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Statuti della nuova Provincia di Austria-Germania

Provincial Norms of the New Province Austria - Germany

Final translation June 30th, 2014

 

 

 

1. BASIC STRUCTURE OF PROVINCE AND REGION

(Constitutions Art. 120-122, Statutes Art. 64-66,78)

1.1. The new Province “Österreich-Deutschland” (Provincia Austriae – Germaniae) will be erected by January 1st, 2015 out of the former provinces Austria and Germany. The province consists out of two equal ranking regions Austria and Germany. Organizational forms of the former individual provinces existing so far in the public sphere (public corporation in Austria and association in Germany) remain unaffected by this change.

1.2.1. The province is directed by the Visitor who is supported in his office by an Assistant to the Visitor and by Provincial Consultors.

1.2.2. The Visitor as Provincial Superior is a major superior and an ordinary with proper ordinary power. He represents the province in all organizational forms of the former individual provinces in public law. If legally possible (according to civil law) he gives all necessary delegation to the Assistant to the Visitor for his respective region.

1.2.3. The Visitor is at the same time Regional Superior of the region he legally belongs to. Similarly, the Assistant to the Visitor is Regional Superior of the second region, to which he must legally belong to. Therefore Visitor and Assistant to the Visitor must belong to different regions.

1.3. When the new province is erected, each confrere belongs to that region which has emerged from the previous province. A transfer to the other region by the provincial council takes place only with the consent of the concerned confrere. Such a transfer may be for a limited time or indefinitely. If such a transfer takes place, the confrere and the provincial council determine the region of the confrere. If the change is indefinitely, the provincial council has to clarify open questions concerning health and old-age provisions.

1.4. The Provincial Council, which meets regularly with the Visitor and whose advice or consent is necessary for making important decisions, consists of the Assistant to the Visitor and 4 Consultors (2 for each region).  The Provincial Econome takes part in the Provincial Council.

1.4.1 In addition to the responsibilities listed in the Constitutions and Statutes and in order to clarify the responsibilities of Visitor and Assistant to the Visitor the responsibilities of the Visitor, with his Council, are as follows:

  • To examine the house plans at the time of Visitation
  • To inform the confreres regularly about the most important issues in the    Province, about its plans and important decisions
  • To care for the ongoing formation of the confreres by planning common meetings, retreats, workshops, etc.
  • To appoint, with the consent of his Council, the Election Commission for the election of the Visitor and the Assistant to the Visitor
  • To preside over the Provincial Assemblies

1.5. In the direction of the region the Regional Superior, that is the Visitor and the Assistant to the Visitor, is supported by the two Provincial Consultors elected from the region and by a Regional Econome appointed by the Visitor and his Council. One of the two Regional Economes is appointed by the Visitor and his Council as Provincial Econome.

1.6. The Regional Council and its responsibility.

1.6.1. The Regional Council is made up by the Regional Superior and his two Consultors. The Regional Econome takes part in the Regional Council.

1.6.2. Economic and organizational issues of the region are within the responsibility of the Regional Council.

1.6.3. The Regional Council regularly reports to the Provincial Council as its governing body on its activities. In relation to the Regional Council the Provincial Council has the power of deciding on binding guidelines.

 

2. APOSTOLIC ACTIVITY

(Constitutions Art. 10-18, Statutes Art. 1-12)

2.1. In addition to previous tasks, the following activities deserve special attention:

  • Social and charitable activities
  • Awareness for and promoting of religious vocations
  • Distribution of materials on Vincentian spirituality, for example through Megvis
  • Media apostolate

2.2.  to Statutes art. 5 §1:

  • The province Austria - Germany is committed to solidarity with other provinces of the Congregation and with the Vincentian family.

2.3. to Statutes art. 5, §2:

  • The Mission work of our province is St. Georg and the activities connected with it in in Istanbul. This work is entrusted to the interest, the prayer and the concern of all confreres.

3. COMMUNITY LIFE

(Constitutions art.19-27, statutes art.13-16)

3.1. Each house has to draw up a house plan to be presented each year to the Visitor. This house plan is to be checked by the Visitor at the time of visitation, changes must be notified to the Visitor. Each confrere of the house should receive a copy of the plan.

3.2. Each confrere takes a yearly retreat of at least five days. The province shall offer a term for a common retreat to all confreres.

3.3. The Visitor cares for the ongoing formation of the confreres. He promotes an active community life in the province by the planning of common meetings and encounters.

3.4. Confreres being accused by anyone are entitled to be heard. If the matter has found place in written files, the opinion of the concerned confrere must be filed in the records, too.


4. EVANGELICAL COUNCILS

(Constitutions art. 28-39, Statutes art.17-18)

To Statutes art. 17:

Greater Gifts and assets may be accepted and spent with the permission of the superior. The superior must ensure that no confrere is at a disadvantage. Income from pastoral activity of the confreres belongs to the community.

