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Chapter 2
Government in the Lay Carmelite Community


  1. The unity of the Order, founded on charity and sharing a common dedication, is strengthened by leadership. This leadership inspires us to be faithful to our vocation and ministers in a spirit of service for the good of all and of the community according to the words of Christ, "If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all (Mark 9:35)."
  2. Each Lay Carmelite community is governed by a Council made up of the Director of the community, the Chaplain, the Formation Director and two to four Councilors depending on the size of the community and the local customs. The elected Council, that is, the Director and Councilors, selects a Formation Director, a Secretary and a Treasurer from their own ranks or from the community at large. The Formation Director, Secretary and Treasurer if chosen from the community at large, also become members of the Council.
  3. It is the duty of the Council to serve for the good of the community, enabling the members to live up to their baptismal vocation of striving to extend the reign of Christ in the world. The community should be formed according to the spirit and charism of Carmel, a formation guided by the example of our Blessed Mother, the prophet Elijah and all the saints of Carmel. Council meetings are to be held monthly if possible, but never less than quarterly, apart from the regular monthly meeting of the community. In their deliberations, all shall share their views openly and honestly in a spirit of charity, responsibly working together for the good of the community. Decisions reached in Council shall be binding on all members.
  4. The Chaplain of the community is appointed by the Provincial Director at the request of the local community, and can be a priest, deacon or Religious. If no chaplain is available, the community can function without one but it then will be their responsibility to supplement from their own resources, human and material, for a chaplain's absence.
  5. In ecclesiastical matters, the chaplain's jurisdiction is related to the authority of the local Ordinary of the place. In matters related to Carmelite life, the chaplain's jurisdiction comes from the Provincial through the Provincial Director.
  6. The community shall be faithful to the Lay Carmelite Rule and these Provincial Statutes. According to its own charisms and spirit, it can set up its own local community customs, though never in a spirit contrary to the Lay Carmelite Rule. Any matters not covered by the Provincial Statutes may be locally determined. Local customs, if any, shall be approved by the Provincial Director.

 

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Last revised: July 12, 1999.
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