Provincial Statutes, with the help of experts in local civil law, set out agreements to be signed by each candidate before he is admitted to the pre-novitiate or the novitiate.
The brethren should make every effort to ensure that the Carmelite ideal, as outlined in the Rule and in these Constitutions, becomes the very wellspring of their lives. Engaged in a single, fleeting journey on this earth, they are to be like exiles in a foreign land; their homeland is in heaven. They should join then with all the saints in striving to understand every measure of Christ’s love, which surpasses all knowledge, and aflame with burning love and ardent desire, in aspiring to reach that place which the Lord, on leaving this world, promised to prepare for us. Let them be rooted and strengthened in love, ever vigilant, lighted torches in their hands; increasing their talents so that, at the hour of their death, they may be worthy to hear the consoling words of the Lord as he returns: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Index of Subjects
Index of Passages from Scripture
Index of Canonical Sources
Abstinence from meat: a penitential practice: 40; dispensation from obligation: 346, 394
Acceptance of election: 246, 248, 334
Acquired rights: are confirmed in order of precedence: 205
Activities: connection with common life: 32; distribution and choice of tasks or activities: 33; avoidance of excessive activity and life styles not in harmony with community: 34; formation activity of novices: 147-148; list in catalogue of the Order: 267. See also Apostolic Mission of Carmel.
Acts, administrative, financial, legal: 403
Administration of goods: 398-405. See also Material Goods
Advice: when required from people they must be summoned: 218; must give their opinion: 223; superior acts invalidly if he has not consulted them: 212
Affiliates of the Order: belong to the Carmelite family, 28; affiliation through the scapular, 89
Age limits: 30 years for prior provincial: 340; 35 years for prior general: 277
Agreement, written: between local Ordinary and prior provincial for erection of a parish: 100; for a religious who lives in another province: 202; to be made on admission to postulancy and novitiate: 415
Aims, for community life (progetto comunitario): 31
Albert, St., law giver: 8, 14
Allegiance to Christ: “living in”: 2, 11, 14
Annual vacation for religious: 33
Apostolate: see Apostolic Mission of Carmel
Apostolic life: demanded of Order: 9; characteristic of charism: 10; see also Apostolic mission of Order
Apostolic mission of Carmel: general considerations: 91-96; apostolate is integral part of charism: 91; various forms of apostolic service (diakonia) and harmonisation with charism of Order and community: 92; criteria for discernment: 93; response to needs of the people: 94; promotes growth in search for God and life of prayer: 95; example of Mary: 95; example of Elijah the prophet: 96; commitment to ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue: 96; in the local church: 97-105; motivation and purpose of service in the local church: 97-99; mission in parishes: 100; acceptance of parishes: 100, 101; office of pastor (parish priest): 102-104; religious with diocesan posts: 102-103; missionary activity ad gentes: 105; concern for Carmelite family: 106-109; apostolic mission and application of justice and peace in the world: 110-116; to be discussed in meetings of religious: 384
Apostolic works: see Apostolic mission of Carmel
Application of decrees of Holy See or local Episcopal Conference in communities: 393
Assignation of house for other purposes: 187
Assistant Provincial: may be elected by Provincial Chapter: 321; may be nominated by Prior Provincial: 371
Audit of expenses of general chapter: 271
Authentic interpretation: of the Constitutions and other codes of proper law: 193; of provincial statutes: 197, 363
Authority: 206-216; strengthening unity: 206
Autonomy of provincial commissariat: 180
Baptism: charismatic nature developed in the religious life: 5
Belt, leather: part of habit: 41
Bible: see Sacred Scripture.
Bishop, diocesan: pastor (parish priest) must be presented to him: 102; can appoint a religious to a diocesan post: 102; parish priest and religious who hold diocesan offices are subject to his jurisdiction in pastoral matters: 103; every religious in priest’s orders is a collaborator with him in pastoral work; gives written consent to found a house: 186; to change its purpose: 187; is consulted regarding the suppression of a house: 188; see also Local Ordinary
Brothers living outside a house: 35, 346
Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel: 6, 12, 29
Bursar General: task: 307, 400; member of General Council: 293; elected by general chapter: 294; length of term of office: 295; procedure in case of vacancy: 305; prayers in case of death in office: 39; see also Bursar
Bursar: requirements and duties: 399; assisted by finance commission: 400; carries out his duties as service: 402; can be delegated to represent in administrative, juridical and financial affairs
Calculation of votes: in elections: 245; in election of local prior of a canonically erected house: 390; in election of prior provincial: 343
Candidates for the religious life in the Order: guidelines for formation and relationship with religious: 120; accompanied by mature formators: 121; responsibility for the formation process: 126; criteria for their formation: 127; admission to the pre-novitiate: 136; admission to the novitiate: 138; their capacities to be taken into account: 140; pre-novitiate retreat: 141; admission to simple profession: 152; see also: Formation, Dismissal and Departure from Order.
Cappuce: part of habit: 41
Carmel: mountain in Palestine, birthplace of the Order: 7, 9; first church dedicated to Mary: 12
Carmelite family: members: 28; fraternal links in sharing: 37; concern by the brothers for it: 106-109; special area of responsibility in General Council: 303
Carmelite spirituality: characteristics: 12; study centres: 166, 167, 173; special area of responsibility for general council: 303
Carmelites: gathered together by patriarch Albert from whom they receive a formula for living: 8; transfer to the west and approval of formula for living as a true rule: 9-10; study the way to match their ideal with the current needs of the Church: 13; dimensions of contemplation, fraternity and service in their charism: 14-24; inspired by biblical figures of Elijah: 25, 26 and Mary: 25, 27; the process of formation: 117-188; engaged in permanent conversion of the heart and spiritual transformation as a life-long process: 118; see also Order of Carmelites
Cases: must be introduced through administrative channels: 214; in provincial chapters: 333; in general chapter: 271, 274
Catalogue of the Order: 267
Centres of spirituality and study: to be established and developed: 68; at various levels: 166, 173; General Council’s attitude to them: 303
Cessation: from the office of prior provincial: 352; from the posts of provincial officials: 374; see also Removal from office, renunciation.
Chapter commissions of provincial chapters: 336
Chapters in general: jurisdiction: 210; with reference to penalties: 215; as collegial acts: 212, 217-225
Characteristics of formators of novices: 144
Charism and mission of Carmel: 1-24; relationship between common charism and personal gifts: 30
Chastity: call and gift to God and the kingdom: 59; Christ’s example: 60; transformation of our love: 61; its mystical, social and political value: 62; attitudes to cultivate: 63
Church on Mount Carmel: built by Carmelites and dedicated to Mary: 12
Church: as sacrament of God’s unity and that of human race: 1; the Spirit works in it: 13; exemplary role of early Christian community: 8, 30
Co-operation: in chapters: 217; to be promoted by provincial councillors: 361;
Co-operation: in formation at various levels: 164; with superiors: 206
Co-ordination: by provincial councillors: 361
Co-responsibility: in formation: 125, 126, 144; in encouraging vocations: 131;
Collegial Acts: 212, 217-225; see also general chapter Acts, Provincial Chapter Acts, Provincial Council Acts.
Colour of habit: 41
Common good: the goal of all acts of superiors: 207; must be promoted in chapters and other collegial acts: 217; all priors must ensure it: 208; the special duty of the provincial council to promote it: 361
Common table: 31
Communication: mass media: 34; to increase common good: 207
Community, Carmelite life: its nature and expression: 29-42; its centre and high point is the Eucharist celebrated in common: 70; to be lived in the spirit of Elijah and under the protection of the Virgin Mary: 30; tends to a deeper union: 31; its moments of greater intensity and their importance: 31; community meetings: 31; link between activities outside the house and community life: 32; favours personal growth at all levels: 33; harmonises the distribution and taking on of work: 33; mass media: 34; each community must have a sufficient number of religious: 35; association with religious who live outside the house: 35; must have an authentic and meaningful life-style for vocations: 119; responsibilities of formation communities: 126, 144; must be promoted by superiors: 207; see also Prayer, Fraternity, Apostolic mission
Community, of goods: witness to unity in Christ and fraternal harmony with the brothers: 4; according to the Rule: 11; attention to and sharing of Order’s goods: 37; distribution of province’s goods can be determined by provincial chapter: 321
Community: as Carmelite life: 29-42; must co-operate in formation of candidates: 144; service in parishes: 104; see also Local chapter, Fraternity, Prayer. Apostolic mission, Community life.
Concelebration: see Eucharist
Conditions: when attached to a vote render it null and void: 241
Confession: see Reconciliation
Confirmation: of elections: 248; not required for election of prior general and members of his council: 249; required for election of prior provincial and other elections: 249;
Congregations of sisters: see Affiliates of the Order
Consecration to Christ in the religious life: 5
Consent: when required those to give it must be summoned: 218; and give their opinion: 223; a superior acts invalidly if he does not have consent: 212;
Constitutions: are part of proper law: 189; contain fundamental norms for life: 190; their observance: 190; general chapter approves, modifies, suspends or abrogates them: 191; must be observed to ensure the common good: 207; are like a living spring which nourished Carmelite life: 416; who can dispense from disciplinary provisions in them: 198
Consultation, for candidates for offices of prior provincial and provincial councillors: 331, 333, 341
Contemplation: characteristic of the Order’s tradition: 17; its evangelical and ecclesial value: 18; attitude of openness to God: 79; is strengthened by silent prayer: 80
Contemplative dimension: 14, 15, 16-18
Contributions: to be made to a province: 321; to be made by provinces to the Curia: 401; percentages assigned by General Council: 401; changes to them: 401
Conversion to the gospel: 40
Convocation of gremiales: by whom: 218; who must be convoked and procedure: 234; for general chapter: 260; for provincial chapter: 323; for local chapter: 218, 219, 393
Council of local prior: when to set one up: 385; its function: 386; see also Local councillors
Council of Major Superior: gives consent for the removal of active and passive voice: 204; see also Council, General Council, Provincial Council.
Council of prior general: composition: 293; must give its consent to the prior general: to erect, transfer or suppress a novitiate house: 140; or to allow more than one novitiate house in a province: 140; to readmit to the Order one who has left: 150; for the institution of various bodies (delegations, regions, etc.) 177; for the institution of a general delegation: 184; for the granting and naming of a superior and councillors to it: 184; for the institution of a region: 177;
for the institution, change or suppression of a general commissariat: 178, 181; for the erection of a province: 178, 182; for union or changes in boundaries of them: 178; for suppression of them: 178; for the distribution of goods in a suppressed province or commissariat: 178; for the erection of a provincial commissariat: 180; for its redefinition or suppression: 180; for the erection of a new house: 186; for the suppression of a house: 188; outside the general chapter, to approve, modify, suspend or abrogate general codes of the Order’s law: 192; for its authentic interpretation: 193; to approve the statutes of various bodies in the Order: 195; to issue decrees for the whole Order: 196; for the acceptance of a postulation: 226, 253; to convoke an extraordinary general chapter: 257; to anticipate or defer a general chapter: 278; to remove a prior provincial from office: 278; to nominate the president of the Institutum Carmelitanum: 278; the General Archivist: 278; the Secretary general: 308; the secretaries for the special areas of interest: 308; possible co-secretaries: 309; the Postulator General: 312; the delegate for social communications: 312; other general officials: 312; replacements for any of the general offices which become vacant: 278; to transfer religious: 278; to convoke a General Congregation: 285; to approve the acts of a provincial chapter: 338; to approve the Order’s Financial Directory: 399; to allow a provincial chapter to elect a brother from another province to the office of prior provincial: 340; to dispense from temporary vows: 407; must give its opinion to the prior general: to dispense in disciplinary matters: 198; to designate officials of the general chapter: 271; to issue decrees for the celebration of a provincial chapter in a newly erected province: 320; to accept the resignation of a prior provincial from office: 352. See also Council of the Major Superior, General Council.
