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THE RULE AND CONSTITUTIONS OF THE ORDER OF SAINT CHARBEL ARE ESSENTIALLY ONE DOCUMENT WHICH EXPLAIN THE NATURE, PURPOSE AND IDENTITY OF THE ORDER. CONSEQUENTLY, THE CONSTITUTIONS CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM THE RULE. THE CONSTITUTIONS ARE THE APPLICATION OF THE RULE TO THE RESPECTIVE BRANCHES OF THE ORDER OF SAINT CHARBEL. THE COMPLETE DOCUMENT (1996 EDITION) IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD AS A PDF FILE. YOU WILL REQUIRE ADOBE ACROBAT READER TO OPEN THIS FILE. TO DOWNLOAD THIS FILE NOW -- PLEASE 'CLICK' HERE:

COMPLETE 1996 EDITION OF THE RULE AND CONSTITUTIONS (PDF)
(222 Kb, 84 pages)


FIRST & SECOND BRANCH CONFRATERNITY
THIRD BRANCH MARRIED PRIESTHOOD
FOURTH BRANCH APPENDICES

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A HARD COPY OF THE COMPLETE 1996 EDITION, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE BY EMAIL.

IN THE INTERIM PERIOD BEFORE THE NEXT PRINTED EDITION, WE INCLUDE HERE
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL CHANGES SINCE THE LAST REVISION (1996).  FOR AN UP-TO-DATE STATUS REPORT ON THE RULE DOCUMENTATION SEE BELOW:

UP-TO-DATE STATUS REPORT

mwoa@shoal.net.au


GENERAL INTRODUCTION

Since the first foundation of the Order of Saint Charbel was inaugurated in 1988, there have been a number of changes to the Rule and Constitutions of the Order, derived mostly from the experience of its members endeavouring to live this new form of Consecrated Life.

This eighth revision of the Rule and Constitutions brings in several significant changes impacting mainly on Community Life.

  • The Minor Vow of Poverty for the Third Branch now, not only calls for detachment from worldly possessions, but an unequivocal renunciation of all material wealth.
  • At the local level, the Government of the Community has been restructured, and the Community Council will now have representation from all Branches of the Order with its Office Bearers being appointed from those with the skills necessary to do the job.
  • The Fourth Branch is now to be for those who wish to live a Consecrated Life in the world. A Fourth Branch member may live in Community only by permission, as a temporary measure.
  • During the foundation stage, because of Town Planning restrictions etc., it may not be possible to house all prospective members in Community, and in future such people are to be encouraged to join the Third Branch of the Order and to participate in Community Life as fully as possible until the opportunity arises for them to live in the Community.
  • Simple principles for the guidance of members and Superiors in the settlements of disputes have been incorporated in the clauses regulating Community Life.
  • The detailed treatment of Government of the Order is still in draft form only, and when ready for issue at a later stage will be included as Appendix A.
  • Earlier attempts to address the question of married Clergy in the Order have been withdrawn from the document. It is still the intention of the Founder that the Order accept married laymen for training in the Priesthood, and Married Priests of the Eastern Rite Churches, as well as providing acceptance of laicised former Priests. Because these are matters of fundamental concern to Holy Mother Church, and impinge on questions of Canon Law and Traditions in the Roman and Eastern Rites of the Church, no further attempt is being made to incorporate these issues into the Rule and Constitution of the Order. Consideration of these issues will be left until competent authorities in the Roman and Eastern Rites of Holy Mother Church, are able to address them.
The changes will be implemented from the 1st January, 1996, and current members who joined the Order under earlier
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,
particularly in relation to the Minor Vow of Poverty, may be permitted to renew their Vows, or alternatively, to recommence their Novitiate.

Your Brother in Christ,

WILLIAM KAMM


The Preface from the Founder

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, Our Loving Saviour.

I wish to introduce to you a Way of Consecrated Life that is deeply rooted in the Message of the Gospel of Our Loving
Saviour Jesus Christ.

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
through the establishment of a new means of Consecrated Life. Many of these Consecrated Ways of Life still exist today. The Franciscan, the Dominican, the Jesuit, the Carmelite, the Augustinian and the Benedictine Ways of Life are but a few of the many forms the Spirit of God has used to renew the Mystical Body of Christ.

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,
Singles, and various Apostolates.

