The following is a sample of the charter referred to in D 102.2.1.
CHARTER FOR A DEPENDENT PRIORY
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
I. The Granting of the Charter for a Dependent Priory
Be it known that the monastic chapter of [Name of founding monastery] grants this charter in accord with the proper law of the American-Cassinese Congregation to and for the dependent priory of [Name of foundation], to be situated at [Name of place], in the diocese of [Name of diocese].
The dependent priory, authorized by vote of the chapter on [Date], is hereby foundedr local ordinary, Bishop [Name], of [Name of diocese].
[A recital of the motives for the founding of the dependent priory may be set forth in this place.]
The priory of [Name of foundation] is granted all the rights and privileges and assumes all the obligations of a dependent priory as set forth in the universal law of the church and the proper law of the American-Cassinese Congregation.
A. The Purpose of the Priory
It is declared that the purpose of the priory is to establish monastic life according to the Rule of Saint Benedict at [Place of foundation].
The prior and the community are to have as their first aim and duty to establish and preserve the essential elements of the monastic life according to the Rule of Saint Benedict and the proper law of the American-Cassinese Congregation.
B. The Apostolic Work of the Priory
The priory shall have as its apostolic work the following:
[A list of apostolic works may be given in this place.]
Moreover, with the approval of the superior and chapter of the founding monastery and, if the case demands, with the consent of the local ordinary, the priory of [Name of foundation] may undertake other apostolic works consistent with the Benedictine way of life and the resources of the priory.
II. The Administration of the Dependent Priory
A. The Abbot of the Founding Monastery
The abbot of the founding monastery is the ordinary and the major superior of the dependent priory and has full executive, legislative, and jurisdictional power in and over the priory (CIC 596; D 102.4).
B. The Prior of the Dependent Priory
[The dependent prior, who is to be a solemnly professed monk, is appointed by the abbot of the founding monastery after consulting his council of seniors (D 102.3).]
The prior of [Name of priory] is hereby delegated the jurisdiction necessary for the administration of the priory.
[The abbot may delegate all the jurisdiction necessary to be exercised for the priory or may give restricted jurisdiction. Any jurisdiction restricted by the abbot of the founding monastery should be mentioned at this place (D 102.4).]
[If the prior is to be appointed for a term, e.g., three or five years, the term may be written into the charter here.]
The prior is to give a report annually to the abbot of the founding monastery regarding the observance of the monastic life and the works of the dependent priory.
C. Other Officials
The prior, with the consent of the abbot of the founding monastery, is to appoint the necessary officials of the dependent priory (D 102.7.1).
[In a priory having a council of seniors, the prior is also to consult his council before appointing officials for the dependent priory (D 102.7.2). The procurator of the dependent monastery must be a capitular other than the prior (D 102.7.3).]
D. The Quasi-Chapter
As long as [Name of priory] has at least four capitulars, the priory is to have a quasi-chapter, which is composed of all the capitulars assigned to the priory (D 102.5.1). The rights and duties of the quasi-chapter are determined by the prescriptions contained in the proper law of the American-Cassinese Congregation (cf. D 102.5).
E. The Council of Seniors
[A dependent priory that has at least eight capitulars is to have a council of seniors (D 102.6.1). The number of capitulars who are to be seniors is to be determined by the quasi-chapter. The council must have at least two capitulars, one appointed and one elected. If the council is larger, for each capitular appointed by the prior, one must be elected (D 102.6.1).]
The provisions of C 29-31 of the proper law of the American-Cassinese Congregation, mutatis mutandis, are to be observed (D 102.6.2).
F. The Book of Customs
The prior and the quasi-chapter shall propose to the abbot of the founding monastery, within a year of the foundation, a book of customs for the dependent priory (D 63.1).
III. Financial Matters
The dependent priory is to be governed in financial matters by universal law and the proper law of the Congregation. Matters requiring permission are to be presented to the abbot of the founding house after approval by the quasi-chapter with sufficient time to allow the abbot to obtain proper approval (C 34).
A. The chapter of the founding monastery delegates to the quasi-chapter the authority to expend funds and transact the business of the priory as follows:
1. The procurator of the priory shall administer the temporal goods of the monastery under the direction of the prior in accordance with universal law (CIC 636-638; 1279-1289).
2. The funds to be expended by the priory are the following:
a. funds that are on hand and that are not encumbered;
b. funds that are not restricted or invested for a specific purpose;
c. funds for projects for which the requisite permissions have been obtained (D 34.2.1).