Council of Provinces: a consultative organ for specific subjects: 288; members: 289; convocation: 290
Council of the Prior Provincial: 356, 357; must give its consent to the prior provincial: to make an agreement with a local Ordinary for the erection of a parish: 100; for the inclusion of apostolic activities in the novitiate: 147; gives a deliberative vote for admission to solemn vows: 157; for the authentic interpretation of provincial statutes: 363; for the institution of the secretariat or preparatory commission for a provincial chapter: 324; for the removal from office of provincial or local officials 346; to give permission to a religious to live outside a house: 346; to change those with voice before a provincial chapter: 350; to nominate a provincial commissary, priors, and local officials according the provisions of the provincial statutes: 362; the novice master: 362; one or more people in charge of formation: 362; the provincial bursar: 362; the delegate for the nuns and sisters: 362; other provincial officials: 362; to replace officials in case of vacancy: 363; to establish an extraordinary contribution from the houses: 363; for the authentic interpretation of provincial statutes: 363; to anticipate or defer a provincial chapter: 363;
to accept the resignation of a local prior from office or his removal before the end of the three-year term: 395; must give its consent to the vicar prior provincial if he wishes to make some change: 351; must give its advice to the prior provincial for the presentation of a friar to the local Ordinary for a diocesan office: 102 §2; to dispense from disciplinary laws: 198; to accept the resignation of provincial officials: 374; to deny renewal of temporary profession: 407 §2; must give its advice to the provincial chapter president for the nomination of chapter officials: 333; see also Council of Major Superior, Provincial Council.
Councillor of provincial commissary: 375, 377
Courses: theological and biblical to be attended: 161; formation, especially Carmelite: 173; see also Formation
Criteria: for adaptation of way of life: 13; for new candidates: 127, 144; for formators: 128, 130; in government of Order must be indicated by general chapter: 259
Cultures: ways of incarnating life-style in them: 13, 91; open attitude to them: 160;
Deceased, prayers for: 39; information to be given: 39
Decrees issued by prior general and his council: 196; confirmation by following general chapter: 196; issued by prior provincial and other major superiors: 197; by provincial council: 361; by the Council of Provinces: 288; by the General Congregation: 287; by the general chapter: 259
Decrees of the Holy See and local Episcopal Conference: to be made known to religious: 393
Delegate for formation: of the prior general for formation: 125; responsibilities: 126; promotes application of RIVC: 129; of prior provincial for formation: 125, 126
Delegate for lay Carmelites: 109
Delegate for social communication: 311
Delegate for the Carmelite nuns and sisters: provincial: 107, 362; general: 107, 305, 311
Delegates: to provincial chapter: 317; 319; 330; to general chapter: 258; 263; 266
Departure from Order: 406-415; see also Dismissal, Dispensation, Exclaustration
Devolutionary recourse: 216
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary: see Veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Diaconate: solemn profession must precede reception: 162
Diakonia: see Service in the midst of the people
Dialogue: searching for God’s will: 11; fraternal meaning: 19, 30; part of community life: 31; way to reach mature and responsible obedience: 48; education in it: 63; before making appointments: 233; in preparation for proposals to send to general chapter: 263; prior provincial’s visitations: 347; in community meetings and gatherings: 31, 384
Directions for government: given by provincial chapter: 321; by general chapter: 259
Discernment: guide for virtues: 16; in the incarnation of charism: 28; community exercise: 31; on activities: 33; life-long: 40; education in it: 46; means for fraternal dialogue: 48; on its presence: 54; criteria for apostolic mission: 93, 94; vocations: 131
Dismissal from the Order: 406, 411, 412, 413
Dispensation from temporary vows: 407; from solemn vows: 409; notification of indult: 410; effects: 413; help to be given to those who leave the Order: 414
Dispensation in disciplinary matters: given by: 198; procedure for granting: 199; validity: 199; from fast and abstinence: 346, 394; from recitation of Liturgy of the Hours: 346, 394; from some provision of provincial statutes: 346
Divine Office: see Liturgy of the Hours
Doctor: opinion on health of prior general: 281
Documents of the Holy See, local Episcopal Conference or of the Order: study of them: 31; must be known and acted upon: 393; must be preserved in provincial archive: 372
Documents, of preparatory commission for provincial chapter: 329, 336; for general chapter: 262, 264
Duties of formators: 128
Ecumenism: participation in ecumenical movement and inter-faith dialogue: 96
Education: professional and technical: 160; a special area for General Council: 303
Effective period of time (tempo utile): for news of vacancy in an office: 229; for acceptance of election: 246; to hold an election: 250
Election by acclamation (is prohibited): 225
Election to offices: 226; confirmation: 226
Electors: must be summoned: 218, 234
Elijah’s well: birthplace of Order: 7
Elijah, prophet and saint: model and source of inspiration: 25-26; other references to his example: 7, 12, 30, 79, 96, 115; liturgical celebration: 88
Elisha, prophet and saint: liturgical celebration: 88
Episcopal Conferences: religious must know their decisions: 393; regarding works of penance: 40
Erection of a house, commissariat, province: see under various entries
Eremetical life: that of first Carmelites: 7, 8, 10
Eremetical trait in Order: 7, 8
Eucharist: celebrated in common: 11, 31, 69, 73; centre and high point of community: 70
Evangelical counsels: see Religious vows
Evangelical life: is a gift of the Holy Spirit: 3
Evangelisation: area of special responsibility in General Council: 303
Ex-prior general: 258, 284; prayers for deceased: 39
Exclaustration: requested or imposed: 406
Exemption from jurisdiction of local Ordinary: 174
Exercise of office: prohibited before confirmation of election: 248
Experiences, mutual exchange: 31, 130
Experts, lay: co-operation with: 307
Experts: in preparatory commission for provincial chapter: 325; members of preparatory commission for general chapter: 262; in subjects to be discussed by general chapter: 268, 269; accompany prior provincial to General Congregation: 286
Facilitators, or experts: 33
Faculties: see under entries for various superiors
Familiarity with life of Mary: 12, 27
Fast: 40, 394; dispensation from: 346
Faults: to be corrected in charity: 11
Flos Carmeli or other Marian anthems to be sung each day: 87
Following of Christ through evangelical counsels: 4, 43
Formation: Carmelite: 117-120; ministry of formation: 121-130; vocation ministry: 131-133; general considerations on the process of formation: 134; pre-novitiate: 135-138; novitiate: 139-151; period of simple vows: 152-155; from solemn profession onwards: 156-158; formation for various ministries: 159-167; specifically Carmelite: 137, 139, 144, 152, 163, 169, 171, 173; cultural and technical: 160, 161; integrated with other areas: 163; co-operation at various levels: 164; aided by library: 165; ongoing formation: 168-173; area of special responsibility in the General Council: 303; see also Pre-novitiate, Novitiate
Formators: responsibility for formation: 121; appointment: 122; support which they need: 122; assisted by a team: 123; by the prior provincial and council: 124; criteria for ministry: 128, 130; in the novitiate: 144; to be consulted for inclusion of apostolic activity in novitiate programme: 147; nominated by prior provincial and council: 362; see also Formation
Formula for living given by St. Albert: 8; approved as a Rule by Innocent IV: 9; new inspiration: 14
Fraternal correction: according to the Rule: 11; see also Fraternity
Fraternal life: witness to an intimate union with Christ: 3; characteristic of Order’s charism: 10; see also Fraternity
Fraternity: part of charism of Order: 11, 14, 15, 19-20; the Holy Trinity is source and model: 29; fraternity and dialogue: 30; community is an authentic expression of it and a place for human growth: 32; fraternal openness to others: 29, 30; sharing of feelings: 31; hospitality to brothers, relatives and others: 36; sharing of Order’s goods: 37; personal and community conversion: 40; relations with religious living outside the house: 35; see also Community, Carmelite life, Eucharist, Community life
General Archivist: appointed by prior general with the consent of his council: 278
General Chapter Acts: drawn up by general chapter Secretariat: 261, together with commission for the revision of the acts: 271
General Chapter: has supreme authority in the Order: 255; its nature and aims: 255-174; ordinary: 256; extraordinary: 257; members: 258, 239; tasks: 259; rules for its celebration: 270; validity of its prescriptions: 194; approves, amends, suspends and abrogate the Constitutions: 191; other codes of law: 192; gives authentic interpretation: 193; way of making law: 210; judicial power: 213; determines erection, limits and suppression of provinces and purpose of goods: 178; can institute new General Delegations, Regions, etc. Or confirm their institution: 177, 184; confirms decrees issued by prior general and his Council in previous six years: 196; approves Financial Directory of the Order: 399; see also General Chapter Acts, Chapters in general
General Commissariat: has its own structure in the Order: 177; erection and suppression: 180-181; when it may become a province: 182; norms for provinces to be applied except where otherwise indicated: 183
General Commissary: is a major superior: 209; is a member of the General Congregation: 286; is a gremialis of the general chapter: 258; can send a proxy: 239; place in order of precedence: 205
General Commissions: meetings prepared for by General Secretariat: 310
General Congregation: 285-287; convocation: 285; members: 286; tasks: 287; can modify provinces’ contributions to the Curia: 401
General Council: 293-299; composition as a collegial body: 293; composition as council of the prior general: 293; distinction between acting as one or the other: 296; has judicial, executive and legislative power: 213; members elected by general chapter: 259, 294; no confirmation of election required: 249; quality of it members: 301; length of term of office of members: 295; members are gremiales of general chapter: 258; of General Congregation: 286; of Council of Provinces: 289; meetings are prepared by Secretary general: 310; required quorum and procedure for making up a quorum: 297; other general officials may participate in it: 293; hears the opinion of officials and other experts: 293, 298, 299; encourages contacts with major superiors of the Order: 299; criteria for operation of various offices: 302; areas of responsibility: 303; participation of a member in a provincial chapter as socius of prior general: 304; must be informed of resignation of prior general: 280; contributions from provinces: 401; can change these contributions: 401; prayers for a deceased member: 39. It is the prerogative of the General Council with the prior general to see that norms are put into practice: 210; to approve the RIVC: 129; to set up the preparatory commission and Secretariat for a general chapter: 260; to nominate judges for a general chapter: 213; to replace one of the members of the council is case of vacancy: 305
General Councillor for Asia, Africa and Australia: 293; see also General Councillor
General Councillor for Latin America: 293; see also General Councillor
