CELEBRATING THE PAULINE RULE OF 1978
(And the Constitutions based on the Rule)
This month we spotlight the articles on fraternity
Rule: Article 21
21. On various levels, each fraternity is animated and guided by a council and minister who are elected by the professed according to the constitutions. Their service, which lasts for a definite period, is marked by a ready and willing spirit and is a duty of responsibility to each member and to the community. Within themselves the fraternities are structured in different ways according to the norm of the constitutions, according to the various needs of their members and their regions, and under the guidance of their respective council.
Constitutions: The Fraternity Council
1. The council of the local fraternity is composed of the following offices: minister, vice?minister, secretary, treasurer, and master of formation. Other offices may be added according to the needs of each fraternity. The spiritual assistant of the fraternity forms part of the council by right.
2. The fraternity, meeting in an assembly or chapter, discusses questions regarding its own life and organization. Every three years, in an elective assembly or chapter, the fraternity elects the minister and the council in the way established by the Constitutions and statutes.
1. It is the duty of the council of the local fraternity:
- To promote the initiatives necessary for fostering fraternal life, for improving the human, Christian, and Franciscan formation of its members and for sustaining their witness and commitment in the world;
- To make concrete and courageous choices, appropriate for the situation of the fraternity, from among the numerous activities possible in the field of the apostolate.
2. The duties of the council are also:
- To decide on the acceptance and admission to profession of new brothers and sisters;
- To establish a fraternal dialogue with members in particular difficulties and to adopt consequent measures;
- To receive the request for withdrawal and to decide on the suspension of a member from the fraternity;
- To decide on the establishment of sections or groups in conformity with the Constitutions and the statutes;
- To decide on the destination of available funds and, in general, to deliberate on matters concerning financial management and the economic affairs of the fraternity;
- To assign duties to the councilors and to the other professed members;
- To request from the competent superiors of the First Order and the TOR suitable and prepared religious as assistants;
- To perform such other duties as are required by these Constitutions or which are necessary to carry out its proper purposes.
1. Who are the members of our Fraternity Council and what are their jobs?
2. How does our Fraternity Council “animate” the fraternity?
3. What suggestions do you have to help the Council do a better job of animating?
4. Do you have a “ready and willing spirit” to serve the fraternity?
5. Would you be willing to serve on the Council? Why or why not?
While you are thinking about the above questions, here are some of the comments made at last month’s gathering about what drew you to become a Secular Franciscan and what your hopes are for the Fraternity.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER:
- “St. Francis’s message of love and forgiveness touched my heart and my life.
- “I needed something to bring me closer to God.”
- (I wanted) “The opportunity to live my faith in a special way while still remaining a lay person!”
- “Love of St. Francis and ‘divine intervention’.
- “The fraternity makes me feel welcome.”
- “By following St. Francis, I would be following Jesus.”
- “Desire to imitate the example set by St. Francis.”
YOUR HOPES FOR THE FRATERNITY:
Return to the Cord
- “I hope and wish that our Fraternity will become an example of Peace and Charity.”
- “That all members will become closer to God and spread His message.”
- “To see a current growth and renewal of current members and the newly professed.”
- “To learn more about St. Francis’s writings and to perform acts of charity as a Fraternity.”
- “To have more Spanish speakers join the Fraternity.”
- “To grow in number and strength and to live and learn the life of St. Francis.”
- “To do the most and expect the least.”
- “To grow in numbers.”
- “That we increase in numbers and personal spirituality.”
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