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
direction or stability.

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
achieve sanctification and its Heavenly reward.

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
the Province of Quebec, Canada in the township of L'Avenir.

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,

WILLIAM KAMM

THE LITTLE PEBBLE


FOREWORD

The Order of St. Charbel is a new Religious Order in the Church - an Order which sees itself living the Gospel to the fullest. It encompasses Priests, Religious and Laity in one religious life, lived in community and bound by the three Vows of Poverty,
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 First Branch is composed of celibate Priests.
  • The Second Branch is composed of Religious - both Brothers and Sisters.
  • The Third Branch, which comprises the Laity (married and families, or singles) take `Minor Vows', only, according to their state.
  • The Fourth Branch is similar to the old "Third Orders" that have been in existence in the Catholic Church for centuries - the Third Order of Saint Francis is one example. There is a major difference in that the Fourth Branch comprises Lay persons who live in the world, but wish to live a Consecrated life involving a real commitment in the form of a Written Promise. It involves active volunteer work; manual work at home for the benefit of the Order, and requires similar daily prayers as in Community.
  • The Confraternity Membership comprises: The 'Saint Charbel Houses of Prayer, Peace, Unity and Reconciliation' and 'The Living Stones' who are united in the life and merits of the Order through their sacrifices and prayers.
The structural government of the Order sees the Supreme Pontiff as Head of the Order. Then, solely responsible to the Pope, is the Prelate of the Order, who is appointed by the Pope.

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
follows:

(a) Re-evangelisation of the Mystical Body of Christ, particularly through preaching the Word of God in its entirety, as authoritatively taught by the Magisterium, through teaching the Faith at all levels of the Church's life in the modern world.
(b) Re-unification and reconciliation of Christianity, particularly East and West, beginning with individual persons and encompassing all ecclesial communions.
(c) Promotion of the Family as the "Domestic Church" which, in God's plan, is the basic cell of Society and a subject of rights and duties.
(d) Promotion of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which proposes consecration to Jesus through Mary, as an effective means for Christians to live, faithfully, their baptismal and Religious commitment.
It is not possible to begin this major task without, at the same time, pursuing self-sanctification in order to nourish personal
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:

  • Preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
  • Caring for the sick and the unwanted.
  • Sacramental and catechetical needs of the Third Branch Communities.
Preaching the Gospel has a high priority in the Order since the needs of evangelisation in the Church and the world are so great. The evangelical witness of Religious Life, bringing the Word of God to the modern world, will be the leaven to sanctify every sector of Society which is willing to receive the call to a conversion of heart. In this respect the Order of St. Charbel considers itself Missionary to the whole world. Catechesis, which often takes the form of religious instruction in the Faith, will be promoted at all levels, but beginning, always, with the family, where the Faith is nourished and supported.

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

GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE ORDER OF SAINT CHARBEL


PART (I)

The Most Venerable Order of the White Cross - the Warriors of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary - the Order of Saint Charbel, is destined by God the Father to re-evangelise the
Mystical Body of Christ through the guidance of the Holy Ghost. The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity
revealed to members of the Mystical Body of Christ in the following Divinely Inspired Rules:-

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.

      1.2 All members of the Order of Saint Charbel will live the Life of the Gospel through the Community Life, so as
      to experience the common life as lived by the first Christians and desired by God for the whole Mystical Body of
      Christ: to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ by living in Poverty, Chastity and Obedience - the
      'Evangelical Counsels' - according to one's state of life .

      1.3 To offer obedience and loyalty to the Pope and his Successors, and to the Holy Roman Catholic Church,
      and those whom he places in authority, and to humbly and faithfully observe the Teachings of Holy Mother
      Church in regard to Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, as laid down by the Sacred Magisterium of the
      Church.

      1.4 The Order of Saint Charbel embraces a new form of Consecrated Life, in which the Branch of Priests, and
      the Branch of Religious Brothers and Sisters, together with the Branch of Families, live in Community, sharing in
      common a life of Prayer and Work. The Order of Saint Charbel encompasses four Branches, and a
      Confraternity Membership:

           (a) The First Branch, or Branch of Priests, includes the celibate Priesthood, both Bishops and
           Priests, who embrace the Evangelical Counsels as Solemn Vows.