5. MEMBERS

(Constitutions art. 53-58; Statutes art. 20-27)

5.1. Entrance into the Congregation of the Mission

5.1.1. A Postulate precedes the acceptance into the Internal Seminary. The length of that Postulate is determined by the norms of formation. The legal status according to civil law of a confrere in the Postulate and the Internal Seminary is regulated by a training contract.

5.1.2. Priests who are accepted into the Internal Seminary may exercise a pastoral ministry only with the permission of the director, as far as it is compatible with the other objectives of the Internal Seminary.

5.1.3. The Good Purposes are made after a year of seminary that is to be held without interruption. On the proposal of the Director, an exception may be permitted by the Visitor.

5.1.4. The Good Purposes are valid till the taking of vows or the departure from the community.

5.1.5. Public and private scholarships and income from work is to be handed in to the community, which covers all living expenses of the trainees.

5.1.6. An adequate time frame determined by the formation team and approved by the Visitor and his council for each candidate individually and the age of 24 are a prerequisite for the acceptance of brothers to the vows.

5.2. Rights and obligations of members

5.2.1 If a confrere of our province dies, each priest celebrates a holy Mass for him. Each brother offers one in this intention.

5.2.2. Each incorporated confrere has the right to have two Holy masses per month celebrated without stipend.

6. FORMATION

(Constitutions art. 91 § 3, Statutes art. 48)

With regard to the training of brothers as permanent deacons we adhere to the episcopal concept for deacons. The provincial Council decides in each individual case.

7. PROVINCIAL and LOCAL ADMINISTRATION

7.1. The election of the Visitor

(Constitutions art. 124, statutes art.68 § 3)

7.1.1. The Visitor is elected by all confreres of the province with active voice in written form by post.

7.1.2. Six months before the end of his term the Visitor with the consent of his council appoints the election commission, consisting of three confreres, and appoints one of these confreres as the chairman of the election commission.

7.1.3. The election commission sends a list of the confreres who can be elected into the office of Visitor to all confreres of the province with active voice.

7.1.4. Each confrere with active voice marks the candidate he wants to elect as Visitor on the ballot sheet.

7.1.5. For an election in the first and second round 2/3 of the valid votes are necessary to be considered elected a candidate. Blank ballots or invalid ballots are not counted. If no two-thirds majority is found in the second balloting, an absolute majority is sufficient in the third balloting. If this is not achieved, only the two candidates with the highest votes have passive right to be voted on in the fourth ballot, unless several had an equal number of votes in first or second place. In the event of a tied vote the confrere who is senior by vocation or age is elected.

7.1.6. In questions about the validity of a ballot, the election commission decides, in case of a tie by the vote of the chairman.

7.1.7. The commission presents the election result to the Superior General. The Superior General confirms the election and appoints the elected Visitor. The commission communicates the decision of the Superior General first to the outgoing Visitor and publishes the result of the election.

7.1.8. If the Superior General rejects a candidate, the appointment of a Visitor is made by the Superior General according to article 68 § 1 of the Statutes. The election results remain unpublished.

7.1.9. The elected and confirmed candidate will serve the province for four years, renewable only once.

7.1.10. In case of premature vacancy of the office of Visitor. A new election is to take place as soon as possible.

7.2. The election of the Assistant to the Visitor

7.2.1. The Assistant to the Visitor is elected by all confreres of the province with active voice in written form by post.

7.2.2. The election of the Assistant to the Visitor takes place after the election and appointment of the Visitor by the Superior General. Only a confrere not belonging to the same region as the Visitor can be elected. This also applies in the case of an earlier election of an Assistant Provincial.

7.2.3. The Election Commission for the election of the Visitor sends a list of the confreres who can be elected into the office of Assistant to the Visitor to all confreres of the province with active voice.

7.2.4. Each confrere with active voice marks the candidate he wants to elect as Assistant to the Visitor on the ballot sheet.

7.2.5. For an election in the first round 2/3 of the valid votes are necessary Blank ballots or invalid ballots are not counted.  If no two-thirds majority is found in the first balloting, an absolute majority is sufficient in the second and third balloting. If this is not achieved, only the two candidates with the highest votes have passive right to be voted on in the fourth ballot, unless several had an equal number of votes in first or second place. In the event of a tied vote the confrere who is senior by vocation or age is elected.

7.2.6. In questions about the validity of a ballot, the Election Commission decides, in case of a tie by the vote of the chairman.

7.2.7. The Commission informs the Visitor on the result of the ballot, which yielded the required majority, who informs the Superior General and notifies the provincial community.

7.2.8. The period of office of the Assistant to the Visitor is four years. An Assistant to the Visitor may be elected in the same manner and under the same conditions for a further four years. The time of office of an Assistant to the Visitor ends automatically if he no longer belongs to region different to that of the visitor.

7.3. The election of the Provincial Consultors

7.3.1. The Provincial Consultors are elected by the confrères of the region with active voice for a period of 4 years.

7.3.2. Two election commissions will be appointed by the Provincial Council. They put up a list of all eligible members of the region and send it to the confreres with active voice. Each confrere has the right and the duty to choose two confreres for the Provincial Council. This is done in written form by post. Each confrere marks clearly his two candidates and sends the ballot to the chairman of the Election Commission.