General Councillor for Northern-Central Europe and North America: 293; see also General Councillor
General Councillor Mediterranean Europe: 293; see also General Councillor
General Councillor: number: 293; member of General Council: 293; election by general chapter: 294; once elected does not require confirmation: 249; is a gremialis of General Council: 293; of general chapter: 258; of General Congregation: 286; of Council of Provinces: 289; place in order of precedence: 205; length of term of office: 295; qualities: 301; criteria for carrying out tasks: 302; can have an area of responsibility: 303; can take part in provincial chapter as socius of prior general: 304; in case of vacancy how to be replaced: 305; prayers in case of death while in office: 39
General Curia: list of members in Order’s catalogue: 267
General Delegate, of a General Delegation: nomination and office: 184; is a gremialis of general chapter: 258; conditions for and participation in General Congregation: 286; member of Council of Provinces: 289
General Delegation: structure that can be instituted by general chapter or prior general with consent of council: 177; erection, purpose, offices, proper statutes: 184
General Financial Commission: 400; suggests changes to percentage contributions in extraordinary circumstances: 401; frequency of meetings: 405
General Financial Directory of the Order: content: 399; approval: 399; gives norms on composition of General Financial Commission: 400
General Secretariat: 260, 261, 263, 265
Gift and mission of Order: 1-13
Gospel: is the norm for living: 1, 2; following it: 2, 54, 144, 255, 384; basis for renewal: 13; for discernment: 13, 40, 81; requires conversion to it: 40; its demands: 47, 109; present in community: 48; need to proclaim it: 105, 113; is yeast of society: 109; in religious formation: 128, 144
Government: levels of participation in Order: 175; direction must be given by provincial chapter: 321; and by general chapter: 259; see also under Chapters, Advice, House, Province, local prior, Prior Provincial, Prior General, Superior, Major Superior
Gremiales: obliged to take part in chapters: 217; of local chapter: 203; of provincial chapter: 317-, 318, 320, 322, 329, 332, 338; of general chapter: 258, 273, 294
History and spirituality of the Order: some historical notes: 7-11; study and research: 166, 167;
Holy Land: re-conquest of by Crusaders: 7; love of Carmelites for: 8
Holy Roman Pontiff: Carmelites are subject to him alone: 174; prayer for deceased: 39;
Holy See: decrees must be known by religious: 393; letter from it to general chapter: 271; removal of prior provincial: 278; report on state of Order to be sent to it: 279; procurator general deals with it: 306
Holy Spirit: gives gifts gratuitously: 2
Hospitality: to be offered to relatives and others: 36
House (convento): its aim: 32; authentic expression of fraternity: 32; place of human development: 32; erection and suppression: 185-188; canonically erected houses are governed by universal law and Constitutions: 185; directly under the prior general: 177; part reserved to religious alone: 42; must have a climate of silence and recollection to encourage prayer, study and work: 67; to have a library, especially if a formation house: 165; to be included in catalogue of the Order: 267; ordinarily prior provincial does not intervene in its operation: 346; to be visited frequently by prior provincial: 347; as a juridical person administers goods: 398; its representative for administrative, financial or legal acts: 403; see also Administration of goods
Houses not canonically erected: governed by provincial statutes: 185
Ideal of Order: set out in Rule and Constitutions: 416; to be incarnated in life: 416
Incardination, definitively in Order: 157
Incompatibility of offices: 230
Incorporation in Order: in the first place in the Order and secondarily in a province: 175; is temporary with simple profession: 175; is final with solemn profession: 175; brings with it the right to receive what is necessary: 176
Individual talents: must be developed: 127; 416
Innocent IV: approval of Rule: 9, 10
Institutes affiliated or associated with Order: members of the Carmelite family: 28; must promote mutual co-operation with them: 108; listed in catalogue of Order: 267
Institutum Carmelitanum, Rome: 166; president is nominated by prior general with consent of council: 278; interest of general council in it: 303
Intent, of Carmelites: in the beginning eremetical: 8; participation of others: 28; of mendicant orders: 10
Internationality of Order: 160
Interval in elections: 244
Intimacy with the life of Mary: 12, 27
Investigation of religious and social needs: 94
Irregularity in elections through failure to summon electors: 234
Issues, non-electoral: procedure for dealing with them: 224
Jesus Christ: his mission: 1; invitation to follow him: 3; living in allegiance of him: 2, 11, 14; Lord and Redeemer of the Holy Land: 8; came to serve: 206
Joachim and Anne (saints): liturgical celebration: 88
Joseph, St.: liturgical celebration: 88
Judges: in provincial chapter: 213; elected by gremiales: 332; in general chapter: 213; elected by gremiales: 271; must report to general chapter: 274
Justice and Peace: sign and prophetic witness of Order in this area: 24; preferential option for the poor: 24; apostolic mission of Carmel: 110-116; special area of responsibility in general council: 303
Kingdom of Christ: to spread in the whole world: 5
Languages to be learnt: 160
Law, universal, common or canon: must be observed for fasting: 40; for obligations: 294; for agreements on parishes: 100; subjection to jurisdiction of Ordinary in pastoral matters: 103; for admission to novitiate: 138; for administration of material goods: 151; by those in temporary vows: 158; in government by provincial and his council: 179, 211; in operation of houses: 185, 396; procedure for erection of a house: 186; exercise of holy orders: 186; decrees of Order cannot be contrary to it: 197, 361; faculties of major superiors as Ordinaries in Order: 209; jurisdiction of superiors and chapters: 210; jurisdiction of prior general: 211; and his faculties: 278; superiors’ councils at various levels: 212, 293, 296, 356, 357; provisions in it for cases: 214; application of canonical penalties: 216; indications and norms for conferral or offices: 226, 227; prohibition on voting: 236; jurisdiction and faculties of prior general: 211, 278; obligations of the office of prior general: 279; report on state of the Order to the Holy See: 279; possession of material goods: 398; exclaustration from Order: 406, 410; dismissal from Order: 411, 412
Lay Carmelites: part of Carmelite family: 28; concern for them: 109;
Lectio divina: part of community life: 31; practised in community form: 82
Legal representative: in civil cases: 403
Legislation of the Order: to be revised in general chapter: 259
Legitimacy: of chapters and other collegial acts: 219; of provincial council meetings: 364
Length of term of office: see entries for various office holders and also Removal, Resignation
Letters of convocation: for provincial chapter: 323; for general chapter: 260
Library: aid to formation and education: 165
Life of prayer: characteristic of Order’s charism: 10; to be nourished in the midst of the people as part of apostolate: 95; see also Prayer
Liturgical prayer: 69-76; nature and connection with personal prayer: 69; daily celebration of the Eucharist: 70; preparation and participation a central element of Rule: 71; Liturgy of the Hours: participation in and manifestation of praying Church: 72; community celebration of Liturgy of the Hours: 73; with the faithful: 74; frequent sacramental confession: 75
Liturgy of the Hours: part of community life: 31; celebrated in common: 69; and with the faithful: 74; preparation and participation: 71; manifestation of the praying Church: 72; dispensation from community recitation: 394
Liturgy: Marian feasts to be celebrated: 87; Marian antiphon to be sung every day: 87; liturgical celebrations in memory of Order’s saints, of St. Elijah the prophet, of St, Elisha the prophet, of St. Joseph, of Saints Joachim and Anne: 88
Local bursar: can be elected by local chapter if so provided by provincial statutes: 382, 390; office is determined by provincial statutes: 397; see also Bursar
Local chapter: its nature and president: 379; functions as Council in houses this is not present: 379; members: 380; task: 381; convocation: 218, 393; gives consultative vote for admission to solemn profession by one of its members: 157; issues specific norms: 210; draws up proposals to be sent to preparatory commission for provincial chapter: 327; can elect its official if so provided in provincial statutes: 382; see also Chapters in general.
Local church: pastoral choices: 31; apostolic mission of Carmel: 97-105
Local councillor: provincial statutes decide on number, designation and length of term of office: 387; possible removal from office: 387
Local language: for title of house superior: 208
Local Ordinary: exempt from jurisdiction: 174; rights regarding the wearing of the habit: 41; can confer canonical possession of a parish on a province: 100; see also Bishop
Love of Christ: 416; in the spirit of Carmel: see Prayer, Fraternity, Service, Apostolic mission
Major superior: has same faculties in universal law as a local Ordinary: 209; responsibility for appointing formators: 122; for formation of candidates and religious: 126; for providing means for formation at all levels: 172; those who reside near the general curia can make up a quorum for meetings of general council: 297; frequent contacts with prior general and council: 299; may not be a member of preparatory commission of provincial chapter: 325. It is his right: to admit to pre-novitiate: 136; to novitiate: 138; decide on making up of absences of fewer than 15 days from novitiate: 149; receive vows and renewals: 153; admit to simple vows: 153; can anticipate simple profession: 154; can allow simple profession outside novitiate house: 154; can prolong period of simple profession: 155; can allow anticipation of renewal of simple profession: 155; stipulate agreements regarding a religious living in another province: 202; can be consulted by prior general regarding place, date and subject matter of a general chapter: 256, 257; receive letter summoning a general chapter: 260; be consulted regarding transfer of religious from one province to another by prior general: 278; send every year a report on the state of the province to the general council: 279. Other faculties: can give a command (praeceptum) in virtue of the vow of obedience: 49; can permit or prescribe academic studies during novitiate: 146; can allow novices to engage in apostolic works outside the novitiate house for one or more periods of time: 147; can anticipate first profession: 154; renewal of profession: 155 and solemn profession: 157; can allow first profession to be made outside the novitiate house: 154, 155; can extent period of first profession: 155; can dispense from disciplinary laws: 198; procedure for granting dispensations: 199. With the consent of his council: having consulted the local chapter: admits to simple vows: 153; to solemn vows: 157; can issue decrees and outside the chapter interpret the statutes: 197; can deprive those religious who live outside a house of active and/or passive voice: 204; has right to confer offices freely when an electoral body is deprived of its right to elect: 252
Marian antiphon: to be sung every day: 87
Marian devotions and practices: 86
Marian shrines: operation and pastoral guidelines: 89
Mass media: reality and potential: 34; use: 34
Material goods: attention to and sharing of goods of the Order: 37; norms on material goods of novices: 151; material goods of professed: 158; of a suppressed province or general commissariat: 224; provincial chapter to determine distribution: 321. See also Contributions.