           (b) The Second Branch, or Branch of Religious, is made up of Religious Brothers and Religious
           Sisters who embrace the Evangelical Counsels as Solemn Vows.

           (c) The Third Branch, or Branch of Families, comprises Married lay people and their families, and
           Single lay people who are not yet decided on a Religious or Married Vocation, who live in
           Community and embrace the Evangelical Counsels according to their state in life, as Minor Vows.
           (For explanation of Minor Vows, See Note in Art.2).

           (d) The Fourth Branch comprises Lay persons who wish to live a Consecrated life in the world,
           external to Community, and embrace the Evangelical Counsels, according to their state in life, by
           Promise.

           (e) The Confraternity Membership comprises: The 'Saint Charbel Houses of Prayer, Peace, Unity
           and Reconciliation' and 'The Living Stones' who are united in the life and merits of the Order
           through their sacrifices and prayers.

      1.5 Together the four Branches embrace the life of the Order which - for the First and Second Branches - is
      regulated by contemplative prayer for one half of the day, and physical work for the other half. For the Third
      Branch, the commitment to prayer and physical work is conditioned by family obligations; and for the Fourth
      Branch Members, by their situation in the world.

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.

      2.2 All members of the Third Branch are required to make profession of the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty,
      Chastity and Obedience, according to their state in life as `Minor Vows'. (See Note:)

      2.3 Members of the Fourth Branch, embrace the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience,
      according to their state in life by `Promise'.

      2.4 Members of the First, Second and Third Branches are admitted to vows only after completing a period of
      trial and formation in three stages

           (a) Upon acceptance into the Order, the applicant is admitted to a six month period of Probation
           or Postulancy. The candidate lives in Community and must strive to live according to the Rule and
           Constitutions of the Order.

           (b) After successful completion of the period of Postulancy or Probation, which may be extended if
           necessary by the Superior, the Postulant is admitted to the Novitiate as a temporary member of the
           Order, and receives the Habit of the Order appropriate to the Branch he/she is entering.

           (c) The Novitiate for the First and Second Branches lasts for a minimum period of one year, but
           may be extended, where necessary, to no more than two years. For the Third Branch, by reason
           of the adjustments which must be made to accommodate family life to community living, the
           Novitiate will usually last for a minimum period of two years, but may, in particular circumstances,
           be reduced to one year or extended to three years.

           (d) After successful completion of the Novitiate, candidates for the First and Second Branches are
           admitted to temporary profession in accord with the norms laid down in Canon Law, and take
           Temporary Vows for a minimum of three years. During this period the Vows are renewed each
           year, and at the completion of the period of temporary profession the member, if ready, is admitted
           to perpetual profession and takes  Solemn Vows, the vows being renewed every three years.

           (e) If, at the completion of the three year period, the Temporary Professed Member, or his
           Superior, feels that the member is not ready for solemn Vows, the Temporary Vows can extended
           for a further year. Further extensions can be made, but not for more than six years, because the
           total time in Temporary Vows is not to extend beyond nine years.

           (f) After successful completion of their Novitiate, candidates for the Third Branch are admitted to
           their first profession in `Minor Vows - according to their state in life'. The Minor Vows are taken
           for a period of one year and renewed annually. (See Note:).

THE MINOR VOWS OF THE THIRD BRANCH:
 
Note: The new Canon Law makes no provision for the Evangelical Counsels to be embraced - according to
one's state in life - nor for Conjugal Chastity appropriate to the married state. The term `Minor Vow' has been
introduced herein for the purpose of emphasising the less binding nature of vows, which are more appropriate
to those who are married, or to those who, though single, may have a vocation to the married state. herefore,
for the purpose of clarifying the Rule, what is meant by embracing the Evangelical Counsels according to one's state in life, in `Minor Vows', is addressed in the following clauses:
      2.5 By Profession in Minor Vows, the member makes a public vow to observe the three evangelical counsels
      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'.

      2.6 The Minor Vow may be classed as `Temporary' because, being applicable only to the Third Branch of the Order,
      it is taken for one year only. (This is not the same as the Canon Law definition of "Temporary Vow" which is for a
      period of three years (C.655). At the completion of 12 months the Minor Vow is no longer binding, and must be
      renewed for another year. Annual renewal is required thereafter.

