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IN THE INTERIM PERIOD BEFORE THE NEXT PRINTED
EDITION, WE INCLUDE HERE
This eighth revision of the Rule and Constitutions brings in several significant changes impacting mainly on Community Life.
versions of the Rule and Constitution, will be afforded ample opportunity to adjust to the new commitments.
Members Professed under earlier versions of the Rule and Constitution,
provided they are prepared to accept changes,
Your Brother in Christ,
The Preface from the Founder
I wish to introduce to you a Way of Consecrated Life that is deeply
rooted in the Message of the Gospel of Our Loving
It is true to say that the two thousand years of history of our Living
Faith has produced some of the finest lifestyles available for mankind
to reach sanctification and has brought forth memorable Saints for Holy
Mother Church. It is also true to say that Christ has renewed His Call
to "come and follow Me". However, in each case He has done so
Today the Call of Christ to His Bride, the Church, continues, but it is through other means. It is for this reason that I address you. Jesus and His Holy Mother, Mary, are calling mankind to a deeper commitment; calling for the laity, especially, to fulfil their lives through a Religious Life.
As mentioned earlier, in each age God has raised up new means of Consecrated Life; raised up souls to bring forth the Word of God. In each epoch of the Church's renewal a new form of Consecrated Life was founded. The Hermits, the Monks, the Enclosed Orders, the Religious Orders, the Oblates; the Con-gregations and Association, and Secular Institutions, were founded to re-enkindle God's Spirit into the life of the Church, to encourage the people to strive for a perfect way of life.
But now, with the wealth of all these foundations, God seeks to give to His Church a new form of Consecrated Life, combining all previous expressions of the Evangelical Counsels.
It is to be noted that these various forms of Consecrated Life existed,
both in the East and West. Thus, the idea of forming a new Order and a
new form of Consecrated Life in our time, which combines both East and
Western ideals. This, then expresses the very foundation for the growth
of all forms of vocations: Priests, Brothers, Sisters, Families,
In each episode of God's Divine Plan, the situation which existed within the Church warranted such action. As we slowly come to the end of the twentieth century God is once again calling for a rekindling of Divine Love in one's heart, by a life of total dedication to God's Love.
The Order of Saint Charbel is such a lifestyle, established to fill
the needs of the Church; to renew the Religious Life which has diminished;
to replace the vocations which have been lost; to provide the conditions
which enable the family to flourish. The Order is to be a beacon for a
world plagued with division and confusion - one which has no sense of
The Order of Saint Charbel challenges this very strained situation with new vigour and determination. It aims to reclaim for the family that life and stability it justly deserves; to provide the essential ingredients which are necessary to foster further Religious vocations, and in a unique move, to further enhance the potential for vocations to the Priesthood, and to weld family life more firmly into the Sacramental life the Order provides for a married Priesthood, as well as the traditional celibate Priesthood.
The Order of Saint Charbel comprises four Branches:
First being the celibate Priests; Second being Religious Brothers and Sisters and the Third Branch consisting of Married people and their families (as well as Single Lay people. The Fourth Branch is for `External' Members who wish to make a commitment to supporting the Order and living its prayer life.
Lastly, there is the Confraternity Membership which comprises: The 'Saint Charbel Houses of Prayer' and 'The Living Stones' who contribute through their sacrifices and prayers.
All these Branches strive to develop a Community of Christians helping one another to fulfil their obligations before God. The idea of Christians living together as a Community is not new. However, the Saint Charbel Order does introduce a new concept when it deals with the Laity taking Minor Vows as Lay Religious before God.
This is what God is calling the Church to: for Christians to live a fully-dedicated life, consecrated to Jesus, through Mary - becoming as one with the Mystical Body of Christ.
The Rule of the Order of Saint Charbel is developed through a combination
of the Franciscan and Benedictine Ways of Life producing a contribution
of East and Western ideals as a result, an Order which is semi-contemplative
and semi-active; a life which reflects the one Christ Himself lived while
on earth; a self-giving of one's life, necessary to
In a special way the Order follows the Spirit of Mary, Our Holy Mother, for She exemplifies the Image of Christ, Her Divine Son; and, as Jesus, who is God, was submissive to His Holy Mother in all things, so too are all the Members of the Order of Saint Charbel, thus bringing all to the road of perfection - the surest and most pleasing Way to God.