Meetings of religious: community: 31; must be held twice a month: 369; must be encouraged: 339; provincial statutes determine timing and procedure: 384; non-chapter: 219
Meetings, provincial council: information: 367
Meetings: to be held periodically in all houses: 384; of those with voice in a province to draw up proposals for general chapter: 263; Secretary general to prepare them: 310; see also Collegial acts, Centres of spirituality and study, On-going formation, Community life
Members of collegial bodies: see under entries for Provincial Council, Provincial Chapter, General Chapter, General Congregation, General Council, Regions, General Delegation, Council of Provinces
Mendicants, orders of: 10, 22
Ministries: specific vocation to each one: 159; formation for them: 160; formation and ministries of non-ordained: 161; formation for priesthood: 162
Mission ad gentes: see Apostolic mission of Carmel
Mystics: reading and study of their works: 31
National or Regional Financial Directory: 399; gives norms for representative in civil cases: 403; determines frequency bursars’ meetings at general level: 405
Necrology: to be communicated: 39
New forms of life: must increase: 31; in Marian devotion: 86
New forms: need to find them in formation of young Carmelites: 128
Notification of election: 246
Novice master: nominated by prior provincial and council: 362; in provincial commissariat: 377; directs and guides formation of novices: 144; evaluates with major superior desirability of engaging novices in apostolic activity: 147; to be consulted on cases of absence from novitiate: 149; see also: Formation, Formators, Novitiate
Novices: enjoy spiritual benefits of the Order: 151; norms regarding their material goods: 151; see also Novitiate
Novitiate houses: to be designated in accordance with the Constitutions: 140
Novitiate: period of introduction to Carmelite life: 139; purposes: 139; to be carried out in house canonically designated: 140; candidates to do a retreat: 141; admission to it is prerogative of major superior: 142; agreement to be made before entry: 415; begins with rite of acceptance: 143; role of community and formators: 144; programme to be carried out: 145; ordinary studies suspended for its duration: 146; integration with apostolic activity: 147, 148; absence from the novitiate house: 149
Nullity: of an election for failure to summon gremiales: 234; of acts of one who is elected but not confirmed in office: 248
Number of religious in a community to ensure fraternal life: 31; of gremiales in provincial and general chapters: 220, 221, 250, 350
Nuns: members of the Carmelite family: 28; prayers for deceased: 39; concern for them: 107; canonical visitation of those under the jurisdiction of the Order by prior provincial: 347; and prior general: 279; list of them in catalogue of Order: 267; monasteries to be visited frequently by prior provincial: 347
Obedience, religious: motivation and characteristics: 45-49; is a full self-giving to the will of God to realise his Kingdom: 45; requires discernment, commitment and internalisation: 46; implies personal and community commitment: 47; service of prior as guide, stimulus, sign and bond of unity with the will of God: 48; major superior may give a precept (praeceptum) in virtue of it: 49
Office of BVM on Saturday: is recommended: 87
Offices in regions: 292
Offices: in Curia or general: 308-312; secretaries for priority areas: 308, 310; postulator general: 311; delegate for social communication: 311; others according to need: 311
Offices: procedure for conferral: 226, 227; outside the Order: 231
Official letters and other documents of the general council: responsibility of Secretary general: 310
Official publication of the Order, necrologies to be published in it: 39
Officials, general: nominated by prior general with consent of his council: 278; those resident in Curia can make up quorum for sessions of general council: 297; consulted in matters pertaining to them: 298; list of them in catalogue of Order: 267
Officials, in provincial commissariat: 377
Officials, local: can be elected by provincial chapter if provincial statutes so provide: 382, 390; three-year term of office: 392; duties determined by provincial statutes: 397; see also Removal, Resignation
Officials, provincial: 369-374; nominated by prior provincial and his council: 362
Order of business: provincial chapter: 316; general chapter: 270, 272, 273
Order of Carmelites: origin, structure and characteristics: 6-13; charism: 14-27; basic constitution: 174-188; among the clerical institutes: 174; members profess evangelical counsels: 174; exemption from jurisdiction of local Ordinary: 174; structure: 177; founded on universal law of the Church and proper law: 189; proper legislative texts: 189; proper law: 189-199; catalogue and statistics: 267; administers material goods as a juridical person: 398-405; representative for administrative, financial and legal acts: 403
Order of precedence: 205
Orders of apostolic fraternity: see Mendicants
Ordinary studies: suspended for novitiate: 146; see also Formation
Outsiders in collegial meetings have no vote: 221
Parish: apostolate in: 98; agreement for operating a parish: 100-101; see also Pastor (parish priest)
Pastor (parish priest): appointment: 102; under jurisdiction of local Ordinary for pastoral activity: 103; holding of offices of prior and pastor (parish priest) together: 104; maximum length of term of office: 104; relations between parish and religious community: 104
Pastoral work: see Apostolic mission of Carmel, Marian shrines
Patrimony of Order: criteria for updating Carmelite life: 13; fidelity and elements of apostolic work: 95; see also Gift, Charism
Penalties: application: 215; universal law to be observed: 216; appeals: 216
Penitence: sacrament: see Reconciliation
Penitential life: “holy penance” of Carmelite life: 8; personal and community conversion: 40; practices: 40
Percentage contributions to Curia: assigned by general council: 410; modifications: 401;
Personal prayer: 77-84; continuous prayer and the practice of the presence of God: 77, 84; prayer and daily life: 77; invitation to develop forms of prayer more in harmony with Carmelite spirituality and new forms: 77; formation in prayer and the religious dimension of reality: 78; contemplation as a gift from God: 79; daily silent prayer: 80; effects of prayer on daily life: 81; Lectio divina in community: 82; spiritual reading, especially of Carmelite authors: 83; annual retreat: 84; days of recollection: 84
Pilgrimage to Holy Land: spirituality: 8
Pious practices: see Veneration
Place for celebration of chapter: provincial: 323; general: 256, 260
Poor: preferential option for: 24; consideration in discernment: 40; sharing of goods and solidarity with: 53; listening to cry of the poor and application in field of justice: 110-114; retrace the steps of Elijah: 115; re-read the Bible from their perspective: 116
Postponement of provincial chapter: 363; of general chapter: 278
Posts outside Order: 231
Postulancy: see Pre-novitiate
Postulation: to offices: 226; requirements: 254
Postulator general for causes of saints: 311
Poverty: biblical basis: 50; link between fraternity and sharing of goods: 51; example of early Church: 52; is a complex and ambivalent reality: 53; style of evangelical life: 53; awareness of injustice and commitment to cause: 54; effect of solemn vow on own material goods: 55; legal acts in civil cases and solemnly professed religious: 56; responsibility in using goods at a personal and community level: 57; faithful carrying out of law of work: 58
Power (potestas): see Authority in the Order
Practical requirements of the Church in formation of young religious: 127
Prayer for the dead: 39
Prayer: according to the Rule: 11; in general: 66-69; nature and view of it in Carmelite tradition: 64-65; various forms: 66; requires atmosphere of solitude and silence: 67; connection with liturgical prayer: 69; see also Personal prayer, Liturgical prayer
Prayers for successful outcome of provincial chapter: 323; for general chapter: 260
Pre-novitiate: part of process of formation: 134; objectives: 135; admission to it is prerogative of major superior: 136; agreement to be made on admission: 415; length and content: 137; admission to novitiate: 138
Precedence: order of: 205
Precept (praeceptum) for transfer of a religious: 348
Precept (praeceptum) in virtue of obedience: 49
Preparatory Commission for general chapter: 260, 262, 263, 269
Preparatory Commission for provincial chapters: 324, 325, 327, 328, 329, 331
Presence of God: witness of: 18; example of Elijah: 26; example of Mary: 27
President of chapter or other collegial entity: 222; in elections: 243; confirmation or not of elections: 249; election of local prior: 390; of provincial chapter: 316, 332; of general chapter: 271
President of Institutum Carmelitanum: nominated by prior general with consent of council: 278
President of Region: election and role in statutes: 292; participates as non-voting member of general chapter: 258; and of general congregation: 286; member of council of provinces: 289
Priesthood: adequate preparation for ministry: 162; required to be prior, vicar or substitute: 232; to be prior provincial: 340; to be prior general: 277
Prior General: characteristics and purpose of office: 275; sign of unity and model for the Order: 208; has authority in the whole Order: 208; office is of service: 208; is a major superior: 209; has ordinary jurisdiction: 211; have voice in whole order: 203; place in order of precedence: 205; validity of election: 277; procedure for election: 245, 276; no confirmation required: 249; length of term of office: 276; responsibility in formation: 125, 126; delegate for formation: 125; approves RIVC with council: 129; CISA under immediate jurisdiction: 166; other houses under immediate jurisdiction: 177; a requests denied by him cannot be obtained from his vicar without consent: 199; acts invalidly when contrary to consent required from others: 212; actions requiring advice of others: 212; grants permission for others to send proxies to general chapter or general congregation: 239; consults superiors on date, place and subject-matter of general chapter; is gremialis of general chapter: 258; of general congregation: 286; of council of provinces: 289; sends letters convoking general chapter and reports on state of Order: 260; at end of term of office presides over inauguration of general chapter: 271; no passive voice in election of chapter president which he inaugurates: 271; makes report on state of Order to general chapter: 272; presides with active voice over provincial and local chapters, as well as provincial and local councils: 278; transfers religious: 278; ordinarily resides with other members of the general council: 279; canonical visitation of all houses and provinces of the Order during six-year term: 279; sends report on state of Order to Holy See: 279; sends instructions for report by priors provincial on state of provinces: 345; resignation and procedure for it: 280; loss of mental faculties: 281; vacancy in office in six-year term: 282; can choose residence on termination of office or resignation: 283; has vote in chapter of province where he resides: 384; is assisted in government by general congregation: 287; and by council of provinces: 288; is assisted by general council in problems, even those not provided for in law: 298; has frequent contact with major superiors of the Order: 299; in case of absence Order’s business is dealt with by vice prior general: 300; can have a socius in provincial chapters: 304; procurator general deals with the Holy See in his name: 306; members of the general council and other general officials are his collaborators: 301; approves in advance the date of provincial chapters: 314, 332; presides over provincial and local chapters as well as provincial and local councils: 332; makes opening speech in provincial chapters: 333; must be informed in advance of transfer of religious from one province to another: 349; gives permission to anticipate or defer a provincial chapter: 363; is legal representative of Order for administrative, legal or financial acts: 403; must supervise administration of Order’s goods: 404; gives vote on request to Holy See for definitive exclaustration or reduction to the lay state by a solemnly professed friar: 409;