      2.7 The requirements for profession in the Minor Vows are the same as for the requirements of temporary profession
      of C.656.viz:

The Person must - be over eighteen years of age: - have validly completed the novitiate; be granted admission,
freely, by the Community Superior; be under no duress; the profession be received by the Community Superior
or delegate.
In addition, if Married: the person must also have the consent of his/her spouse, and should preferably be
admitted to profession in company with his/her spouse. However, there may be circumstances in which such
consent will not be required.
      2.8 In taking Minor Vows, the person binds himself/herself, under pain of venial sin, to live above the strict obligations
      of the commandments:

           (a) In the Minor Vow of Poverty; the person is called upon to detach himself/herself from worldly possessions,
           particularly those which might distract him/her from the primary objective of loving and serving God. In practice
           this requires that the person, at the time of his/her profession, transfers to the Order all title to his/her worldly
           possessions, but recognises the need for a family to retain, for their personal use, items of a personal nature or of
           sentimental value, or essential to the person's trade or skills, or to family needs.

           (b) In the Minor Vow of Chastity; the person who is married, seeks with his/her spouse to embrace `conjugal
           chastity', to live above the strict requirements of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments - which, of course, bind
           under pain of serious sin - to elevate their conjugal union to a deeply personal union of heart and soul in which
           the couple seek always to fulfil the Will of God.

           (c) In the Minor Vow of Chastity, the person who is unmarried, though obliged to that continence observed in
           celibacy, seeks to perfect this in the purity of his/her life offered to God, but is  not precluded from the choice of
           a married vocation, or from courting with this aspiration. The person in Minor Vows should wait until their Vows
           are no longer binding, before marrying. The Vows may subsequently be renewed in the married state.

           (d) In the Minor vow of Obedience, the person seeks to submit his/her will (as one would to God) to lawful
           Superiors in all decisions made or commands given in accordance with the Rule and Constitutions of the Order.

THE PROMISES OF THE FOURTH BRANCH:

      2.9 Candidates for the Fourth Branch, after a brief period of instruction in the Rule and Constitution of the
      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:

  • Observe the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, according to one's state in life, and to
  • Embrace an agreed Apostolate for the Order.
  •       2.11 In making the Promises, the person promises to live above the strict obligations of the Commandments:

               (a) In the Promise of Poverty: the person promises to detach himself/herself from worldly
               possessions, particularly those which might distract him/her from loving and serving God.

               (b) In the Promise of Chastity: the person who is married, seeks with his/her spouse to embrace
               conjugal chastity, seeking always to fulfil the Will of God in their union. The person who is
               unmarried, though obliged to celibacy until marriage, seeks to perfect this in the purity of his/her life
               offered to God.

               (c) In the Promise of Obedience: the person seeks to submit his/her will (as one would to God) to
               his/her Lawful Superior in the Order, in any directions given in accordance with the Rule and
               Constitution.

    3. OBLIGATIONS:

          3.1 The life of prayer in the Order should reflect total dedication to God.

               (a) The Holy Mass is to be the focal point of prayer life, with all members striving to attend Holy
               Mass, and receive Holy Communion, daily.

               (b) Reverence for Our Blessed Lord in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is a particular charism of
               the Order. Priests of the Order shall - in no circumstances - give Communion in the hand, nor shall
               any member of the Order, other than a person in Holy Orders, distribute Holy Communion;
               furthermore, all members are required to receive Our Blessed Lord on the tongue, and, unless for
               disability or other serious reason, in a kneeling position.

               (c) First and Second Branch Members are to spend one hour each day in Adoration before the
               Blessed Sacrament; Third Branch Members are required to do this also, to the extent family
               commitments permit.

               (d) For Priests of the Order and Deacons, the Office of the Hours is mandatory in accordance with
               Canon Law, and all members of the Second Branch are bound to this same Divine Office. Where
               five or more members of the First or Second Branch reside in Community, each particular hour of
               the Divine Office is to be sung or recited in Community at the time assigned to it, and members of
               the Third Branch may participate.

               (e) Members shall honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, looking to Her as the Mediatrix of All Graces
               and Co-Redemptrix, in order to come closer to Her Divine Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Rosary
               shall be central to the life of prayer with members meditating upon the Mysteries of the Holy
               Rosary.

                (i) First, Second and Third Branch Members are to recite (and meditate) the full
                    fifteen-decade Rosary - with one five-decade Rosary to be recited in
                    Community.

