Mary’s Army in Blue

The Constitution

ARTICLE 1:  Name

The community shall be know as the Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as this is what Our Lady has asked.

ARTICLE 2:  Purpose

A. The Order, through the consecration of life offered through its Rule, and in the development of the spiritual life of each of its members, shall grow in love and humility as he member goes through formation, first to become Friars and then either priest or brothers.

B. Members of the Order shall express and exercise in the world their particular consecration in their apostolic activity, witnessing through daily life to the love of God in Jesus Christ.

C. The Order, through its common bond, shall encourage the growth and unity of all its members, as an example to all with whom they come in contact.

D. Following the direction of the Holy Spirit, the Order shall serve God in the work and worship of the church.

E. The life and prayer of the Order is to be the realization in time of man’s union with the purpose and will of God.  Therefore, the Order shall have the visible unity of Christ’s Church as a central theme of their prayer and offering.

F. The Order, while cherishing all that is distinctive in their own life and calling, shall offer special intentions and intercessions for the increase and perfection of all vocations to the religious life.

ARTICLE 3:  Structure of the Order

  1. First Level:  Perpetually Professed Priests, Deacons, Brothers and Novices under Temporary Vows are full members of the Community.
  2. Second Level:  Postulents will be in a non-voting status.
  3. Third Level:  Companions (Religious, laity and others seeking spiritual direction by a flexible structure) who will have no voice and are non-voting members, but  lead a similar prayer life as that of the Community.  Members are single or married.

ARTICLE 4:  Obedience to the Church

All levels of the Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary observe the Doctrines, Discipline and Worship of the Roman Catholic Church as the Supreme Authority under which it functions in obedience.  The Doctrines and Worship of the Roman Catholic Church are set forth in the teachings of Jesus Christ, the instructions of the First Seven Councils of the Church, the Council of Trent and are set forth in its Constitution and Canons.

ARTICLE 5:  Government

A. The three documents by which the members of the Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary shall be governed, are the Rule of 1223 A.D. Written by St Francis and approved by Pope Honorius III, the Constitution and the Customary.

B. The amendment of these documents shall require the following majorities of Chapter:

  1. The Rule requires a seven eighths majority for Amendment.  After the General Chapter’s approval. It must be approved by the Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia.
  2. The Constitution requires a three-fourth majority for amendment.  In addition, all constitutional amendments must be submitted to Chapter, in writing, no less than one month prior to being voted upon.
  3. The Customary requires a simple majority for amendment.

C. The final interpretation of the documents of the Order shall rest with Council.

D. In addition to the documents above, the members shall be governed by any statuses or rulings of Chapter or Council, which statuses or rulings shall be kept in the minutes of Chapter or Council meetings, by the appointed secretary for the Council.  Secretary shall be for a one year appointment by Council and by Chapter, One secretary per ruling body, if so desired .

ARTICLE 6:  Visiting Bishop

A. The visiting Bishop is the one who’s spiritual guidance the Order shall seek.

B. The community will seek to serve the Visitor as he desires.

C. The Superior General will report to the Visiting Bishop, annually and as requested on the work of the Order.

D. The advice, guidance and council of the Visiting Bishop will be sought when any life professed member is being considered  for dismissal or release from vows  and his decision is final and subject to appeal in the case of a member requesting, but denied release from vows.

ARTICLE 7:  Provinces

A. Chapter may establish Provinces of the Order.  All provinces will approximate (as nearly as possible) the provincial lines of the Roman Catholic Church.  Each Province, established by Chapter, will be under the direct spiritual guidance of the Bishop in whose diocese the Provincial House is located.

B. Provisional Chaplains shall be priest or bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, who may be appointed by the Superior General and they will act as confessors and counselors to the Priest and Brothers who serve in a Province.

ARTICLE 8:  The Minor General

A. The Founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary shall serve as Minor General until his Death, unless he elects to retire from office at which time he will give notice to Chapter and Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia.

B. A Minor General serving subsequently to the Founder shall be elected to a term of seven (7) years by a three-fourth (3/4th) majority vote of Chapter.  A Minor General, so elected, may  serve limited successive terms.  A Minor General must be a Life Professed Priest who has been Life Professed at least five (5) years.

C. In the hierarchy of obedience, the leadership of the Minor General shall be the unifying source and directive for the common purpose and life of the Order.  The Minor General must remember that more than anyone else he is responsible for the maintenance and  exposition of the distinctive spirit of the Order.