receives notification of death of a brother: 39; prayers for him if he dies in office: 39; see also Major superior. Must have the consent of his council: to erect, transfer or suppress a novitiate house: 140; or to allow more than one novitiate house in a province: 140; to readmit to the Order one who has left: 150; for the institution of various bodies (delegations, regions, etc.) 177; for the institution of a general delegation: 184; for the granting and naming of a superior and councillors to it: 184; for the institution of a region: 177; for the institution, change or suppression of a general commissariat: 178, 181; for the erection of a province: 178, 182; for union or changes in boundaries of them: 178; for suppression of them: 178; for the distribution of goods in a suppressed province or commissariat: 178; for the erection of a provincial commissariat: 180; for its redefinition or suppression: 180; for the erection of a new house: 186; for the suppression of a house: 188; outside the general chapter, to approve, modify, suspend or abrogate general codes of the Order’s law: 192; for its authentic interpretation: 193; to approve the statutes of various bodies in the Order: 195; to issue decrees for the whole Order: 196; for the acceptance of a postulation: 226, 253; to convoke an extraordinary general chapter: 257; to anticipate or defer a general chapter: 278; to remove a prior provincial from office: 278; to nominate the president of the Institutum Carmelitanum: 278; the General Archivist: 278; the Secretary general: 308; the secretaries for the special areas of interest: 308; possible co-secretaries: 309; the Postulator General: 312; the delegate for social communications: 312; other general officials: 312; replacements for any of the general offices which become vacant: 278; to transfer religious: 278; to convoke a General Congregation: 285; to approve the acts of a provincial chapter: 338; to approve the Order’s Financial Directory: 399; to allow a provincial chapter to elect a brother from another province to the office of prior provincial: 340; to dispense from temporary vows: 407; must have opinion of his council: to dispense in disciplinary matters: 198; to designate officials of the general chapter: 271; to issue decrees for the celebration of a provincial chapter in a newly erected province: 320; to accept the resignation of a prior provincial from office: 352. See also Council of the Major Superior, General Council. Must have advice of prior provincial concerned to erect, transfer or suppress a novitiate house or to permit more than one in a province: 140; to readmit religious who have left the Order: 150; must also have advice of provincial council and others concerned for the erection of a general commissariat: 181; and its suppression: 181; and of local Ordinary for suppression of a house: 188; to transfer religious: 278
Prior provincial: person: definition: 208; is a major superior: 209; qualities: 232, 340; consultative vote: 331; procedure for election: 245, 321, 322, 343; passive voice in election: 341; can be elected for three or six years: 342; election must be confirmed: 249, 344; member of province must be elected: 340; in case of particular difficulty a friar from another province: 340;
one elected to bring to a close the three-year term of his predecessor: 353; cessation, removal or resignation from office: 352; must be interviewed before being removed: 278; governs the province and brothers in it with his council: 179; has ordinary power (potestas): 211; has voice in province: 203; place in order of precedence: 205; gremialis of general chapter: 258; of general congregation: 286; of council of provinces: 289; faculties to send proxy to general chapter or general congregation: 239; acts invalidly when he goes against required consent: 212; procedure when advice is required: 212; can nominate a vicar: 351; can nominate an assistant: 371; is assisted in government by provincial council: 357; required to summon provincial council: 365; officials of the province are collaborators: 369; receives notification of death of a brother and informs other houses in the province and the prior general: 39; nominates formators: 122; responsibility together with council for formation of candidates: 124, 125, 126; delegate for formation: 125; must be consulted for erection, transfer, suppression of novitiate houses as well as erection of more than one house: 140; is to be consulted regarding the re-admission of candidates who have left the order: 150; must be consulted with council and other interested parties for erection of a general commissariat: 181; must be consulted, together with diocesan bishop for suppression of a house: 188; summons gremiales of provincial chapter: 218, 323; gives permission to accept post outside Order: 231; must be consulted by prior general when transferring religious: 278; at end of term of office cannot be elected provincial chapter president: 332; can address the chapter: 333; reports on state of the province: 334; recommends to council for good of province: 354; sends chapter acts to prior general: 338; sends report on state of province to prior general: 345; transfers religious from one house to another: 346; consults priors concerned: 348; dispenses individuals from obligation to recite Divine Office: 346; and from laws on fast and abstinence: 346; dispenses in disciplinary matters: 346; gives permission for writings to be published: 346; must visit houses frequently: 347; cannot be local prior or provincial bursar: 355; provides information about meetings of provincial council to be sent to houses: 367; sends copy of provincial council acts to prior general: 367; appoints a suitable person as provincial archivist: 372; delegates faculties to provincial commissary: 376; can remove local councillors from office or accept their resignation: 387; has no voice in election of local prior, except where he resides: 390; with council conducts adequate consultations before appointing local priors: 391; can accept resignation of local prior or remove him from office: 395; representative of province in administrative, legal and financial acts: 403; must supervise administration of province’s goods: 404; issues with council declaration of dismissal ipso facto from Order: 411; see also Major superior. Must have consent of provincial council: to make an agreement with a local Ordinary for the erection of a parish: 100; for the inclusion of apostolic activities in the novitiate: 147;
gives a deliberative vote for admission to solemn vows: 157; for the authentic interpretation of provincial statutes: 363; for the institution of the secretariat or preparatory commission for a provincial chapter: 324; for the removal from office of provincial or local officials 346; to give permission to a religious to live outside a house: 346; to change those with voice before a provincial chapter: 350; to nominate a provincial commissary, priors, and local officials according the provisions of the provincial statutes: 362; the novice master: 362; one or more people in charge of formation: 362; the provincial bursar: 362; the delegate for the nuns and sisters: 362; other provincial officials: 362; to replace officials in case of vacancy: 363; to establish an extraordinary contribution from the houses: 363; for the authentic interpretation of provincial statutes: 363; to anticipate or defer a provincial chapter: 363; to accept the resignation of a local prior from office or his removal before the end of the three-year term: 395; must have advice provincial council for the presentation of a friar to the local Ordinary for a diocesan office: 102 §2; to dispense from disciplinary laws: 198; to accept the resignation of provincial officials: 374; to deny renewal of temporary profession: 407 §2; see also Council of major superior
Probation: for those who have left Order and then re-enter: 150
Problems: to be dealt with in chapters: 217
Process of removing right to vote from an electoral college: 251
Proclamation of election: 245. 246
Procurator general: member of general council: 293; elected by general chapter: 294; length of term of office: 295; task: 306; is gremialis of general chapter: 258; of general congregation: 286; of council of provinces: 289; prayers in case of death in office: 39
Promulgation of acts of provincial chapter: 338;
Proposals to be sent to provincial chapter preparatory commission: 327, 328; to general chapter preparatory commission: 261, 262, 263
Protectors of Order: celebration of feast of St. Joseph and Sts Joachim and Anne: 88
Province of the Order: a structure in the Order: 177; constitution and government: 179; erection and suppression: 182, 178; must establish and develop centres of spirituality and study and retreat houses: 68; contributes to expenses of general council, bodies and projects which depend on the Curia: 401; as a juridical person administers goods: 398; see also Administration of Goods, Provincial statutes
Provincial archives: responsibility for it to be given to a suitable person by the Prior Provincial: 372; acts relating to elections to be placed in it: 243; documents from the Holy See and the local episcopal conference to be preserved in it: 372; documents regarding one dismissed ipso facto to be placed in it: 411
Provincial bursar: takes part in general finance meetings: 405; nominated by prior provincial with consent of his council: 362; cannot also be prior provincial: 355; see also Bursar
Provincial Chapter Acts: 338
Provincial Chapter: nature: 313; ordinary: 314; extraordinary: 315; in case of vacancy in office of prior provincial: 353; gremiales determined by provincial statutes: 317, 318, 239; tasks: 321; validity of its prescriptions: 337; ex-Priors General have voice in the provincial chapter where they reside: 284; the socius of the prior general has active voice: 304; has faculty to instruct judges: 213; can draw up provincial statutes and issue decrees: 210; can erect a provincial commissariat: 180; can establish new limits or suppress the same: 180; confirms previous decrees: 197; nominates suitable formators: 122; how and when it can elect as provincial a brother from another province: 340; confirms or not authentic interpretations of statutes: 363; see also Provincial Chapter Acts, Chapters in general
Provincial Commissariat: erection and suppression: 180, 182; government: 375-378; may have its own preparatory commission for a provincial chapter: 324; when it can send a delegate to a general chapter: 258; can have only two councillors: 359
Provincial Commissary: duties and responsibilities: 375-378; must be nominated by prior provincial and his council, unless statutes provide otherwise: 362; can vote by proxy: 239; place in order of precedence: 205; participates without voice in general chapter: 258; and in General Congregation: 286; is a member of the Council of Provinces: 289; can have only two councillors: 359
Provincial Council Acts: must be read: 366; must be recorded in a special book: 367; informing the Province about them: 367; copy of them must be sent to the General Council: 367
Provincial Council: members: 356; their election: 321, 322; as a collegial entity and as the council of the prior provincial: 356, 357; its task: 361; responsibility in formation: 124; issues decrees to promote the good of the province: 361; works to translate norms into practice: 210, 361; areas of responsibility to be given to councillors and assistants: 361; has judicial power 213; is collegial tribunal of the first instance: 358; nominates judges for specific cases: 213; quorum for its meetings: 364; convocation: 365; provincial secretary is official secretary (notaio) for meetings: 356; its acts must be read: 366; signed and a copy of them sent to the General Council: 367; information about meetings to be sent to the houses in a province: 367
Provincial councillor: to be elected by provincial chapter: 321 or by all electors in the province if so provided in provincial statutes: 322; four councillors: 359; two councillors for a provincial commissariat: 359; confirmed by chapter president: 249; length of term of office: 359; procedure in case of vacancy: 359; must be solemnly professed: 360; place in order of precedence: 205; responsible for a specific area with collaborators: 361; can be a local prior if so provided by provincial statutes: 368; role of first councillor in case of vacancy in office of prior provincial: 353
Provincial secretary: official secretary (notaio) in meetings of provincial council: 356
Provincial statutes: drawn up or amended by provincial chapter: 210, 321; approved by general council: 338; interpreted authentically by prior provincial and council: 363; prior provincial can dispense from their provisions: 346; see also Statutes. Subjects which provincial statutes must or may provide on : frequency of community meetings: 31; length of annual vacation for religious: 33; prayers for the dead: 39; fasting and abstinence as prescribed by the Rule: 40; penitential practices: 40; wearing of the habit: 41; material goods acquired by religious go to house or province: 55; personal allowances for religious: 57; silence and recollection in houses: 67; retreats and days of recollection: 84; criteria for acceptance of parishes: 100; offices of prior and pastor (parish priest) held together: 104; length of term of office of pastor (parish priest): 104; relations between parish and community: 104; designation of provincial delegate for nuns: 107; designation of other delegates for Carmelite family: 109; form, duration and content of pre-novitiate: 137; autonomy of provincial commissariat: 180; other conditions for exercise of active and passive voice: 200; local name for house superior: 208; procedure for summoning to elections: 234; permission to vote by mail: 238; right to send proxies to provincial chapter: 239; exchange of ideas previous to sending proposals to general chapter: 263; particular norms for election of delegates to general chapter: 265; celebration of a provincial chapter: 316; gremiales of a provincial chapter: 317, 318; may provide for vice prior provincial and assistant provincial: 321; election of prior provincial and provincial councillors; reports to be made by provincial officials to chapter: 334; vacancy in office of prior provincial before end of term: 353; timing and appointment of local priors and other house officials: 362; timing and appointment of other provincial officials: 362, 377; convocation of provincial council: 365; can allow provincial councillor to be a local prior: 368; can prohibit assistant provincial from being a local prior: 371; setting up of other provincial offices and commissions according to need: 373; special norms for provincial commissariat: 378; participation of simply professed in local chapter: 380; election of local prior and other officials of the local chapter: 382; frequency of collegial meetings of local chapter of canonically erected houses: 383; frequency and procedure for community meetings: 384; establishment of local prior’s council: 385; subjects on which local council must give opinion or be consulted by local prior: 386; determine number and procedure for designating local councillors: 387; government of house dependent on another: 388; permission to reside temporarily outside house: 394; establishment of local sub-prior (vice priore): 396; tasks of local officials: 397; establishment and norms for finance commission: 400; appointment of legal representative in civil cases: 403; how to deal in charity with the needs of brothers who leave the Order: 414; establish guidelines for pre-novitiate and novitiate agreements: 415; norms already fixed which can be modified by provincial statutes: colour of habit: 41; annual renewal of simple (temporary) profession: 155; order of precedence among provincial councillors: 205; number of gremiales at provincial and other chapters: 219; passive voice in election of prior provincial: 341; six-year term for prior provincial: 342; can provide for election of prior provincial differently from Constitutions: 343; participation of assistant provincial in meetings of provincial council: 356; length of term of office of provincial councillors: 359; replacement of councillors in case of vacancy: 359; election of provincial commissary: 362; election of provincial commissariat councillors: 375