                (ii) Fourth Branch Members strive to recite (and meditate) the full fifteen-decade
                    Rosary daily. Fourth Branch Members when living in the Community, are to say one
                    Holy Rosary with the Community.

                (iii) Members of all Branches are to Consecrate themselves, daily, to Jesus and Mary,
                    after the manner of Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort.

                (iv) Special Devotion is to be given to the Patron Saints, especially Saint Joseph and
                    Saint Charbel.

               (f) First and Second Branch Members are encouraged to read and meditate upon approved
               Private Revelations.

               (g) Members should greatly desire to receive the Sacrament of Penance, and must frequent the
               Sacrament at least monthly.

               (h) The Priests of the Order are to say one Mass daily - and, where necessary, with approval, may
               say more than one Mass per day.

               (i) The Priests of the Order will adhere to an authorised Calendar of the Order, and rituals of
               ceremonies approved for use within the Order. The Calendar must provide for one assigned
               weekly Mass in honour of each of the following:

                                             The Eternal Father,
                                          The Blessed Virgin Mary,
                                              The Holy Angels
                                          The Holy Souls in Purgatory

               (j) The Masses of all true Catholic rites - both Eastern and Western - may be said within the
               Order, and members are encouraged to participate in these Masses, without restriction.

               (k) The traditional hymns and Sacred music of the liturgy are to form an important part of the life of
               prayer in every Community.

          3.2 The works of the Order should reflect total dedication to God.

               (a) The apostolic work of the Order is to re-evangelise the Mystical Body of Christ; first, by living
               the Word of God, and then by preaching the Word of God. Re-evangelisation is fundamental to
               the charism of the Order. Through this preaching and good example of families and Religious, souls
               will be led to accept the Gift of Faith, or be reconciled to God.

               (b) Catechesis or education in the faith is intimately bound up with the whole life of the Order. This
               is visibly seen by the families living an integrated life with the Religious. This close collaboration will
               encompass: teaching in the schools that are formed in the Third Branch; teaching Christian Doctrine
               in a systematic way; fostering the experience of Christian living; administering the Sacraments;
               integration into the life of the Order; and the missionary witness to Religious life in the various
               works of the Order.

     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.

          4.2 Communities are to be formed around a farm property with the objective of achieving self-sufficiency
          through agricultural production and/or cottage industries.

          4.3 All Branches are to contribute to the work of achieving self-sufficiency.

          4.4 At all stages of its development, the spiritual formation of all the Branches in the Community is the
          responsibility of the Priests of the Order R22

     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.

          5.2 The First and Second Branch Members (Priests, Brothers and Sisters) will wear a cream coloured tunic,
          tied with a white cord which, for the Professed Religious of the Order, is to be knotted to signify each of the
          Vows taken.

          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.

          5.5 Women (Sisters and Lay) will wear a White Veil. The Veil of the Professed Sisters is worn shoulder length
          and has a Brown Border. The Unprofessed Sisters wear a shorter veil with a Cream Border. The Professed
          women of the Third Branch wear a short white veil with a beige border. The Unprofessed women of the Third
          Branch wear a short white veil with no border.

          5.6 All members of the First, Second and Third Branch wear a 15-Decade Rosary with brown wood beads,
          and the Saint Benedict Crucifix, hung from the Cord.

          5.7 Members of the Fourth Branch wear the Scapular only with the women wearing in addition, a short white
          veil with no border.

     6.  GOVERNMENT OF THE ORDER:

          6.1 The Supreme Head of the Order is the Vicar of Christ.

          6.2 The Supreme Moderator is the Cardinal Prelate appointed by the Pope to govern the Order. The Supreme
          Moderator is the Prime Authority within the Order, and the Government of the Order rests on the Authority of
          the Branch Priests, who are everywhere responsible for the spiritual welfare of Members of all Branches. From
          the Branch of Priests, the Supreme Moderator appoints the Major Superiors, who by their Office, are
          responsible for both the Spiritual and Temporal welfare of the Members in their charge.

          6.3 Throughout this Rule and the Constitutions of the Order, the name `Major Superior' is used as a collective
          term (for the sake of brevity and simplicity) to describe the Superior of a Country / Region / Province /
          Vicariate, which may be erected by the Supreme Moderator for the good government of the Order, and:

               (a) it is the Supreme Moderator of the Order who appoints the Major Superior. The Major
               Superior is a Bishop of the Order.