B. Debts may be incurred or property alienated only with the written permission of the abbot, the council of seniors, and/or the chapter of the founding monastery, and, if necessary, the President and his council and the Apostolic See (D 34.2; 34.3).
C. All property, personal and real, movable or fixed, deposits of funds, and investments will be kept in the name of the priory (C 33). Moreover, the priory is to hold title to any properties belonging to its apostolic works to the extent permitted by universal and civil law (D 102.10).
D. The prior of the dependent monastery is to present an annual budget, already approved by the quasi-chapter, for the approval of the abbot and chapter of the founding monastery. Items contained in an approved budget are considered to have the permission necessary for execution.
E. The procurator of the dependent priory is to prepare the annual financial statements of the priory and its apostolic works and present them to the quasi-chapter. Two copies of each statement are to be sent to the abbot of the founding monastery. One set of reports will be forwarded to the financial counselors of the Congregation at the time the founding monastery’s own statements are submitted (cf. C 35).
IV. Admission to the Dependent Priory and to Sacred Orders
[Options regarding candidates. The powers listed below are optional and separable.]
The abbot of the founding monastery, with the consent of the monastic chapter, may establish a novitiate in a dependent priory (C 36; D 102.9).]
[B. New Members
1. The chapter of the founding monastery may delegate to the quasi-chapter of the priory the following rights:
a. to consent to the admission of candidates to the novitiate;
b. to consent to the admission of candidates to temporary profession;
c. to consent to the admission of candidates to solemn profession (D 220.127.116.11).
2. The abbot of the founding monastery may delegate to the prior of the priory the following rights:
a. to admit a candidate into the novitiate;
b. to admit a novice to temporary vows;
c. to admit a temporarily professed monk to solemn vows (D 18.104.22.168).]
C. The Formulae of Profession
Candidates of the dependent priory are to make their profession of vows for the dependent priory with formulae that are to include the words: “in this community, a dependent priory of [Name of independent monastery].”
D. Rights of Capitulars
Upon making solemn profession, a monk of a dependent priory acquires full chapter rights in the founding monastery (D 102.9.3).
E. Advancement of Monks to Sacred Orders
When a monk of the priory is to be advanced to the diaconate or to the priesthood, the prior will propose the candidate for orders to the abbot of the founding monastery. The abbot will issue the call and necessary documents (C 61.1).
V. Visitation and Review of Status
The abbot of the founding monastery will arrange for the visitation of the dependent priory. The ordinary visitation of a dependent monastery is the responsibility of the abbot of the founding monastery, acting either personally or through others (D 128.10.1). [The frequency of visitations may be stated here.]
[The visitation of a dependent monastery may be undertaken by the Congregation only if requested by the abbot of the founding monastery, by the quasi-chapter with the approval of the abbot, or by the visitators of the founding monastery (D 128.10.2).]
B. Review of Status
At the time of visitation, the prior and quasi-chapter shall give a review of the status of the dependent priory to the chapter of the founding monastery. This written report is to include testimony as to the progress of the priory in living the monastic life and its advancement toward independent status (C 102).
VI. The Congregation
As long as the priory is dependent upon an autonomous monastery of the American-Cassinese Congregation, the priory remains a member of the Congregation and is subject to the proper law of the Congregation.
Amendments to or modifications of this charter may be proposed to the quasi-chapter by the abbot and/or chapter of the founding monastery, or by the prior, quasi-chapter and/or council of seniors of the dependent priory to the founding monastery. Upon the vote of the quasi-chapter, the recommendation must be sent to the chapter of the founding monastery for ratification.
Should it become necessary to suppress the dependent priory known as [Name], every effort must be made to provide for the persons involved. Without prejudice to the intentions of the donors, the property of [Name of priory] reverts to [Name of founding monastery] (see CIC 616.1; D 102.16).
If the membership of a dependent priory decreases to fewer than four (4) monks, and if this condition continues for two years, the priory is automatically suppressed by the proper law of the Congregation (D 102.15.1).
[The abbot of the founding monastery may suppress a dependent priory with the consent of the monastic chapter and after consultation with the bishop of the diocese in which the priory is located (CIC 616.1; D 102.15.2).]
The stability of the monks who made profession for the dependent priory is automatically fully transferred to [Name of founding monastery] (D 102.16).
Given this __________ day of ______________, _________ at [Name of founding monastery), [City], [State].
Abbot of founding monastery
Secretary of chapter
American-Cassinese Congregation *
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