Proxy: right to have one when participation is impossible in general chapter or general congregation: 239
Public church or oratory: permitted with the foundation of a house: 186
Quorum: in chapters and other collegial bodies: 219
Ratio Institutionis Vitae Carmelitanae (RIVC): 129, 145, 162, 171; area of special concern in general council: 303
Re-admission to the Order: 150
Recollection: atmosphere of silence and solitude to encourage prayer, work and study: 67
Reconciliation: sacrament: to be celebrated frequently: 75; can be made with any priest in communion with the Church: 76
Recreation in common: 31
Region: can be instituted by general chapter or prior general with consent of council: 177; aims: 291; election and role of president to be specified in statutes: 292; organisation: 292; president is non-voting member of general chapter: 258; of general congregation: 286; member of council of provinces: 289; must establish and develop centres of spirituality and study and retreat houses: 68
Religious Federal Assistant for Nuns: 107
Religious Habit: 41
Religious life: a calling and a gift from God: 5; service of brothers and consecration to God: 5; to be treated in meetings: 384
Religious profession: is basis for basic equality of all religious: 175
Religious vows: nature: 43-63; radical form of witness to and following of Christ: 43; gift of God: 44; obedience as listening and discernment of God’s plan: 45-49; poverty as sharing and solidarity: 50-58; chastity or celibacy for the kingdom: 59-63; who dispenses from temporary vows: 407
Religious: living outside house: 35; older members deserve respect and care: 38; their contribution: 38; prayers for the dead: 39
Removal from office: of local prior: 395, 346; of prior provincial: 278; of various elected officials: 346
Removal of active and passive voice: 204; of right to elect by electoral college: 250, 251, 252
Renewal: brought about in Constitutions: 13; of service in the Church: 91; constant commitment in chapters: 217
Report: on state of province to be made to provincial chapter: 334; sent to general council: 345, 279; on state of the Order to be sent to the Holy See: 279
Resignation: at time of election: 246, 247; from post of local prior: 395; of prior provincial: 352; of provincial officials: 374; of prior general: 280
Responsibility: of the community for formation: 144
Retreat Centres: to be established and developed: 68
Retreat: annual: 68; before novitiate: 141; before solemn vows: 156
Revision of provincial chapter acts: 333
Rights and duties: same for all religious through profession: 206; acquired by election: 247, 247; in order of precedence: 205; of the Ordinaries in the Order: 209; see also entries for various superiors
Rite of admission to novitiate: see Ritual
Rosary: recitation: 86
Rule of the Order: is the soul of Carmel: 416; approved by Innocent IV: 10; guidelines for Carmelite life: 11; new inspirational dimensions: 14; source of inspiration for Carmelite family: 28; study of it: 31; guide for formation: 144; see also Life-style
Sacred Scripture: prayerful listening according to the Rule: 11; listening in community: 31, 91, 95; must dwell in the heart of Carmelites: 11, 82; discernment by its light: 128; love for it: 131; spread of it: 162; reading it from the perspective of the poor: 116; see also Gospel, Lectio divina
Sacristan: 390, 397
Saints of Order: feasts to be celebrated: 88
Salve Regina or other Marian anthem to be sung every day: 87
Scapular of Carmel: sign of Marian consecration and means of association with Order: 27; traditional form of Marian devotion: 86; sacramental, symbol of devotion, reminder of Marian virtues: 89
Scrutineers: in elections: 243, 237; in provincial chapter: 333; in general chapter: 271
Scrutinies: for elections to offices: 245; other procedures provided for by provincial statutes: 343; results and names of delegates for provincial chapter to be published: 330; of delegates for general chapter: 265
Seal of province: for acts of provincial chapter: 338; for acts of provincial council: 367
Search for God: characteristic of the evangelical life: 3; part of charism of Order and guide for apostolic activity: 95
Secrecy: of subjects discussed in collegial meetings: 243; can be imposed by president: 223
Secretariat for preparation of provincial chapter: 324, 326
Secretaries: in Curia for priority areas: appointment: 308, 312; tasks: 310
Secretary general: appointment: 308; can have collaborators: 309; tasks: 310; must co-operate with general chapter secretariat: 261
Secretary of region: appointment and role to be specified in statutes: 292
Secretary: in elections: 243; of house: 397; of provincial chapter: 332; of general chapter: 271; see also Secretaries in Curia, Provincial secretary, Secretary general, Secretary of region
Secular Institutes: members of the Carmelite family: 28; co-operation and concern for them: 108, 109
Service to God and humanity through the religious life: 5; reciprocal to brothers and others: 2; the Church requires it from Carmelites: 10; in the midst of the people: 14, 15, 21-24; to be exercised as a form of apostolate: 98
Sick and infirm: care and concern for them: 35
Signs of the times: criterion for discernment: 13, 18, 30, 31, 40, 47, 91, 99
Silence: according to the Rule: 11; openness to the Spirit: 67
Silent prayer: every day: 80
Simple (temporary) profession: begins consecrated life: 152; incorporates in Order: 175; who admits to it: 153; can be anticipated: 154; can be made outside novitiate house: 155; is made for at least three years: 155; renewal: 155; dispensation from simple vows: 407;
physical or mental infirmity and renewal of simple vows: 408; consequences of dispensation from simple vows: 410
Simply professed: regarding active and passive voice: 201; participation in local chapters: 380; see also Simple profession
Sisters, associated with Order: in catalogue: 267
Solemn profession: spiritual preparation before: 156; validity: 157; made at earliest three years after simple profession: 157; must be made before receiving diaconate: 162; minimum age: 157; anticipation: 157; who admits to it: 157; definitive incorporation into Order: 157, 175; effect regarding material goods: 158; is required for office of local prior: 389; of provincial councillor: 360; of prior provincial: 340; of prior general: 277; physical or mental infirmity and admission to solemn vows: 408; dispensation: 409; consequence of indult: 410
Solemnly professed: regarding voice: 200; order of precedence: 205; compose local chapter: 380; see also Solemn profession
Soliciting votes: is forbidden: 242
Solitude: according to the Rule: 11; openness to the Spirit: 67
Spiritual Armour: to be put on in accordance with the Rule: 10
Spiritual Benefits: granted to novices: 151
Spiritual reading: especially of Carmelite authors: 83
Spiritual writers of Order: reading their works: 83
Spiritual, fraternal and apostolic life: fundamental basis for the Order’s charism: 14-24; intensified through chapters: 217; must be developed by general chapter: 258;
St. Albert’s International Centre (CISA) in Rome: expresses the Order’s unity: 166; is under the direct jurisdiction of the prior general: 166; has its own statutes: 166; prior is member of general chapter: 258
Statistics of Order to be published: 267
Statutes: which bodies may have them: 195; approval: 195; authentic interpretation: 197; can determine quorum for chapters and other collegial meetings: 219; general delegations: 184; regions: 292; CISA: 166; see also Provincial statutes
Sub-prior, local (vice priore): establishment of office determined by provincial statutes: 396
Substitutes: of delegates to general chapter: 265, 266
Superior of general delegation: 184; is gremialis of general chapter: 258; conditions for being gremialis and exercising vote in general congregation: 286
Superior, local: is officially called prior: 208, 288;
Superiors: have jurisdiction: 210; must apply norms: 210; see also Major superior
Suppression: of a house: 188; of a commissariat: 189, 181; of a province: 182, 179
Teachers of spirituality in the Order: God raised them up: 10
Tellers: 238, 271
Teresian reform: members are part of Carmelite family: 28
Theological and other studies: interest of general council: 303
Third Order Regular: see Affiliated Institutes
Third Order Secular: part of Carmelite family: 28; concern for them: 109
Timing: of provincial chapter: 314, 353; of general chapter: 256, 260, 282
Titus Brandsma Institute, Nijmegen: interest of general council: 303
Transfer of religious from one house to another: 346, 348; from one province to another: 349, 278
Tunic: part of habit: 41
Union with God and neighbour through Jesus Christ: 1; see also Fraternity, Prayer, Service
Updating of plan for life-style: 13
Use of material goods: responsibility to God: 57
Vacancy in an office which is usually filled by election: 232; local prior: 392; prior provincial: 342, 353; provincial councillor: 359; provincial officials: 370; assistant provincial: 371; general councillors and general officials: 295, 305; prior general: 282
Validity of novitiate: 140
Veneration: of the Blessed Virgin Mary: reasons: 85; is a characteristic of Order: 86, 95; practices and exercises of Marian devotion: 86; recitation of the rosary: 86; liturgical celebrations: 87; daily anthems Flos Carmeli, Salve, Regina, or some other antiphon: 87; devotion to the Scapular: 27, 86, 89; pastoral guidelines to be followed in Marian shrines: 90
Vicar prior provincial: 351
Vice prior general: member of general council: 293; is elected by general chapter: 294; length of term of office: 295; task: 300; is gremialis of general chapter: 258; of general congregation: 286;
of council of provinces: 289; takes over government of Order if prior general is seriously ill: 281; if office of prior general is vacant and summons extraordinary general chapter: 282; prayers in case of death in office: 39;
Vice prior provincial: elected by provincial chapter: 321; obligations in case of vacancy in office of prior provincial: 353
Vigilance in prayer: according to the Rule: 11
Virgin Mary: familiarity with her life: 12; source of inspiration for Carmelites: 27; other references to her example: 30, 58, 79, 86, 95; see also Veneration, Scapular
Visitation: by prior provincial: 347; by prior general: 279
Vocation: to the evangelical life: 3, 4; presupposes acceptance of the evangelical counsels: 4; must be fully lived: 416
Vocations promoter: task: 131, 362; links with communities at various levels: 132; and with other bodies: 133
Vocations: vocation activities: 131; task of vocations promoter: 131; commitment of the community: 132; links between vocation activities: 133; special area of interest of General Council: 303
Voice, active and passive: general principles: 200-205; exercise of it in a general delegation: 184
Votes: requirements: 241, 242, 243, 245; blank votes: 245; procedure for votes in non-electoral decisions: 224; admission of candidates: 225; elections: 225; consultative for candidates for offices of prior provincial or provincial councillor: 331
Votive masses of Our Lady: recommended on Saturdays: 87
Wearing of habit: 41
White cloak: part of habit: 41
Word of God: see Sacred Scripture, Lectio divina
Work: re-reading the Rule: 58; carried out together: 31, 95; see also Activities
1 Kgs 17:1, 15, 18, 19, 21 26; 79
1 Kgs 17:7-24 26
1 Kgs 18:20-46 26
1 Kgs 19:1-18 26
1 Kgs 21:17-29 26
2 Kgs 1:2 26; 79
2 Kgs 2:1-13 26
Ezek 36:26 27
Ps 33: 4, 9 642
2 Macc 12:46 39
Sir 48:1 262
Matt 6:6 69; 77
Matt 10 50
Matt 20:28 207
Matt 24:42-51 416
Matt 25:1-30 416
Matt 25:35-36 110
Matt 25:40 50
Mark 1:15 40
Mark 12:29-31 61
Mark 13:32-37 416
Luke 1:28-37 27
Luke 1:35 27
Luke 1:39 27
Luke 1:46-55 27; 64
Luke 2:19, 51 27; 64; 79
Luke 2:44-50 27
Luke 4:16 ff 60.
