WHAT IS A GENERAL CHAPTER?
From our Constitutions
82. The General Chapter is the deepest form of communion in the charism of the Order and is the place where collegiality is manifested in a special way. It has supreme authority within the Order and is, therefore, the body with prime responsibility for the guidance of our Institute in carrying out the mission entrusted to it by the Holy Spirit in the Church.
Thus, each individual Brother must, within his own sphere of responsibility, contribute to helping the Chapter attain its aims, by participating at its celebration as a capitular Brother, or by responsible collaboration in its preparation through the election of vocals, or by offering any suggestions he may have for the good of the Order, or, above all, by humbly asking the Lord's help.
83. The General Chapter:
- examines the state of the Order regarding the requirements of the religious life according to the teaching of the Church;
- studies, fosters and authentically sets forth the different ways in which our charism may be manifested;
- resolves, with a practical declaration, any doubts or difficulties which may arise concerning the Constitutions;
- elects the Superior General and at least four General Councillors; postulation is required if the General is a priest and if this is his third consecutive mandate;
- promulgates the decrees it judges useful for the good of the Order.
84. The General Chapter is celebrated:
- every six years; or
- at the end of the first three-year period, if a new General must be elected because the office has fallen vacant during this first three-year period.
- It is convened by the General or the Vicar General.
85. The following have the obligation to take part,
- as members by right:
- the General or Vicar General, as President;
- the General Councillors;
- the Provincials or Vicars Provincial;
- the Vice-Provincials or Vicars of Vice-Provinces;
- the General Delegates who are in charge of General Delegations;
From our General Statutes
120. In the General Chapter besides the members by right indicated in article 85 of the Constitutions the following participate:
- two vocals for each Province;
- one vocal for each Vice-Province;
- an additional vocal for each 60 professed Brothers in the Provinces and Vice-Provinces; a vocal for each General Delegation;
- one Co-worker invited from each Province, Vice-Province and General Delegation, attending in a consultative capacity in the sessions established by the General Definitory.