Summary of Decrees of Provincial Chapters of Province of St. Paul of the Cross, 1906

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  1. The Religious will strive to cherish and maintain the spirit of solitude; therefore let them gladly stay at home, and never go out or stay out except under the shield of obedience.
  2. It is the Rector’s duty to see that no one receive idle visits, or lose time in the parlor. No visit is to be paid without previous permission from the Superior, who must not tolerate useless ones. If a Religious, being out, thinks it necessary to make a call, he shall acquaint the Superior of the fact, on his return.
  3. Let no one dine outside of the Retreat without grave cause, to be approved of by the Superior, who must be the first to give good example in this matter.
  4. All letters, except those to higher Superiors, according to our Holy Rules, must pass through the hands of the Superior, who is always free and often bound to read them, and cut short any useless correspondence.
  5. The Brothers may be allowed a half day’s walk once a month, and the Students once in two weeks. During the solitary walk, the Students must not study or practise music. Their literary exercises are limited to twice a month, and must be in the Rector’s presence.
  6. All games properly so called, and much more, plays and theatrical performances are forbidden by Rule. This holds good abroad as well as at home.
  7. It is decreed, that our custom of not allowing the Students to go to their homes for their first Mass, must be observed.
  8. Religious who wish to avail themselves of the concession relative to visiting Father or Mother during their last illness or attending their funeral, may do so. But when travelling is involved, they must obtain permission of the Provincial, who is at liberty to refuse it. It is, however, understood that religious who visited their parents during their last illness, will not be allowed to attend their funeral, should the doing so necessitate a second journey. Furthermore, the concession is in favor of Father and Mother only, and does not extend to other relatives, unless such relatives live in the neighborhood of the Retreat where the Religious resides.
  9. No private Religious can be allowed to keep money constantly in his possession. All presents received are to be brought at once to the Superior. Money given for a specified purpose is to be used for that purpose only.
  10. Let the Secular dress of our Religious be conformable to Holy Poverty and clerical in pattern. Lighter underclothing, if required when going out, may be used, with the Rector’s permission. No article of silk is allowed. Gloves, if used, must be of a dark color and plain material. Silver buttons, chains, etc., are forbidden. Watches when used, with permission, at home and abroad, must not be displayed by chains or guards. Only watches made of silver or some less valuable material can be allowed.
  11. Only F. Provincial can allow a Religious to have his likeness taken.
  12. Superiors of Missions have no authority to grant permissions for the purchase of articles of clothing, except in so far as such articles may become strictly necessary during time of Mission.
  13. When a Religious is transferred from one retreat to another, he should be provided with everything needed in the way of clothing, etc., by the Rector of the Retreat which he is leaving, and should the Rector of the Retreat to which the Religious is transferred, find that this has not been done, and that in consequence he is obliged to purchase such clothing, etc., for the Religious, he can send the bills for the same to the former Rector, provided he does so within one month after the transfer.
  14. In the burial of our Religious, nothing shall be used that shall in any way offend against the poverty and austerity enjoined by our Holy Rule.
  15. Superiors must guard against abuses in the matter of smoking; smoking in our daily recreations is condemned, and the Religious are cautioned against keeping on hand a supply of cigars, in violation of their Vow of Poverty.
  16. No refreshments can be taken out of meal time, without express permission of the Superior. If anything besides what is passed at the common table is needed regularly, the Provincial’s written permission must be obtained therefor.
  17. The practise of total abstinence is strongly recommended to honor the Sacred Thirst of our Lord.
  18. In order that our young priests may have time to prepare for the Missions, they shall not be employed in the works of the ministry except within the limits prescribed by F. Provincial. Their writings must be submitted for revision to the examiners whom F. Provincial shall appoint.
  19. Pay lectures are prohibited during Missions and at any other time, without the express permission of F. Provincial, who may grant it only in a very exceptional case.
  20. In accordance with F. General’s declaration, none of our Brethren shall engage to write for periodicals without the sanction of F. Provincial and his Consultors. No book, pamphlet or other composition can be published without the Provincial’s approbation.
  21. Local Superiors must make a record of special Benefactors, “Benefatores insignes” of their respective Retreats; (whether in the shape of an album or all open tablet,) and this must be confirmed and preserved by their successors in office, as a means of ready reference and of kind remembrance. In this record, besides their name and residence, also the nature and amount of their benefactions, and any other item of importance must be entered and specified. And in order that this provision be retroactive, the said Superiors are directed to include as far as practicable, in this register, the names of past benefactors, whether living or deceased.
  22. The Board of Trustees, required by the Charters of our Retreats, will be changed every three years, on the accession of a new Rector, whose duty it will be to see that their annual meetings are not neglected.
  23. The same suffrages shall hereafter be offered for Passionist “Nuns” as are offered for our Brethren of a different Province, and record must be made of the same in the Book of Suffrages for Deceased Religious.
  24. Finally all are exhorted to the exact observance of silence, fraternal charity, love of solitude and recollection, and the avoidance of whatever might tend to weaken their attachment to Religious Discipline or bring them into needless association with seculars.