TP1 Month 12


Legislation, Formation lesson 3/3, March 11, 2017.

This lesson deals mostly with the nitty gritty of being a functioning organization with a few sections dealing with individual members.   Read each section noting anything you find confusing or any questions you have.  Incorporating these sections into your prayer may prove more difficult but keep in mind the essential role community plays in an OCDS vocation and how these statutes make that possible.

  1. ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT [cf. Const., Section VII]
    1. Vows (this probably belongs in the previous section after Promises)
      1. Note the serious tone and the cautions that accompany this step. No one is encouraged to make vows; it is a completely personal call from God and does not impact one’s status in the community.
      2. There are additional moral obligations; i.e. the gravity of sin with regard to the vows increases over that associated with promises. This step should not be taken
    2. The Local Council and Provisions for its Actions [cf. Const. #46-#47, #51-#52]
      1. The local council governs the local community and its decisions bind under the Promise of obedience. There are definite expectations regarding the meetings of the council.  Do you know who is on our local council?
      2. The council’s greatest responsibility is to oversee the formation and admission of members. Why is this so important?
    3. Resolving Conflicts in Local Communities [cf. Const. #43, #47]
      1. All decisions and interaction with members should be governed by charity. That said, some difficult decisions and communications may be necessary.
      2. What should happen if this is difficult or impossible?
    4. The Canonical Establishment of Local Communities [cf. Const. #42, #49]
      1. This section is about the different types of communities or the different stages of becoming a fully recognized or canonically established community.
      2. The community of Mary became canonically established in 2007.
    5. Local Community Elections [cf. Const. #50-#55]
      1. Regular elections take place every three years immediately following the OCD elections. Our next election will take place in two months.
      2. Please note the formal process but keep in mind that because we are such a small community we do not have to follow the procedure exactly. E.g.  a nominating committee is not necessary and members are aware of who is eligible for the offices.  The decisions are often more of a consensus that a vote.
    6. Keeping of Local Records [cf. Const. #54]
      1. The requirements for record keeping are relatively new and expanded over what they were in the past. The only record keeping that took place over twenty years ago was the maintenance of a mailing list for the Clarion.
      2. When the OCDS main office became more organized, they began collecting dues in addition to the Clarion subscription to staff and run that office.
  • Currently each community submits a current roster of member information along with the annual dues and subscription fees and a database is being compiled.
  1. Keeping of Local Records [cf. Const. #54]
    1. Local community records are to be kept in accord with the requests from the main office and as listed in the statutes.
    2. During formation more information about each individual is kept to aid in the discernment process. Some of this is destroyed or returned to the individual when Definitive Promises are made.
  2. Local Community Finances [cf. Const. #55]
    1. There are much more strict rules about local finances and recently all communities are required to establish a bank account using the name and tax id designated by the main office.
    2. What do you think precipitated these new rules?
  3. The Division of Local Communities [cf. Const. #58g]
    1. St. Teresa was convinced that the size of a community made all the difference in its ability to function as a loving, caring family.
    2. While Teresa limited her convents to about 20, OCDS communities are often three times as large and at that point are required to think about dividing into two communities.
  • The division sometimes takes the form of two communities with room to grow or one large community closed to new members and a smaller community that can grow and subdivide as needed.
  1. There are rules to assure that the result is two vibrant independent communities.
  1. Extended Members [cf. Const. #51, #56, #58b] and Transfer of members within the Province [cf. Const. #47] and between provinces and Carmelite orders.
    1. Once a person makes Definitive Promises they are a member of the Discalced Carmelite Order for life.
    2. Changes occur in the life circumstances of a member that make it impossible to attend meetings or remain faithful to the commitment once made. Can you enumerate some of these circumstances and the possible resolutions regarding individual status.
  2. The OCDS Provincial Council [cf. Const. #57]
    1. This is most recent addition to the organization and government of the OCDS.
    2. Each province is to establish this group to oversee such things and organization and formation.
  • There is also a national OCDS council made up of members of the three US provincial councils. Hopefully this will lead to more cooperation and sharing resulting in more wise decisions and policies.
  1. Our province has been lagging behind in some areas like developing Provincial Statutes. This has been cause for frustration but because of the internet it has made it possible for us to learn from the other provinces and benefit from their growing pains while incorporating our own unique ideas and policies.
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