Summary of Decrees of Provincial Chapters, St. Paul of the Cross Province, 1944

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In the 28th Provincial Chapter all of the many existing degrees from previous Chapters, but the following were abrogated. “Because of the extensive and precise preparatory work directed by the Provincial Curia before the Chapter, in this Session the Capitulars were able to review quickly and reject judiciously almost all of the Provincial Decrees which expert Canonists had previously studied and found obsolete or entirely unnecessary. The Venerable Chapter expressed its profound admiration for the extraordinary and excellent work that had been accomplished in this matter by the Provincial Curia and those who so painstakingly cooperated with them.” Quote from the Tenth Session of the 1944 Provincial Chapter.


  1. The following Provincial Chapter Decrees constitute the particular legislation of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross. All other existing Decrees are hereby abrogated.
  2. Our Holy Rule and Regulations shall be read publicly in the refectory at the noonday meal on Wednesdays and Fridays.
  3. The Summer season mentioned in Paragraph 233 of our Holy Rule shall be effective in the Province from June first until September first, inclusive.
  4. Ordinary dispensations from the religious observance by reason of activities other than those for which dispensations are granted by the Rule and Regulations shall be designated by the Provincial Curia. Further dispensations must be requested ‘toties quoties’ from the local Superior.
  5. The Forty Hours Devotion is a Community exercise and all the religious of the retreat shall follow the horarium drawn up by the local superior.
  6. One entire day in each month shall be spent in the retreat as a day of recollection by each of our Fathers assigned by the Provincial to parochial work. The same regulation applies to the Fathers of The Sign staff and to chaplains of institutions.
  7. The national holidays, July Fourth and Thanksgiving Day shall be observed as “Gaudeamus” days in all retreats of the Province.
  8. Conferences during the annual retreat shall not occupy more than half an hour, except the evening meditation which, together with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, shall not exceed one hour.
  9. A low Requiem Mass shall be celebrated in each retreat when word is received of the death of the parents of the religious of the Province.
  10. The oath “De Secreto Servando” shall be taken in all chapters wherein there is to be a discussion of the character of any individual.
  11. Priests not ordained at least five years are forbidden the use of spiritous liquors at home or abroad; the same prohibition applies to Brothers until five years after final profession.
  12. The Provincial shall defray the expenses of religious who must remain indefinitely in hospitals, institutions, etc.
  13. Copyrights on publications by our religious belong to the Province and shall be kept in the Provincial archives. Royalties received by our religious from publishing concerns shall be remitted to the Provincial.
  14. When a religious is transferred from one retreat to another the Rector of the retreat the religious is leaving must provide the said religious with all he may need at the time and may be permitted to have in accordance with the common life. If this prescription has not been complied with the Rector of the retreat to which the religious has been transferred shall make due provision at the expense of the former retreat, but he must do so within a month following the date of transfer and only after he has referred the matter to the former Rector. This disposition includes dental work and urgent medical care. In doubtful cases the Provincial shall decide who is responsible for the expense.
  15. An exact record of “Benefactores Insignes” must be kept in each retreat. This record must include the names and addresses of the Benefactor, the nature of the gifts, and any other item of importance in connection with the Benefaction. Said record must be submitted for inspection at the time of canonical visitation.
  16. Branches of the “Benefactors Society” shall be established in all our retreats. The Society shall be under the supervision of the Provincial and shall be subject to his regulations. Holy Mass shall be offered daily for the members of the Society, in St. Michael’s retreat, Union City, N.J. A uniform certificate approved by the Provincial shall be used and a careful record of membership shall be kept on file in each retreat.
  17. The Provincial shall provide a new breviary for the religious at the time of ordination.
  18. Without first obtaining the authorization of the Provincial Curia a local Superior may not assume the permanent obligation of supplying a chaplain for an institution.
  19. The vacation for students allowed by paragraph 241 of the Regulations will be from, July first to August fifteenth.
  20. In accordance with the approbation given by the Sacred Congregation of Religious, the students of the Province shall have regular study and class on the afternoons of feasts of the rule, and on the mornings of second class Feasts, except the Feasts of the Circumcision, St. Stephen and St. John the Evangelist.
  21. In conformity with the prescription of Canon 136 on ecclesiastical dress it is declared that our Students shall wear the Roman collar after the reception of Tonsure.
  22. Our students are forbidden to smoke until the beginning of their theological course, and thereafter they may smoke only rarely and with permission of Father Rector.
  23. The philosophy course for the students shall extend over a period of three years.
  24. A radio may not be kept in the recreation of the students; nor may the use of a radio be permitted at any time for the students without the authorization of the local superior who may make a concession in this regard only rarely and with proper supervision of the program.
  25. The Director of Students shall hold public conferences for the students regularly. These conferences shall take place ordinarily on the mornings of Sundays or first class feasts.
  26. The assignment of pastors and curates for parishes in our charge belongs to the Provincial who shall present his nomination to the local Ordinary for official appointment.
  27. In conformity with the Prescriptions of Canon 630, par. 4., pastors are subject to the vigilance of the local Superior and the Provincial in acts of administration. In order to safeguard the interests of the community, whenever parochial expenditures require the authorization of the local Ordinary the pastor must first propose the matter to the Provincial.
  28. Each year in all our churches and in the churches indefinitely committed to our care a collection shall be taken up for the support of our Preparatory School.
  29. Our lay brothers shall not ordinarily be transferred from the novitiate retreat until after final profession.
  30. When the Brothers do the laundry they shall be excused from a half hour of the evening meditation and from rising for Matins the following morning.
  31. The following mission schedule shall be observed by our missionaries in the conduct of missions:
  32. Our religious may not join fraternal organizations without the approval of the Provincial; nor may our religious accept any office or position outside the community without similar approval.
  33. Former members of the Province who have been assigned by Most Reverend Father General to the German Foundation shall be given the suffrages accorded members of the Province.