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April 23, 2002

The Little Pebble and Bishop Barthomaus Schneider, T.O.R., have for some time been working on a mutual federation document which would affiliate his Franciscan Congregation with the Order of Saint Charbel. The following working document has been agreed upon and signed by Bishop Schneider. This is a significant development for our two Religious Institutes.

The numbered paragraphs were formulated by Bishop Schneider. The Comments section under each numbered paragraph are the amendments made by the Little Pebble.

See Scanned Original Document (pdf)

Translation from the German language

Fraternization of the Hermits of the regulated IIIrd Order of St. Francis of Assisi
Tertii Ordinis Regularis S. Francisci

The Little Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Pius V Convent Inc. (French title)

La Marina, Jan. 2002 /recd. By fax in Germany on 19th Feb. 2002)

Federation between the Fraternization of the Hermits…. and the order of St. Charbel, 161 B Koloona Drive, Cambewarra, N.S.W. , 2540, Australia

1. Both communities have their own rule and their own constitution.

COMMENT: The articles of Federation concern the Congregation (Fraternization of the Hermits …) and the Order of Saint Charbel – not the "Communities". The correct expression ought to replace the word "Communities" with the words "Congregation" and the "Order".

2. (Both communities) Keep retaining their independence.


3. Exchange of priests for retreats, resp. as extraordinary father confessors for the members of the orders.


4. Training of priesthood candidates.

COMMENT: Subject to individual needs and circumstances.

5. Protector is H.E., Mgr. Fr. Bartholomäus Schneider, patriarch of the Fraternization of the Hermits of the regulated IIIrd Order of St. Francis of Assisi.


6. Every three years there will be a visitation through the protector of the federation, in both communities.


7. Perpetual vows are to be announced 3 months prior to their performance to the Protector.


8. All members of the two communities wear a joint sign upon their scapular.


9. We subject the communities to the Holy See, report all vows, professions and exits to the Holy See in Rome.

COMMENT: The Rule must be approved by the Holy See as a new form of consecrated life. We subject the Saint Charbel Communities to the Prelate appointed by the Holy See for the Order of Saint Charbel.

10. The canon law is the guideline for both communities.

COMMENT: Yes, the Prelate of the Order is responsible for the dialogue with the Holy See regarding the unique elements in the Rule which are not yet covered by Canon Law – eg. The Married Priesthood (Part V).

11. The order’s habit is to be worn during holy mass, the prayer times etc.


12. A sample of the order’s habit is to be deposited to the generalate of the Fraternization.


13. The community of the St. Charbel Order is a personal prelature.

COMMENT: The Rule identifies the charism of the Order of Saint Charbel as a new form of Consecrated Life – as a new Religious Order which embraces four Branches. The First Branch includes Bishops who are regional Superiors around the world. The Priests received into the Order might be from any Catholic form of Religious Life (eg. Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite, etc). A Personal Prelature comes under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Clergy (Canon 294 commentary) and is for secular clerics.

14. Rev. Fr. Broussard, the spiritual /superior) should within a year be elected bishop, and after 2 months consecration should be done.

COMMENT: This should not be included within the articles of Federation.

15. Candidates to priesthood should be one by one registered for training, and already be ordained up to the deaconate.


16. The commandment on celibacy must be observed, until a pope lifts this commandment.

COMMENT: This applies already under Code of Canon Law for the celibate Priesthood. It does not need to be incorporated into the articles of Federation. The issue of the Married Priesthood within the Order of Saint Charbel is yet to be defined by the Holy See in the Latin 1983 Code of Canon Law.

17. Both communities support each other with regard to personnel and finances according to the given possibilities.


18. A list of all branches (local communities) should be made, as well as of all members with profess (vows).


19. Exchange of lists of names of candidates, so that unworthy ones may (NOT) sneak into the sanctuary.


20. Exchange of prayers times for certain intentions should be communicated on once a month.


21. Members of the Order of St. Charbel should volunteer to share the life of the adoration sisters (contemplative nuns) for at least 3 months.

COMMENT: Perpetual Adoration is already a part of the daily life of the Communities of the Order of Saint Charbel.

22. The rosary prayer for both communities should be the rosary of the 7 joys of Mary, which could be prayed in private or in the community.

COMMENT: Yes, this could be substituted as an individual choice between this one or the normal Rosary.

23. Patroness should be the Mother of the Ark for the both communities, and her veneration should be practiced.


24. A chapel should be dedicated to the apparitions. The statues of paintings of the apparitions should be united there for veneration.

COMMENT: This should not be included within the articles of Federation because it deals with private revelations.

Further proposals must be worked out from both communities, during a visit.

God’s rich blessings for both communities.


Pax et Bonum / Peace and salvation


Mgr. Fr. Bartholomäus Schneider, T.O.R.

Patriarch (Old Father) of the Fraternization of the Hermits of the Regulated IIIrd Order of St. Francis of Assisi.


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