Luke 9:58 50
Luke 11:1-4 50
Luke 12:35-48 416
Luke 17:10 130
Luke 18:1 84
Luke 21:34-36 416
Luke 22:42 45
John 1:39 50
John 2:5 27
John 5:36-37 60
John 5:41 50
John 6:15 50
John 6:38 45
John 8:29 60
John 13:1 45
John 13:13-17 27
John 14:2-3 416
John 14:23 8
John 14:31 45
John 15:4 8
John 15:12-17 27
John 15:15 50
John 16:13 46
John 17:4 45
John 17:18 44
John 19:26 27
John 20:17 60
Acts 1:14 27
Acts 2:42-47 8; 19; 30; 51
Acts 4:32-35 8; 19; 30
Acts 4:32 20; 51
Acts 5:12-14 30
Rom 6:14 46
Rom 8:9 46
Rom 8:19-23 118
Rom 8:29 50
Rom 12:2 44; 46
1 Cor 7:7 63
1 Cor 7:24 61
1 Cor 12:7 30
1 Cor 12:11 2
2 Cor 4:7 63
2 Cor 8:1-15 51
2 Cor 8:9 50
2 Cor 10:5 14
Gal 6:10 106
Eph 3:17-19 416
Phil 2:7 50
Phil 2:8 45
Phil 3:8 20
Phil 3:20 416
Col 1:15 1
1 Tim 1:5 14
2 Tim 4:2 215
Heb 2:11; 50
Heb 4:11 416
Heb 5:7-8 45
Heb 9:27 416
Heb 10:5-10 45
1 Pt 4:10-11 51
1 Pt 5:3 208
Rev 21 8
AA 3 30; 99
AG 2-4 29
Bull. Carm., I, pp. 1, 4-5, 5 9
Bull. Carm., I, p. 8 9
Bull. Carm., I, p. 523 8
Can. 16 193
Can. 37 199
Can. 46 199
Can. 49 art 49
Can. 65, §1 199
Can. 81 199
Can. 119, n. 1 245
Can. 119, n. 2 224
Can. 123 178
Can. 127 212
Can. 127, §1 218; 393
Can. 127, §3 223
Can. 129 232
Can. 129, §1 340
Can. 134 209
Can. 151 229
Can. 152 230
Can. 165 229; 250
Can. 166 234
Can. 167, §1 235; 239
Can. 167, §2 237
Can. 168 240
Can. 169 221
Can. 172 241
Can. 172, §1, n. 1 225
Can. 176 245
Can. 177, §1 246
Can. 177, §2 247
Can. 178 248
Can. 179, §4 248
Can. 181, §1 226
Can. 182, §1 226
Can. 187 280; 395
Can. 189, §1 280; 395
Can. 520 100
Can. 581 178
Can. 585 178
Can. 587, §1 190
Can. 587, §4 192; 195
Can. 588, §1 232
Can. 588, §2 174; 277; 340
Can. 591 174
Can. 592, §1 279
Can. 592, §2 393
Can. 596 196; 210; 259
Can. 596, §2 232; 277; 340
Can. 601 49
Can. 609, §1 186
Can. 610 186
Can. 611 186
Can. 612 187
Can. 616, §1 188
Can. 618 48
Can. 620 209
Can. 621 179
Can. 622 211
Can. 623 277; 340
Can. 624, §1 276
Can. 624, §§ 1 and 2 392
Can. 625, §3 226; 249; 342; 391
Can. 626 242
Can. 627, §1 379; 385
Can. 628, §1 279; 347
Can. 629 279; 393
Can. 631, §1 255; 259
Can. 634, §1 398
Can. 636, §1 400
Can. 641 138
Can. 642 138
Can. 643 138
Can. 643, §1, 1 142
Can. 644 138
Can. 645 138
Can. 646 139
Can. 647, §1 140
Can. 647, §2 140
Can. 647, §3 140
Can. 648, §1 140
Can. 648, §2 147; 148
Can. 648, §3 148
Can. 649, §1 149
Can. 649, §2 154
Can. 650, §1 129
Can. 651, §3 122
Can. 652, §5 146
Can. 653, §2 152
Can. 654 152; 175
Can. 655 155
Can. 657, §2 155
Can. 657, §3 157
Can. 659, §§2 and 3 129
Can. 660, §1 152
Can. 660, §2 152
Can. 665 35
Can. 665, §1 346
Can. 666 34
Can. 667, §1 42
Can. 668 55; 158
Can. 668, §1 151
Can. 669, §1 41
Can. 670 176
Can. 671 231
Can. 674 18
Can. 681, §1 102, 103
Can. 686, §§ 1 and 3 406
Can. 687 406
Can. 688, §1 407
Can. 688, §2 407
Can. 689, §1 407
Can. 689, §2 408
Can. 689, §3 408
Can. 690, §1 150
Can. 691 409
Can. 692 410
Can. 694, §1 411
Can. 694, §2 411
Can. 699, §1 297
Can. 701 413
Can. 702 414
Can. 765 394
Can. 1245 394
Can. 1276, §1 404
Can. 1280 400
Can. 1315, §§1, 3 215
Can. 1339 315
Can. 1341 215
Can. 1427, §1 358
Can. 1717 358
CD 30/2 70
CL 23 30
Gen. Congr. 1974 19; 24; 26; 32; 33; 93
Gen. Congr. 1980 24; 26; 27; 30; 54; 93; 114
Gen. Congr. 1986 18; 21 ;24; 30; 93; 119; 131
Gen. Congr. 1992 13; 93; 112
I Prov. 24; 33; 37; 52; 54; 93
II Prov. 18; 34; 63; 64; 65; 72; 81
III Prov. 54
V Prov. 25; 26; 27
VI Prov. 33; 47; 54
VII Prov. 32
IX Prov. 26; 27; 28; 34
X Prov. 26; 54; 93; 112; 115; 116
XI Prov. 27
XII Prov. 15; 65
XIII Prov. 28
Constitutiones (1281) 8; 10
DCVR 1 78
DCVR 14 40
Dichiarazione sull’interpretazione autentica del can. 127, §1 293; 356
DV 25 82
EE 2 78
EE 10 43
EE 23, 25-26, 35-37 91
EE 27 98
EE 29 64
EE 38-43 97
EN 13 91
EN 39 91
EN 45 34
EN 60 97
EN 69 91; 97
ET 10 46
ET 13 59
ET 15 63
ET 17 112
ET 18 54
ET 20 54
ET 25 48
ET 43 64
ET 47 67
GS 1 18
GS 32 2
GS 34 58
GS 41 18
Haec Sacra Congregatione (1969) 73
LE 27 58
LG 1-4 29
LG 1 1
LG 9 2
LG 11 20; 70; 75
LG 12 30
LG 44 5
LG 48 416
LG 53 27
LG 67 86
LG 68 95
LH 12 72
LH 21 74
MC 2-14 86
MC 16-23 86
MC 17 27
MC 29 86
MC 30-38 86
MC 35 27
MC 56 86
MR 11, 18 22
MR 12 21; 120
MR 15 93
MR 18 97
MR 26 260
Neminem profecto latet (Pius XII) 27
OT 11 67
Paganorum incursus (Innocent IV)15
PC 1 44
PC 2 2; 28
PC 6 20; 82
PC 7 18
PC 12 63
PC 13 177
PC 14 48
PC 15 20
PC 17 41
PdV 50 59
PI 26-28 126
PI 29 126
PI 30 126
PI 30-31 128
PI 32 123; 126
PI 33-41 128
PI 43 138
PI 44 137
PI 46-48 139
PI 49 138
PI 58-59 152
PI 60-61 152
PI 62 152
PI 64 156
PI 65 160
PI 66-67 168
PI 68 169
PI 69 171
PI 70 171
PO 5 20
PO 9 30; 99
PO 14 64
PO 18 64
PP 79 110
PP 82 111
PP 86 111
PrayComm 26; 27
RD 11 59
RD 12 50
RD 13 48
RdU 50 96
Rule Prologue 2; 8; 14; 46; 208
Rule chp. 1 19; 45; 48
Rule chp. 2 2; 19; 48
Rule chp. 3 19; 48; 206
Rule chp. 4 11; 19; 20; 31
Rule chp. 5 19; 23; 207
Rule chp. 7 8; 10; 11; 16; 30; 31; 46; 82
Rule chps 7-11 8; 19
Rule chp. 8 11; 16; 20; 46; 69; 71
Rule chp. 9 11; 19; 31; 52
Rule chp. 10 8; 11; 19; 20; 31; 69; 70; 71
Rule chp. 11 11; 19; 20; 31; 46; 48
Rule chp. 12 11; 19
Rule chp. 13 11; 19; 22; 31
Rule chp. 14 8; 10; 11; 16; 20; 31; 46; 82
Rule chp. 15 11; 16; 54; 58
Rule chp. 16 11; 16; 31
Rule chp. 17 11; 19; 20
Rule chp. 18 11; 19; 20; 48; 207
Rule Epilogue 16
RM 5 505
RM 21 105
RM 31-33 105
RM 69 105
RM 87 105
RMa 12 27
RMa 19 27
RMa 42-46 85
RPU 4 91
RPU 27 30
SanP 73-92 90
SC 9-10 69
SC 12 69; 77
SC 24 82
SC 48 70
SC 83 72
SC 90 72
SC 100 74
SC 102 72
SC 103 27; 85
SC 104 88
SRS 16 53
SRS 35-40 111
SRS 46 111
UR 5 96
UR 7-12 96
 The New Revised Standard Version Bible; Catholic Edition. Copyright © 1993 and 1989. Division of the Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America
 Vatican Council II, The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, ed. Austin Flannery, revised edition, Dominican Publications, Dublin, 1992
 AOC 46(1995) pp.146; 422
 Col 1:15
 LG 1
 Prologue to the Rule
 PC 2
 1Cor 12:11
 LG 9; GS 32
 LG 44
 Jacques de Vitry, Historia Orientalis, chps. 51 & 52, ed. J. Bongars, Gesta Dei per Francos, Hanover, 1611, I, p. 1074 ff.
 Prologue to the Rule.
 Rule, ch. 7, 14, 10 with John 15:4, 14:23; Heb 13:14; Acts 21; and Rule, chps. 7-11 with Acts 2:42-46, 4:32-36.
 Papal bull, Ex vestrae religionis, Urban IV, 5 August 1262, in Bull. Carm., I, p. 523.
 Constitutiones capituli Londinensis anni 1281, Rubric I, ed. by L. Saggi, in AOC, 15 (1950) 208.