The Saint Charbel Order is yet only a part of God's Plan of re-evangelising
the Church, for closely linked with the Order, though with a different
charism; yet which is basically a similar presentation of a new form of
Consecrated life: is the Order of the Immaculate Heart, and of Saint Louis-Marie
de Montfort, founded by Rev. Fr. Yves-Marie Blais in
Both Orders, founded for our time, have been inspired by God and are closely linked like an umbrella of singular purpose, thus providing a means for the re-evangelisation of the faithful.
With the Grace of the Eternal Father, through His Divine Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of Divine Love, and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I place this Venerable Order of Saint Charbel into Their care and protection.
Your humble servant,
THE LITTLE PEBBLE
Chastity and Obedience - the Evangelical Counsels. As such, the Order of St. Charbel is a new form of living the Consecrated life, since it is essentially composed of four Branches:
The Order of St. Charbel is truly a new Gift of the Holy Spirit entrusted
to the Church. The main goals of the Order are as
union with God. The way of life promoted by the Order greatly strengthens and deepens the awareness of this need for the Love of the Father (1 John 2:15-17); that Love which is in the Heart of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world. The Order of Saint Charbel promotes this contemplative dimension of Religious Life through the very structure of the day. Half the day is devoted to Prayer - the other half to Work, particularly the apostolic and charitable works of the Order. Listening to, and meditating on, the Word of God is a daily encounter with the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The Order fully realises that devout participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the source and summit of Christian life and is, therefore, the irreplaceable centre of the daily religious exercises. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, which restores the fundamental gift of conversion received at Baptism, is encouraged highly by the Order for personal growth in the spiritual life.
There can be no contemplative dimension of Religious Life without the personal and community experience of conversion. The Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a special devotion of the Church, is a source of spiritual nourishment for personal prayer and a more intimate participation in the Church's life. The Order is dedicated to the prayerfulness with attention and fidelity.
By Her exceptional pilgrimage of faith, the Blessed Virgin Mary continues to "go before" the People of God and represents a constant point of reference for the Church and particularly the Order of St. Charbel. The Order has singular veneration for the Blessed Mother of God. Each member of the Order daily consecrates his life and activity to Jesus through Mary, directing filial love towards Her Who is Mother of the Church and of Consecrated souls. The Order manifests this love with the celebration of Her Feasts, promotion of Her authentic Shrines and devotions, and, in particular, daily prayers in Her honour, especially the Holy Rosary.
Some of the apostolic and charitable works promoted by the Order of St. Charbel are primarily in the:
The Order of St. Charbel also sees itself as a living expression of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29f). Care for the sick, unwanted, and dying, brings the tender Compassion of Christ to those who are suffering in the circumstances of their pain. The Order maintains the "preferential option for the poor" in bringing to the world of human suffering the unselfish love of neighbour for the sake of Christ, so fundamental to Christian solidarity.
Sincerely in Christ,
REV. MALCOLM L. BROUSSARD, Jr.
(one of the founding Priests)
TABLE OF CONTENTS IS OMITTED IN THIS ON-LINE VERSION.
THE GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE ORDER OF SAINT CHARBEL IS INCLUDED ELSEWHERE ON THIS WEBSITE. PLEASE SEE THE
1. NATURE AND PURPOSE:1.1 The Order of Saint Charbel is a new Religious Order comprising four Branches and a Confraternity. It is
not a Society or Religious Community, but a New Order, which comes under the category of "new forms of
Consecrated Life" provided for in the New Canon Law of Holy Church (C.605). The Order of Saint Charbel
aims to bring about the re-evangelisation of the Church, to re-live the authentic traditions of Holy Mother
Church, to encourage unity between Eastern and Western Catholic Rites, and to embrace aspects of the
traditional monastic life in a new form of Consecrated Life.