               (b) It is the intention of this Rule (R.6.3), that, as the Order grows and the needs of its good
               government dictate, the Supreme Moderator be free to erect such levels of government, Country,
               Region, Province or Vicariate (e.g. military chaplains), as he deems fit.

          6.4 The Community Superiors are appointed by the Major Superior to govern the spiritual and temporal life of
          all Branches as a Community at the local level. In a New Foundation, which may initially comprise Lay people
          only, the Major Superior may appoint a layman of the Third Branch to oversee the Community as Temporary
          Superior, but the Major Superior remains directly responsible for the Spiritual life of its members.

          6.5 The Supreme Moderator will appoint a General Council to assist him with the management of the Order. It
          will have representation from each Branch of the Order. The General Chapter of the Order is called by the
          Supreme Moderator.

          6.6 The Major Superior will appoint a Council to assist him with the management of the Order in the Region or
          Province he governs. It will have representation from each Branch of the Order. The Chapter of the Order for
          the Region or Province he governs, is called by the Major Superior.

          6.7 The Community Superior is to be assisted by a Community Council made up of representatives of Priests,
          Brothers, Sisters and the Families and Singles of the Third Branch. The role of the Council is to facilitate the
          orderly management of the Community.

          6.8 At the local level there is to be a Council for each of the Branches established in the Community, with
          appointed Superiors, who are to be responsible to the Community Superior for the welfare of the members
          under their care.

               A Superior and Council for Priests.
               A Superior and Council for Brothers.
               A Superior and Council for Sisters.
               A Superior and Council for Families (Third Branch and other Lay Members who may be living in
               the Community).

          6.9 The Major Superior may appoint Superiors, appropriately qualified, to control the Houses of Formation for
          the First and Second Branches, Seminaries and other designated establishments for specialised formation.

          6.10 The Supreme Moderator may appoint, as he deems fit, Mother(s) Superior, at Regional or Provincial level,
          with delegated powers to assist with the good government, and to direct the spiritual formation of all Religious
          Sisters, and to further assist him in this task he may also appoint a Superior General (Sisters).

          6.11 The Major Superior may appoint Mother(s) Superior with delegated powers to assist with the good
          government and to direct the spiritual formation of groups of Houses of the Religious Sisters under his control.

          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.

          8.2 Admission to the Brothers and Sisters of the Order is at the approval of the Community Superior in consultation
          with the Superior for the Brothers or the Mother Superior, as appropriate.

          8.3 Admission to formation for the Priesthood is at the approval of the Major Superior with the discernment of the
          Community Superior.

          8.4 All Priests from all Catholic Rites are to be accepted into the Order subject to the approval of the Supreme
          Moderator. A period of formation within the Order is to be undertaken by the candidate.

          NOTE: It is intended in the future to provide for admission of Married Men to the Priesthood of the Order, the
          admission of Married Priests of other Catholic Rites, and acceptance of laicised former Priests. This matter is
          not dealt with at this time.

     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.

          9.2 The formation of candidates for the Priesthood is to be conducted in Seminaries especially assigned for the
          purpose, and is to be the responsibility of a Superior specifically appointed for this purpose by the Supreme
          Moderator of the Order.

          9.3 The formation of the lay members in the Third and Fourth Branches is to be effected in the Community of
          their admission, and remains the responsibility of the Community Superior.

     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

    (the following is available to you)

    RITUALS FOR THE PROMISE, RENEWAL AND VOWS

    • These are downloadable as PDF files. You may print these out for your use.
    • For those Fourth Branch members in Countries where there is no Community as yet established (or not in close to you) you may find it easier to download this PDF file. Follow the directions already received through your correspondence with the our Office.
    • All of the Community Superiors of our Communities around the world may download these rituals for receiving new members or for renewal of promises.
    FIRST BRANCH
    (Vows for the Priests)

    SECOND BRANCH
    (Promise and Vows for the Sisters. Includes German language translation.)

    THIRD BRANCH
    (Promise and Minor Vows for the Families and Singles. Includes French and German translations.)

    FOURTH BRANCH
    (Promise for the external members. Includes Croatian language translation.)


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