 Papal Bulls Ut vivendi normam, Honorius III, 30 January 1226; Ex officii nostri, Gregory IX, 6 April 1229; Ex officii nostri, Innocent IV, 8 June 1245 in Bull. Carm., I, pp. 1, 4-5, 5.
 Papal Bull Quae honorem Conditoris, Innocent IV, 1 October 1247 in Bull. Carm., I, p. 8.
 Papal Bull Paganorum incursus, Innocent IV, 27 July 1246, ed. A. Staring in Carmelus, 27 (1980) 281-2.
 Rule, ch. 7, 14; Constitutiones 1281, p. 210.
 Rule, ch. 7
 Rule, ch. 7, 14, 16
 Rule, ch. 7, 8
 Rule, ch. 14
 Rule, ch. 10
 Rule, ch. 11
 Rule, ch. 4, 9
 Rule, ch. 11
 Rule, ch. 12, 13, 15
 Rule, ch. 17-18.
 Gen. Congr. 1992, p. 50
 PC 2
 Prologue to the Rule; 2 Cor 10:5; 1 Tim 1:5.
 XII Prov., p 48.
 Rule, ch. 7
 Rule, ch. 8
 Rule, ch. 14
 Rule, ch. 15
 Rule, ch. 16
 Rule, Epilogue
 PC 7; Can. 674
 Gen. Congr. 1986, p. 4
 GS 41; II Prov., p. 32
 GS 1
 Rule, ch. 2, 3, 5, 9, 11, 17, 18; also Gen. Congr. 1974, p. 40
 Rule, ch. 7-11, and Acts 2:42-46; 4:32-36.
 Rule, ch.10, 11.
 Rule, ch. 1-3, 5, 17-18.
 Rule, ch. 1-3.
 Rule, ch. 3, 4, 9.
 Rule, ch. 11.
 Rule, ch. 11, 12, 13.
 Rule, ch. 4, 7.
 Phil 3:8.
 Rule, ch. 7
 Rule, ch. 14.
 Rule, ch. 8.
 PC 6, 15; LG 11; PO 5.
 Rule, ch. 10.
 Acts 4:32.
 Rule, ch. 17, 18.
 Rule, ch. 11
 MR 12.
 Gen. Congr. 1986, pp. 30-39
 Rule, ch. 13.
 MR 11, 18.
 Rule, ch. 6.
 Gen. Congr. 1986, p. 18; Gen. Congr. 1974, pp. 4-42; Gen. Congr. 1980, p. 90
 Gen. Congr. 1980, pp. 89-90
 I Prov., pp. 18-19; Gen. Congr. 1980, p. 89
 C.f. A. Bostius, De Patronatu et patrocinio B. V. Mariae, ed. Daniel a V.M., Speculum Carmelitanum, I, Antwerp, 1680, no. 1654.
 V Prov., p. 73
 1 Kgs 17:1, 15, 18, 19; 2 Kgs 1:2.
 2 Kgs 2:1-13.
 Sir 48:1.
 1 Kgs 19:1-18.
 1 Kgs 18:20-46.
 1 Kgs 17:7-24; 21:17-29.
 V Prov., pp. 75-76; Gen. Congr. 1974, p. 42; Gen. Congr. 1980, p. 90; X Prov., p. 64.
 De Institutione primorum monachorum, vol. 4, ch. 2-3, 7; vol. 7, ch. 1.
 PrayComm, p. 160
 Luke 1:35.
 Ezek 36:26.
 Luke 1:28-37.
 Luke 2:19-51.
 Luke 2:44-50.
 Luke 1:46-55.
 MC 17, 35; RMa 12, 19.
 John 13:13-17; 15:12-17.
 John 2:5.
 John 19:26.
 Acts 1:14.
 Luke 1:39.
 Acts 1:14.
 Carmelite Missal (1980), Preface I of the B. Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel; LG 53; SC 103.
 V Prov., pp. 73-75; Gen. Congr. 1980, p. 90; XI Prov., p. 51; PrayComm, pp. 159; 161
 Pius XII, Apostolic Letter Neminem profecto latet, 11 February 1950, in AOC, 16 (1951) 96-97; also Paul VI, Letter to the Legate to the International Congress on Mariology, 11 February 1965 in AOC 24 (1964-65) 187.
 IX Prov., p. 1
 XIII Prov., pp. 11, 42-53
 LG 1-4; AG 2-4
 Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35; also 5:12-14
 1 Cor 12:7; LG 12; AA 3; PO 9; RPU 27
 CFL 23; Gen. Congr. 1980, p. 92; Gen. Congr. 1986, p. 14
 Rule, chps. 10, 9, 7, 14, 11, 4, 16 and 13
 VII Prov., p. 160
 Gen. Congr. 1974, p. 42
 I Prov., pp. 21-23
 Gen. Congr. 1974, p. 41; VI Prov., p. 116
 II Prov., pp. 29-31
 IX Prov., p. 13
 EN 45
 Can. 666
 Can. 665
 I Prov., pp. 20-21
 2 Macc 12:45
 Mark 1:15
 DCVR 14
 PC 17
 Can. 669 § 1
 Can. 667 § 1
 EE 10
 PC 1
 Rom 12:2
 John 17:18
 Rule, chp. 1
 Heb 10:5-10
 John 6:38; 17:4
 John 13:1
 John 14:31
 Phil 2:8; Heb 5:7-8; Luke 22:42
 Rom 6:14; 8: 9
 ET 10
 Rom 12:2
 John 16:13
 Rule, prologue
 Rule, chps. 7, 8, 14
 Rule, chp. 11
 VI Prov., pp. 116-117
 Rule, chps. 2, 3, 11; ET 25; RD 13
 Rule, chp. 1; PC 14; ET 25; RD 13; Can. 618
 Rule, chp. 8
 Can. 49; 601
 Luke 9:58
 John 6:15; 5:41
 Phil 2:7
 Matt 25:40
 John 1:39
 John 15: 15
 Matt 10
 Luke 11:1-4
 Heb 2:11; Rom 8:29
 2 Cor 8:9; and also RD 12
 Acts 2:4-45; 4:32; 2 Cor 8:1-15
 1 Pet 4:10-11
 Rule, chp. 9
 I Prov., pp. 19-20
 SRS 16
 ET 18
 Rule, chp. 15; ET 20
 Gen. Congr. 1980, pp. 88-89; X Prov., p. 65
 I Prov., pp. 19-20
 I Prov., p. 21; III Prov., pp. 50-53; Gen. Congr. 1980, p. 92; VI Prov., pp. 116-117
 Can. 668
 Rule, chp. 15; LE 27
 GS 34
 ET 13; PdV 50; RD 11
 John 20:17
 Luke 4:16 ff.
 John 5:36-37; 8:29
 Mark 12:29-31
 1 Cor 7:24
 1 Cor 7:7; PC 12; ET 15
 2 Cor 4:7
 PC 12
 ET 43
 Ps. 34: 3, 8
 II Prov., p. 32
 Luke 2:19, 51; 1:46-55
 PO 14, 18; EE 29
 F. Thuis, Colpiti dal mistero di Dio. Contemplazione: filo conduttore della vita del Carmelo, Rome, Curia Generalizia dei Carmelitani, 1983, pp. 42-43
 II Prov., p. 32
 II Prov., p. 28; XII Prov., pp. 48-49
 ET 46
 OT 11
 Rule, chps 8, 16
 Matt 6:6
 SC 9-10, 12
 CD 30/2; LG 11; Rule, chp. 10
 SC 48
 Rule, chps 8, 10
 SC 83
 SC 90; II Prov., p. 30
 LH 12
 SC 102
 Letter Haec Sacra Congregatione from the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes to the Prior General of the Carmelites, 20 December 1969 in AOC 28 (1968-69) 49-50
 SC 100; LH 21
 LG 11
 Matt 6:6; SC 12
 DCVR 1; EE 2
 1 Kgs 17:1, 15; 18:19, 21; 2 Kgs 1:2; Luke 2:19, 51
 II Prov., p. 31
 Rule, chps. 7, 14
 PC 6; SC 24; DV 25
 Rule, chp. 14
 Luke 18:1
 SC 103
 RMa 42-46
 MC 56
 MC 2-14
 MC 16-23
 LG 67
 MC 29; MC Guidelines 30-38
 SC 104
 See Part I, note 93
 SanP 73-92
 EN 9, 13, 69
 EN 39; RPU 4 d) & e); EE 23, 25-26, 35-37
 MR 15; I Prov., p. 19; Gen. Congr. 1974, p. 42; Gen. Congr. 1980, pp. 89-90; X Prov., p. 65; Gen. Congr. 1992, pp. 50-51
 LG 68
 UR 5
 UR 7-12; RdU 50
 EN 60, 69; EE 38-43; MR 18
 EE 27
 AA 3; PO 9
 Can. 520
 Can. 681, § 1
 Can. 681, § 1
 RM 31-33
 RM 5
 RM 21
 RM 69
 RM 87
 Gal 6:10
 PP 79; Matt 25:35-36
 PP 82, 86; SRS 35-40, 46
 ET 17; X Prov., p. 66; Gen. Congr. 1992, p. 52
 Gen. Congr. 1980, pp. 89-90; X Prov., p. 64; PrayComm, pp. 161-162
 X Prov., p. 64
 X Prov., p. 65
 Rom 8:19-23
 Gen. Congr. 1986, p. 41
 MR 12
 Can. 651, §3
 PI 32
 PI 29
 PI 30, 32
 PI 26-28
 PI 30-31, 33-41
 Can. 659, §2 and §3; 650, §1
 Luke 17:10
 Gen. Congr. 1986, p. 42
 PI 44
 Can. 641-645; PI 43, 49
 Can. 646
 PI 46-48
 Can. 647, §2; 648, §1
 Can. 647, §1
 Can. 647, §3
 Can. 643, §1,1
 Can. 652, §5
 Can. 648, §2
 Can. 648, §2, §3
 Can. 649, §1
 Can. 690, §1
 Can. 668, §1
 Can. 653, §2; 654
 PI 58-59
 Can. 660, §2; PI 62
 Can. 660, §2; PI 62
 Can. 649, §2
 Can. 655
 Can. 655
 Can. 657, §2
 PI 64
 Can. 657, §3
 Can. 668
 MR 26; PI 65
 PI 66-67
 PI 68
 PI 69, 70
 Can. 588, §2
 Can. 591
 Can. 670
 Can. 670
 PC 13
 Can. 581,585, 123
 Can. 621
 Can. 609, §1; 610
 Can. 611
 Can. 612
 Can. 616, §1
 Can. 587, §1
 Can. 587, §4
 Can. 16
 Can. 587, §4
 Can. 596
 Can. 596
 Can. 37, 46, 81
 Can. 95, §1
 Rule, chp. 3
 Rule, chp. 6
 Matt 20:28
 Rule, chp. 8
 1 Pet 5:3
 Rule, prologue
 Can. 620; 134
 Can. 596
 Can. 596
 Can. 622
 Can. 127
* Gremialis: chapter member
 Can. 1315, §§1, 3
 Can. 1339 and 1341
 2 Tim 4:2
 Can. 127 §1
 Can. 169
 Can. 127 §3
 Can. 119, n. 2