D. Of a vacancy in the Office of the Minor General:

  1. In the event of a vacancy in the Office of the Minor General, the members of the Order shall be called into Chapter by the Provincials within no less than ten (10) days and no more than thirty (30) days.
  2. Upon the death or retirement of the Minor General and the election of the new Minor General, the Minor Chancelor will be the ruling authority.
  3. Upon electing a Minor General, the Provincials will notify the installing Bishop of the election.
  4. The installation of the new Minor General shall be accomplished at a Pontifical High Mass to be attended by as many members as possible.
  5. Should it become necessary to seek the removal of the Minor General, a special Chapter shall be called by a majority of the Provincials.  A majority of seven-eighths (7/8ths) is required to pass a motion for removal.  If motion for removal is carried, the Provincials will notify the Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia and obtain permission to effect the removal.

E. Of the Duties, Rights and powers of the  Minor General:

  1. The Minor General shall guide the Order with love and affection, with patience, quietude, humility and justice.  Always being mindful of our motto: “ALWAYS IN THE SIMPLICITY OF ST. FRANCIS of ASSISI.”
  2. The Minor General shall lead the Priests, Brothers and Secular Franciscans (Level III), under the guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  He shall also seek the prayer advice of Council.  He shall also seek the wise council of the Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia.
  3. The Minor General, when present, shall serve as chair to the meetings of Chapter and Council, or appoint a Life Professed member of the community to act as chair. When acting as chair he may only vote to break a tie vote.  The Minor General shall have final voice in any matter brought before either Chapter or Council.  The Minor General may make a decision contrary to the consents.  Such a decision may only be reversed by s two-thirds (2/3rds) majority vote of Chapter or Council.
  4. The Minor General shall appoint two (2) Life Professed Religious as members of Council, each for a term of three (3) years.

ARTICLE 9:  Entry into the Order

A. Admission into the Order

  1. Those who ask admission into the Order as a Priest or Brother shall always be received with courtesy and brotherly kindness as sharers in a common hope.
  2. Any adult  male communicant in good standing within the Roman Catholic Church may apply for membership in the Order provided he is at least eighteen (18) years of age and has a conviction that he is being called to the Religious life as practiced by the Order.
  3. No consideration of wealth or poverty shall be allowed to influence the acceptance or rejection of any candidate provided that the members of the community have reasonable hope of being able to maintain him;  nor shall any such contribution be regarded as entitling him to favors or privileges.
  4. Candidates who are accepted for probation shall be admitted as Postulants immediately upon their arrival, so that they may have full privileges of entry into the community. They shall, during the time of their postulancy, be instructed by the Director of Postulants in the duties and obligations of Postulants.

B. Postulancy.

  1. Postulancy is a period of probation in which newly admitted members begin their training in the Religious Life of the community, that they may more deeply consider their vocation from God, and especially to the Order of Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary and that they may test their own resolve and fitness.
  2. Postulency Shall normally require a period of nine (9) months.  Extensions or variations shall be at the direction of the Minor General with the advice and consent of Council, as shall be the release of a Postulent who is felt, by them, not to have a true vocation to the Life of a Friar.
  3. A Postulant may withdraw from an association with the Order at any time, if he feels that the Life of this Community is not that to which God is calling him to.  He shall make his request for withdrawal to the Minor General.  The Postulant’s Provincial is responsible for the recovery of his Habit,  Cross, Rule books, Constitution and Customary.

C. Novitiate.

  1. A Postulant shall be received as a Novice by the Minor General with the advice and consent of Council.  Special regard shall be paid the opinions of the Provincials of the candidate’s Province, the Director of Postulants, and the Director of Education.
  2. Those who are admitted to the Novitiate shall bear in mind its two-fold purpose of probation and training, and shall accordingly be entirely open with the Director of Novices in all that concerns their daily life, while they give a cheerful and obedient acceptance to all he may enjoin.  The demands of the life shall be accepted readily and joyfully as a means towards the purification of life which may entitle the Novice to hope for the privilege of Solemn, Perpetual Profession in due time.
  3. The normal term of the Novitiate shall be for one (1) year, but may be extended if there is doubt as to a Novice’s readiness to advance.  Such extension shall not go beyond one (1) additional year.  If, at that time, the Novice is not nominated and approved for advancement he shall be  released from the Community.
  4. The Novices shall be instructed by the Director of Novices in the various exercises of the Life, Rule and Constitution of the Order, and in such other matters as he shall consider appropriate to their calling.
  5. The simplicity and thoroughness of a good Novitiate is the foundation of the Professed Life.
  6. Members of the Community should take caree that they cooperate in the training of the Novices by example of their life and work with in the Order.
  7. A Novice may be released at his own request, or be dismissed at any time for just cause, by the Superior General with the advice and consent of Council.  The Provincial is responsible for the recovery of the former Novice’s Cross and Habit, Rule books, Constitution and Customary.

