IN THE INTERIM PERIOD BEFORE THE NEXT PRINTED EDITION, WE INCLUDE HERE A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL CHANGES FOR AN UP-TO-DATE STATUS REPORT ON THE RULE DOCUMENTATION
Recent Directives clarifying application of the Rule are summarised below in date order. None have as yet been codified for inclusion in or modification to the Constitutions, nor are they likely to necessitate adjustments to the Rule itself. Codification of the changes will be undertaken at a future General Chapter of the Order and published in the next Revision of the Rule and Constitutions.
April 23, 2002 - The Little Pebble and Bishop Bartholomaus Schneider, T.O.R., have for some time been working on a mutual federation working 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.
March 2, 2001 - Continuation on the Apostolate of Holy Motherhood. A cover letter and chart compiled by Mr. Edward Stokes (Community Superior of the Sacred Heart Community in Tyaak, Victoria) and members of this Community -- listing the proposed changes to the Rule and Constitutions. This is a working document to be used in the upcoming latest revision. See Cover Letter and Chart.
February 15, 2001 - REVISION OF THE 1996 EDITION OF THE RULE AND CONSTITUTIONS - (SEE LETTER) A letter addressed to all Community members. The Moderator and Founder of the Order puts forward the changes to be incorporated by the end of 2001. It has been a learning experience since 1988. The many teething problems that have arisen over these years have taught us several lessons about the formation of a Community. The letter addresses several problematic areas: Ownership; Commitment; Religious Garb; Pooling of Funds; Housing; Age of Acceptance; Holidays; Community Prayers; Apostolate of Motherhood and Fatherhood; Activities
4th December 1999 - RELAXATION OF PRAYER REQUIREMENTS FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN: Families with children not required to attend morning or evening prayer - Parents may stagger their attendance if they wish, but with family pressures it is permissible for them to do their prayers at any time during the day, at home or in the Chapel.3rd December 1999 – RESOLVING COMMUNITY PROBLEMS: Community Tribunal to be set up to resolve disputes – procedure – election of Tribunal Members
15th June 1999 - CONCLUSIONS OF THE CHAPTER 11th – 13th JUNE 1999: Obedience to the Line of Grace; Children & Young Adults – clarification of requirements for membership; Preparation for Minor Vows – clearing of debts – approval of new purchases; Deadline for completing Novitiate.
3rd June 1998 - FEES FOR VISITORS TO COMMUNITIES : First, Second and Third Branch members not required to pay accommodation and meals charges, when visiting other Communities. Fourth Branch members and other guests who stay will be asked to pay $10 per day full board.
2nd June 1998 - DIRECTION ON DINING ROOM ROSTERS: Mothers with little children to take part in rosters and to share in cooking duties, and for others to share in responsibilities of looking after children, to foster the "larger" family concept.
25th September 1998 - CLARIFICATION OF THE APPLICATION OF ART 14: THIRD BRANCH SINGLE LAITY – in which more flexibility is granted to young adults to remain with their families during their student years, without being required to enter the Third Branch until 21 years.
15th May 1998 – DIRECTIVES ISSUING FROM THE GENERAL CHAPTER 14th – 15th MAY 1998 covering: The Minor Vow of Poverty – practical aspects of the life of poverty; Eating/living together – Community dining room rules ; Policy covering entering and leaving the Order ; Recreation – permission to go out - limitations on entertainment - shopping restrictions; Discipline
13th May 1998 - DIRECTIVES ISSUING FROM THE CHAPTER OF THE SISTERS OF THE ORDER held in May 1998: Sisters of the Order the "Handmaids of Our Lady" ; Sisters duties to help Third Branch families- especially mothers; Life in the Convent – Grand Silence from 9.30 pm – Lights out 11.00 pm - Recreation Hours - Visiting Times – Holidays ; Age Limits for entry to the Order ; Daily Prayer to include Benediction and Rosary, and Divine Office.
21st January 1997 - ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE LINE OF GOVERNMENT Within the Order of St Charbel: An exposition of the numerous Canons that regulate justice and rights between members of the faithful, and particularly the accountability of Superiors and Members in a Religious Order, addressing: Freedom of Speech; Communication; Goodwill; Unity at every level of authority; Conflict between a Superior and Member; If the Superior is the cause of the problem; Charity and Justice – How do they work together.
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