All members of the Order of Saint Charbel will live the Life of the Gospel
through the Community Life, so as
To offer obedience and loyalty to the Pope and his Successors, and to the
Holy Roman Catholic Church,
The Order of Saint Charbel embraces a new form of Consecrated Life, in
which the Branch of Priests, and
The First Branch, or Branch of Priests, includes the celibate Priesthood,
both Bishops and
The Second Branch, or Branch of Religious, is made up of Religious Brothers
The Third Branch, or Branch of Families, comprises Married lay people and
their families, and
The Fourth Branch comprises Lay persons who wish to live a Consecrated
life in the world,
The Confraternity Membership comprises: The 'Saint Charbel Houses of Prayer,
Together the four Branches embrace the life of the Order which - for the
First and Second Branches - is
2. THE EVANGELICAL COUNSELS:2.1 The Celibate Priesthood of the first Branch and all members of the second Branch are required to make
profession of the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience as Solemn Vows, by which they are
totally dedicated to God.
All members of the Third Branch are required to make profession of the
Evangelical Counsels of Poverty,
Members of the Fourth Branch, embrace the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty,
Chastity and Obedience,
Members of the First, Second and Third Branches are admitted to vows only
after completing a period of
Upon acceptance into the Order, the applicant is admitted to a six month
period of Probation
After successful completion of the period of Postulancy or Probation, which
may be extended if
The Novitiate for the First and Second Branches lasts for a minimum period
of one year, but
After successful completion of the Novitiate, candidates for the First
and Second Branches are
If, at the completion of the three year period, the Temporary Professed
Member, or his
After successful completion of their Novitiate, candidates for the Third
Branch are admitted to
according to his/her state in life. It is primarily, but not exclusively, intended for married people with family
responsibilities. Hence, the use of the term 'according to one's state in life'.
The Minor Vow may be classed as `Temporary' because, being applicable only
to the Third Branch of the Order,
The requirements for profession in the Minor Vows are the same as for the
requirements of temporary profession
of the commandments:
In the Minor Vow of Poverty; the person is called upon to detach himself/herself
from worldly possessions,
In the Minor Vow of Chastity; the person who is married, seeks with his/her
spouse to embrace `conjugal
In the Minor Vow of Chastity, the person who is unmarried, though obliged
to that continence observed in
In the Minor vow of Obedience, the person seeks to submit his/her will
(as one would to God) to lawful
THE PROMISES OF THE FOURTH BRANCH:
Order pertaining to membership in the Fourth Branch, and preparation for living a Consecrated Life in the
world, may be received into the Order, provided that he/she:
(a) is at least eighteen years of age;
(b) Freely petitions admission to the Fourth Branch - in writing;
(c) is prepared to make a commitment in the form of a written Promise.
2.10 The Promise, written and signed by the member, is to:
2.11 In making the Promises, the person promises to live above the strict obligations of the Commandments:
In the Promise of Poverty: the person promises to detach himself/herself
In the Promise of Chastity: the person who is married, seeks with his/her
spouse to embrace
In the Promise of Obedience: the person seeks to submit his/her will (as
one would to God) to
3. OBLIGATIONS:3.1 The life of prayer in the Order should reflect total dedication to God.
The Holy Mass is to be the focal point of prayer life, with all members
striving to attend Holy
Reverence for Our Blessed Lord in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is a
particular charism of
First and Second Branch Members are to spend one hour each day in Adoration
For Priests of the Order and Deacons, the Office of the Hours is mandatory
in accordance with
Members shall honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, looking to Her as the Mediatrix
of All Graces
First, Second and Third Branch Members are to recite (and meditate) the
Fourth Branch Members strive to recite (and meditate) the full fifteen-decade
Members of all Branches are to Consecrate themselves, daily, to Jesus and
Special Devotion is to be given to the Patron Saints, especially Saint
First and Second Branch Members are encouraged to read and meditate upon
Members should greatly desire to receive the Sacrament of Penance, and
must frequent the
The Priests of the Order are to say one Mass daily - and, where necessary,
with approval, may
The Priests of the Order will adhere to an authorised Calendar of the Order,
and rituals of
The Eternal Father,
The Masses of all true Catholic rites - both Eastern and Western - may
be said within the
The traditional hymns and Sacred music of the liturgy are to form an important
part of the life of
3.2 The works of the Order should reflect total dedication to God.
The apostolic work of the Order is to re-evangelise the Mystical Body of
Christ; first, by living
Catechesis or education in the faith is intimately bound up with the whole
life of the Order. This
4. FOUNDATIONS:4.1 Communities are to be formed encompassing, wherever possible, all Branches of the Order - Priests,
Brothers, Sisters, Families and Singles. In its initial phases a new foundation may commence with one Branch,
but is to extend to include the remaining Branches as soon as circumstances allow.