ARTICLE 10:  Profession

A. Profession of Vows.

  1. Throughout the time of Novitiate, the novices shall accustom themselves to look forward to their Solemn Profession of being the pledge of the acceptance of their offering to God, by, with and in Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit.  Profession shall, therefore, be always regarded as a sign of the love of Almighty God, and the utmost diligence shall be given to preparation for it.  The offering must be thoroughly purified if it is to be brought for Divine acceptance.
  2. No one shall be permitted to take Temporary Vows unless it is his intention to proceed to Solemn Profession of Perpetual Vows, if the privilege is granted in due time.  Thereafter, the offering continues until it is consummated in death.
  3. On acceptance into the Novitiate, the candidate will be clothed with the Habit of the Order, make his Profession of Temporary Vows and will be given the name of a Saint along with the name of Mary, in Honor of our Blessed Mother, (ie:  Brother Peter Mary, etc.).  Profession of Temporary Vows shall be in force for one (1) year at a time, and are to be renewed  on the anniversary of the day of First Profession.   Profession of Temporary Vows are to be taken annually for a period of three (3) years before a member is considered for making Solemn Profession of Perpetual Vows.
  4. By means of the annual Profession of Temporary Vows, a member takes upon himself the three (3) Evangelical Vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, as described by the Rule of the Order and stabilized by a Sacred Promise to Almighty God, and the signing of a Instrument of Profession.
  5. By making his first Profession of Temporary Vows a Novice becomes a full member of the Community, as well as becoming liable for all the responsibilities full membership entails.

B. Perpetual Profession.

  1. A member is eligible for Solemn Profession of Perpetual Vows when he has completed a term of three (3) years in annual Temporary Vows, and the Minor General and Council feel that he is prepared for this commitment.
  2. If a member feels that he is not yet prepared to undertake the grave responsibility of Solemn, Profession of Perpetual Vows, or the Minor General and Council deem it prudent, the member may continue in Annual Temporary Vows for up to two (2) additional years, at which point he shall, with the approval of the Minor General and Council, either makes his Solemn Profession of Perpetual Vows, withdraw from the Community, or be dismissed.
  3. Solemn Profession of Perpetual Vows will be the three Traditional Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience and the fourth Vow-the Marian Vow.  This is where the Solemnly Professed makes Total dedication of his entire self to Mary Immaculate, and carries with it special graces from God, it is understood that those who have , by the Grace of God, made this dedication of themselves are due respect worthy of the dignity of their consecration.
  4. The professed shall be careful to maintain the spirit of sacrifice in its integrity, looking forward to, and preparing for its consumption with the same zeal with which he formerly sought its acceptance,  All shall endeavor continually to be united with Our Lord’s offering in order that all their actions, words and thoughts may be permeated with the spirit of sacrificial love in the fellowship of the Spirit.  The daily dying to self is the necessary condition of the risen life in which the professed is called to dwell with Christ.

C. Marian Vow of Total Consecration.

  1. The Marian Vow is where each Friar (Priest and Brothers) Professes Total Consecration of their self to Mary Immaculate. The Friars intimately unite themselves to Our Lady so that She might mediate to us the Grace of Personal Sanctification.  The Vow compels the Friars to more fully participate in Her mission of Universal Salvation.  It is our task to promote devotions to Her Immaculate Heart.
  2. All Friars (Priest and Brothers) will strictly observe the Rule combined with and joined to the Marian Vow of Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary which finds its meaning in the total, complex, unlimited and unreserved gift of oneself to Mary Immaculate.  The Marian Vow of Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary is the first of the four vows. It is the Crowning Jewel of our Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.
  3. The Rule of St Francis, which calls for perfect Poverty, is lived perfectly by the Marian Vow that places the person into the loving arms of Mary Immaculate.  This witness of total dependence on the Blessed Virgin Mary for all things is in itself a sermon, a book or a program regarding the Truth of God and His loving care for His creatures.