7.3.3. Elected are those, who receive the absolute majority of valid votes in the first ballot. If in the first ballot the full composition of the provincial Council is not reached, a runoff takes place. For each open place two confreres with relative majority, listed according to the higher number of votes, are put up to be voted on. The confrères with the highest number of votes are deemed to be elected. In the event of a tied vote the confrere who is senior by vocation or age is elected.  (cf. Constitutions art. 140 §1 last sentence and statutes article 98)

7.3.4. The Visitor checks the result of the election and announces to the entire result.

7.3.5. A confrere can be elected for a second quatriennium in the same way, but not for a third one.

7.3.6. Should one of the Provincial Consultors for any reason cede from office, the Visitor co-opts a substitute for the remaining term of the ceding consultor with the consent of the Provincial Council and taking into account the result of the last election.

7.4. Appointment into other offices of the provincial and local administration.

7.4.1. Having heard the opinion of the confreres of the house and with the consent of the Provincial Council the Assistant of the house and the House Econome are appointed for the time of office of the local Superior by the Visitor.

7.4.2. All confreres shall participate in the meetings of the local community.

7.4.3. The Provincial Econome, the Regional Econome, the Director of the Internal Seminary, the Director of the Students of the province are appointed by the Visitor after consulting his Council.

8. THE PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY

(Constitutions art. 143-145; Statutes art. 94-102)

8.1. The Provincial Assembly is convoked half a year before the fixed date of the meeting. A failure in meeting this deadline does not affect the legal validity of the Provincial Assembly.

8.2. If the Visitor appoints a Preparatory Commission according to Statutes art. 69 §8, the prescriptions for a Preparatory Commission for a General Assembly (Statutes article 91 § 2 and 3) are to be applied mutatis mutandis.

8.3. All confreres with active voice are obliged to participate in the Provincial Assembly. Only the Visitor can dispense them. He must notify the assembly about it. Confreres without active voice have the right to participate in the Provincial Assembly.

8.4. The Visitor presides the provincial assembly with two elected moderators.

9. TEMPORAL GOODS

(Constitutions Art. 148–155; Statutes Art. 103–110)

9.1. Each Superior must make sure to meet the needs of the individual confrere.

9.2. For smaller expenses, each confrere, who has finished the Internal Seminary, receives a monthly sum, the amount of which is determined by the Provincial Assembly. According to existing regulations the same amount is also given for the feast day and for Christmas.

9.3. As the temporal goods belong to all confreres, all are also co-responsible for the proper use. Therefore, they are entitled to know the financial situation of the house, the region and the province. This happens specifically through the annual statement of accounts and the budget which is sent by the Provincial Econome to the local Superiors. It is their task to convey that information to all confreres.

9.4. In order to enable the regional economes to fulfill their task in accordance with article 77 of the Statutes, the local Economes send in their monthly statements. In each region a finance committee is erected which is composed and fulfills its functions according to the criteria established by the Regional Superior with the consent of his Council. In all important economic questions of the province the Visitor has to ask for the advice of these finance committees.

9.5. Specifically in local administration the confreres should jointly consider how and to what extent they can support the poor, keeping the principles of Statutes art.103 and the finances of the house in mind, and critically review the local spending on their necessity.

9.6. In the assets of the two regions a sufficient reserve should exist as a backup for the houses and the old age pensions of the confreres, again keeping in mind Statutes art. 103 and the fundamental statute on poverty.

9.7. For the ordinary holiday time of 28 days each confrere who has finished the Internal Seminary, receives a sum of money determined by the Provincial Assembly. Travel expenses to the next of kin are paid by the local community. A higher demand for holiday expenses is to be agreed by the Visitor.

9.8. Donations must be used in the intention of the donor.

9.9. The Regional Superior may in extraordinary cases make expenses on his own up to a sum of EUR 10,000,-, with the approval of the Regional Council up to EUR 50,000,-. The Visitor may in extraordinary cases make expenses up to EUR 20,000,- without consent of his Council and with the consent of the Provincial Council up to EUR 750,000,-.When expenses are over a sum of EUR 150,000,-, the provincial community must be informed. For expenses over a sum of EUR 750,000,- he must obtain the consent of the Superior General.

9.10. When larger objects are bought or sold the confreres should be informed at an early stage and comprehensively, without affecting the validity of legal contracts.

9.11. The local Superior may in extraordinary cases make expenses on his own up to a sum of EUR 2,500,-, with the consent of the local community up to EUR 10,000,-. For higher sums a consent of the Regional Council is required. Loans may be made only with the consent of the Visitor and of the Provincial Council. For sales the limits for extraordinary expenses are valid. In addition, a list of existing works of art and of objects valuable for the community is to be kept in each local community. Any changes of these items require the approval of the Visitor and his Council.

10. Validity of these Provincial Norms

10.1. These provincial norms are valid for 3 years ad experimentum.