Communities are to be formed around a farm property with the objective
of achieving self-sufficiency
4.3 All Branches are to contribute to the work of achieving self-sufficiency.
At all stages of its development, the spiritual formation of all the Branches
in the Community is the
5. HABIT:5.1 The garb of the Order of Saint Charbel is distinguished by the Dark Brown Scapular surmounted by a large
White Cross on the front panel, with an embroidered emblem at the centre of the Cross, depicting the Sacred
Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, side by side.
The First and Second Branch Members (Priests, Brothers and Sisters) will
wear a cream coloured tunic,
5.3 The Third Branch Members (Lay men and women) will wear a beige coloured tunic tied with a white cord.
5.4 Men (Priests, Brothers, and Lay) will wear a hood in matching material attached to the tunic.
Women (Sisters and Lay) will wear a White Veil. The Veil of the Professed
Sisters is worn shoulder length
All members of the First, Second and Third Branch wear a 15-Decade Rosary
with brown wood beads,
Members of the Fourth Branch wear the Scapular only with the women wearing
in addition, a short white
6. GOVERNMENT OF THE ORDER:6.1 The Supreme Head of the Order is the Vicar of Christ.
The Supreme Moderator is the Cardinal Prelate appointed by the Pope to
govern the Order. The Supreme
Throughout this Rule and the Constitutions of the Order, the name `Major
Superior' is used as a collective
it is the Supreme Moderator of the Order who appoints the Major Superior.
It is the intention of this Rule (R.6.3), that, as the Order grows and
the needs of its good
The Community Superiors are appointed by the Major Superior to govern the
spiritual and temporal life of
The Supreme Moderator will appoint a General Council to assist him with
the management of the Order. It
The Major Superior will appoint a Council to assist him with the management
of the Order in the Region or
The Community Superior is to be assisted by a Community Council made up
of representatives of Priests,
At the local level there is to be a Council for each of the Branches established
in the Community, with
and Council for Priests.
The Major Superior may appoint Superiors, appropriately qualified, to control
the Houses of Formation for
The Supreme Moderator may appoint, as he deems fit, Mother(s) Superior,
at Regional or Provincial level,
The Major Superior may appoint Mother(s) Superior with delegated powers
to assist with the good
6.12 The full details concerning the Government of the Order will be inserted at a later stage, in appendix `A'.
7. ADMINISTRATION OF TEMPORAL GOODS:7.1 The Order, its Provinces and Communities, as juridical persons by law, are capable of acquiring,
possessing, administering and alienating temporal goods.
7.2 The Administration of temporal goods is the responsibility of the respective Superiors.
8. ADMISSION:8.1 Admission to the Third and Fourth Branches is at the approval of the Community Superior in consultation with the
Superior of the Third Branch.
Admission to the Brothers and Sisters of the Order is at the approval of
the Community Superior in consultation
Admission to formation for the Priesthood is at the approval of the Major
Superior with the discernment of the
All Priests from all Catholic Rites are to be accepted into the Order subject
to the approval of the Supreme
It is intended in the future to provide for admission of Married Men to
the Priesthood of the Order, the
9. FORMATION:9.1 The formation of the Brothers and Sisters of the Order, is the responsibility of the Major Superior and is to
be undertaken in a Monastery/Convent designated for this purpose, under the guidance of a Superior appointed
for this purpose by the Major Superior.
The formation of candidates for the Priesthood is to be conducted in Seminaries
especially assigned for the
The formation of the lay members in the Third and Fourth Branches is to
be effected in the Community of
10. DEPARTURE AND DISMISSAL:10.1 Appropriate procedures are to be set in place for the dismissal, or the departure, of members, recognising
that Religious in Solemn Vows will only be permitted release with the approval of the Supreme Moderator, and
subject to the full processes defined in Canon Law.
10.2 Dismissal or departure of members in Minor vows is subject to the approval of the Major Superior.
END OF DOCUMENT
NOTICE FOR COMMUNITY SUPERIORS
RITUALS FOR THE PROMISE, RENEWAL AND VOWS
(Vows for the Priests)
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