D. Evangelical Vow of Poverty

  1. Poverty, as a call, means far more than a simplification of life in a community of common ownership.  It means possessing NOTHING for self, an entire dependency on Christ in whom all things are gathered up and in whom all things are possessed.
  2. The positive application of Poverty is the cultivation of the virtue of Holy Indifference, to claim the possession of nothing but to use all things and opportunities to deepen that dependence on Almighty God wherein is true liberty.
  3. In accordance with the spirit of their consecration to the mysteries of the life of the Incarnate Word, the Friars (Priests and Brothers) shall always have in regard the Vow of Poverty.  Its requirements shall be recognized throughout the daily life both in the appointments of the community and in the conduct of the Friars.
  4. No one who enters the Order shall claim anything for his private use, but everything shall be received from the common stock and shall be regarded as belonging to the Order. The careful and reverent use of all community gilds shall be regarded as an essential part of true Poverty.
  5. As far as possible, the Friars must avoid asking for dispensation.  They shall shun all deviation from their common usages that are not absolutely necessary;  all singularity shall be carefully avoided.
  6. In daily life such small hardships and deprivations as may occur through the faithful maintenance of this standard of Holy Poverty shall be welcomed by the Friars as offering fresh opportunities for realizing the conditions of their Consecration.
  7. Level two (2) and three (3) members of the Order are to abide by the Vow of Poverty as closely as living in the Secular world will allow.  They should live within there means and for those with the income should attempt to give give ten (10) percent of their annual income to the Order to assist the Order with the financial ability to carry out the work of God intrusted to it;  namely caring for the ill and infirmed  with debilitating diseases.

E. Evangelical Vow of Chastity

  1. Celibacy is a separate gift from Almighty God with its accompanying Graces to accomplish total abstinence from the use of one’s sexuality in order to offer a total gift of self to Almighty God.  This Vow is not for every Religious; it is a total gift from Almighty God to individual souls:  As He gives it, so to He provides the Graces necessary for its fulfillment.  Only those Priests and Brothers living in the community will be expected to take the Vow of Chastity.  Level three (3) members, who are single or married, but not living in the community, will be exempt from this Vow.  When a married member divorces or his spouse dies, He will be asked to take the Vow of Chastity only on request to enter into the Community.
  2. The distinctive dedication of the Order to the mystery of the Love of Almighty God must always be regarded by the Friars as emphasizing the dignity and power of Holy Chastity.
  3. Chastity is the redirection of every creative faculty to their  recreation in Christ that the Friars may take their part in our Lord’s reconciliation.
  4. It is by the faithful observance of this Vow, and the cultivation of the virtue, that the soul of the Friar must seek to be trained for the vision Almighty God promised to the pure of heart.  All the faculties of mind and spirit must be purified by penitence and trained to familiarity with the things of Almighty God.  There must be a continued exercise of love and desire reaching out towards Almighty God.
  5. In Chastity, which is the whole being set on God, we have the hidden joy that is beyond all natural attainment.  It is there that all relationships are made perfect both in this world and in the whole unseen world.  Herein is the wonder of the community life and of the whole family of and in God.

F. Evangelical Vow of Obedience.

  1. Obedience is the means whereby the human will is re-established in its true purpose to be one with the Will of God.  Obedience must always be recognized as a free response of love.
  2. Through all the authorized channels of leadership and in his relationship of mutual Obedience and coinherence with his brother Friars throughout the community, each Friar shall make his Obedience as complete and generous as possible.  The virtue of Obedience can only be acquired by its detailed practice in small things as well as in great.
  3. A member makes the Vow of Obedience to Jesus Christ as his only Lord and Savior, to the article of faith as contained in the Creeds of the Church, to the Rule of the Order, and to the Minor General and the Directors appointed over him.   If any conscientious difficulty is felt about Obedience it shall be stated.
  4. No position of seniority in the Community shall excuse a Friar from fulfilling his  obligation of Obedience.
  5. The Friars shall seek, by the faithful observance of Holy Obedience, to keep themselves free from all self pleasing and self will that the spirit of sacrifice may be the more perfectly attainment.

G. The Cell

  1. The Friars, living in Community, shall endeavor to remember that the poverty and Simplicity of their cell are meant to remind them of the Poverty of Bethlehem and of the Sacred Solitude of the Holy Sepulcher and completed Sacrifice.
  2. They shall, therefore, learn to regard their cell as a place where the Holy Spirit will reveal to them the mysteries of God an manifest to them the compassion and love of the Savior.

H. The Sacrament of Penance

  1. Confession has for its object the more complete purification of the soul for the Glory of God and it should always be accompanied by great watchfulness and care with regard to all matters which generally make the subject matter for confession.
  2. The Friars shall therefore be very careful to avoid all known occasions of temptation and must be prompt to resist it at once, and with all the resources at their command. They shall ever bear in mind our Lord’s will for their perfection, and upon every occasion seek to unite themselves with Him in His temptation, that they may, with confidence, dispel anxiety, fearfulness and scruples.
  3. After any fault the member shall, if possible, make an avowal of it and instantly turn to God with an Act of Contrition, and that done, he shall dismiss all fear and  discouragement, nor should the remembrance of the fault be allowed to operate an atmosphere seeking to make amends for his failure by resuming his work and pray with renewed vigor and watchfulness

I. The Eucharist.

  1. In the Eucharist, the People of God  thank God for what He has done and revealed to us through Christ who is both Word and Sacrifice, with whom we participate, Priest and people alike, in the one Sacrifice of the one Body and Blood.  Therefore, to participate in this central activity of the Church’s offering is the first duty of the Friars whereby they unite themselves with oblation and satisfaction of our Blessed Lord, our great High Priest, All prayer and offering is in Him,  and in the Eucharistic action all are drawn by the Holy Spirit to be offered by, with,  and in Christ in His offering to the Father for the sins and needs of the world.

J. The Divine Office.

  1. The recitation of the Divine Office shall always be regarded not only as a fundamental duty in the Community but also as a privilege.  Because of man’s incorporation in Christ’s Risen Life, the Divine Office is an extension of the Holy Incarnation both in worship and meditation.  Therefore, the greatest care must be given to render it with a Dignity which unites each individual in the corporate offering.
  2. The recitation of the Divine Office shall be binding upon all those who are admitted to Profession, whether under Temporary or Solemn Perpetual Vows,  and the Friars shall recite their Divine Office when absent from Choir.
  3. Understanding the difficulty of saying the Divine Office for members of the  Third Level of the Order, members may use the shorter version of the Divine Office known as the “Shorter Christian Prayer”.
  4. In cases of necessity, dispensation may be granted by the Minor General or  Minor Superior at each Friary belonging to the Order.

K. Lectio Divina.

  1. The study of scripture to form the basis of their prayer should be the first charge upon the Friars attention outside the Divine Office.  Nothing can take the place of this.
  2. The Friars shall take care that Spiritual reading does not degenerate into a matter of merely intellectual interest or formal duty.  The exercise of reading shall begin with prayer and carried through in a prayerful spirit.
  3. The Friars should, from time to time, consult with the Minor General if at the Mother House, or Minor Superior of the Friary they are in.

L. Prayer.

  1. Prayer is the growth of a personal relationship between man and Almighty God.  It must be directed so that every faculty of man is brought into the Obedience of fulfilling the Will of God.  This requires both time and discipline and it is through the growth of the prayer that the true potential of each individual life may be realized.
  2. Time shall be appointed throughout each day for prayer.  This prayer time is set apart from the Liturgy and the Divine Office.
  3. In Honor of our Blessed Mother, the Friars (Priest and Brothers) will recite a daily Communal Rosary after Compline.  To foster devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, each Friar (Priest and Brothers) shall be devoted to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Every Tuesday, instead of the Communal Rosary, the Friars shall recite the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

M. Retreats.

  1. All members will make a three (3) day retreat before making Profession of Vows for the first time and annually until Solemn Perpetual Vows are made.
  2. Each member will make a retreat of three (3) days prior to Professing Perpetual Vows. And then will make at least a one (1) day retreat on the weekend prior to the Anniversary of their Profession.
  3. Members of Level Two (2) and Three (3) should attempt to make a one (1) or two (2) day retreat on the weekend before the anniversary of their acceptance into the Order.

ARTICLE  11:  Release from Vows.

A. Separation from the Community.

  1. A member, under Vows, may at the discretion of the Minor General, with advise and consent of Council, be granted an indult of departure for a specified period of time, not to exceed one (1) year.
  2. During the period of departure, the member remains subject to the authority of the Minor General and the requirements of his Vows of Obedience and Chastity, but is dispensed from the remainder of the Rule.  He looses his voice and vote in Chapter or on Council, the exercise of any office to which he may have been appointed, and MAY NOT WEAR THE HABIT OR CLERICALS.  He may continued to wear the Cross and is encouraged to do so in the proper manner.
  3. Upon completion of the period specified in the indult, the member either returns  to the Community in the same rank he occupied before departure; asks Council to consider a request for release from Vows, or is dismissed from the Community by action of Council.

B. Secularization:  Dismissal or Release from Vows.

  1. Secularization is the abrogation of Religious Vows, which brings about the return of the member to the secular state.
  2. A member may initiate proceedings for release of Religious Vows.  In this case the member submits his resignation in writing and Council responds, in writing, with its decision within ten (10) days.  If Council refuses to grant a Writ of Release from Vows, the member may appeal to the Provincial Bishop, and, if necessary, to the Holy See.
  3. Council may initiate proceedings for dismissal for the following causes or reasons:
    a. – Persistent disobedience, or refusal to accept the obligations of the Community embodied in the Rule of the Order.b. – Fundamental unsuitability.c. – The public profession of apostasy, heresy, or ill schism.d. – Having been the culpable cause of imminent and very grave or exterior scandal, or of harm to the Community.
  4. Council must follow this procedure in order to effect dismissal.
    a. – Council must vote to initiate the proceedings.  The initiation requires only a simple majority vote.b. – The member whose dismissal is under consideration shall be notified by registered mail that such action is being considered, and must be given the date, location and time of the meeting called to give effect to the dismissal.c. – The member shall be notified of the  reason for the proposed dismissal and shall be given the opportunity to offer any defense.d. – Only after these conditions have been met shall Council vote on the actual dismissal. The dismissal shall require a three-fourth (¾) majority and will be effective immediately.
  5. In the case of a Life Professed member, the Writ of dismissal or Release from Vows must have prior approval of the Minor General, the Provincial Bishop or the Holy See.
  6. A secularized member must relinquish his Cross, Habit, Rule book, Constitution, customary, et al.  The Provincial of the Province of residence of the secularized member is responsible for their recovery.

    ARTICLE 12:  Manual Work.

A. Tradition.

  1. In the tradition of Community Living, manual work has its place in the Sanctification of the natural world and is a sharing in the common lot of man.  It completes man’s offering to God in body and soul.
  2. Every Friar shall accept with generosity and simplicity whatever work is given him in the Community.  Quietness of movement, recollection of mind, and a consecrated energy should be encouraged as part of the offering enjoined.
  3. In order for each Friary to support itself members may have to work secular jobs, such jobs as Nursing Assistants, Nurses other hospital type work that they may be trained for and other secular jobs.  Income earned from these jobs should be willingly given to the Community so it can support itself and its members.
  4. Secular members should attempt to donate (tithe) at least ten (10) percent of their income, if possible, to the Mother house of the Community, more if possible.
  5. Both No. 3 and 4 above are for the Community so that it may sufficiently support all its members and be able to do the work Our Blessed Mother has called us to do.

ARTICLE 13:  Temporal Possessions and Dissolution.

A. The administration for the temporal possessions of the Order is the responsibility of the Minor General and Council.

B. The decision to dissolve the Order is the responsibility of Chapter.  The Order may only be dissolved by a seven-eighth (7/8) majority vote of Chapter, with the approval of the Holy See.

C. In the event of the dissolution of the Community, or if it should cease to exist, the following formula applies:

  1. All property is to be sold and moneys realized from such a sale, together with moneys held in trusts or bank accounts, are to be centralized into a single fund.
  2. After the settlement of any and all outstanding debts, the total residue is then to be divided into shares representing the number of members under Vows of Profession at the time of dissolution.  These shares are to be presented to the Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in which those members were residents.
  3. Before numbers 1 and 2 above are accomplished, and since the Congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary was started by our Founder and first Minor General Br Francis Mary of Our Lady of the Rosary FFBVM at the expressed request of our Blessed Mother  when she spoke to our Founder asking him to do this, every effort should and MUST be taken to be absolutely sure the Congregation has to be dissolved. If the Congregation is to continue then Our Blessed Mother will let us know and show us a way to do so. May Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us and continue to guide us. And may Christ Bless us, continue to send us vocations and show us the way to continue the work Our Blessed Mother has asked us to do.