The Constitution and the Statutes

of the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation

Established by the General Chapter


Section III: Norms for the Congregation

D. Of the Manner of Visitation

C74 Ordinary visitations of each autonomous monastery of the Congregation shall be held every four years. The abbot president has the responsibility of providing for these visitations, according to the norms established by the proper law of this Congregation.

S75 At the request of an abbot or of the majority of a monastery's council, the abbot president, having heard his council, may institute an extraordinary visitation.

S76 The visitation of a monastery is a periodic assessment of the way the community of the monastery is achieving its professed purpose. The visitators are to encourage the abbot and the monks in their faithfulness to the Rule of Saint Benedict, the Constitution and Statutes of the Congregation, and the Customary of the house, and to correct prudently any abuse which may have arisen either in the spiritual order or in the temporal order.

S77 The expenses of an ordinary visitation shall be paid by the Congregation. The expenses of an extraordinary visitation shall be paid by the monastery visited.

S78 1) The board of visitators is to be selected:

a) from the abbots of the Congregation;

b) from a list of those monks of the Congregation whom general capitulars have proposed as competent, a new list being compiled every three years, when each capitular of the general chapter may submit to the abbot president names of monks of the capitular's community whom he judges qualified to serve as visitators.

2) From the board of visitators the abbot president, with the consent of his council, will designate for each visitation two or three visitators, at least one of whom shall be an abbot, and will then send to the abbot of the house to be visited the names of the visitators designated.

3) The abbots of the council will provide for the visitation of the monastery of the abbot president.

S79 1) Before a visitation, the abbot of the monastery to be visited shall send to the designated visitators a copy of the reports of the preceding visitation and other pertinent information, including a copy of the current Customary of the house.

2) In preparation for the visitation of a monastery, the council of that monastery or a committee of its chapter shall draw up, and shall send to the designated visitators at least one month before the date on which the visitation is to begin, a report on the state of the monastery, in which, after reviewing the previous visitation report to the community, they assess monastic observance, leadership, morale, formation and education, work and apostolates, liturgy, maintenance of the physical plant, the financial condition of the monastery, and its future.

3) The community as a whole should be invited to contribute to the previsitation report. All capitulars shall receive a copy and have an opportunity to comment on it at a meeting before it is sent to the visitators.

S80 1) During a visitation, the visitators shall confer with the abbot, the officials of the monastery, and each capitular. Each of the temporarily professed and each of the novices should present himself to the visitators.

2) The Customary of each house shall provide for the representation of the dependent priories of that house at its visitation.

S81 At the close of a visitation, the visitators shall present a report privately to the abbot and a report to the community with opportunity given the community for discussion.

S82 1) After a visitation has been closed, the visitators shall submit to the abbot president a copy both of the report given to the abbot and of the report given to the community, along with comments on any discussion which followed the latter. The abbot president may send to the members of his council a copy of the report given to the community, as well as a copy of the report given to the abbot.

2) Shortly after the visitation the abbot shall discuss with his council and the community the report given to the community and consider what action might be taken on issues contained in it. Ongoing reflection on the report to the community should be a part of the examination of the life of the community recommended by S 28.

3) Within three months after the close of the visitation a response to the report of the community shall be written, reviewed by the community, and sent to the abbot president, indicating the steps being considered to address the concerns contained in the report to the community. Within the same period the abbot shall submit to the abbot president a written response to the report to the abbot. The abbot president may send to the members of his council a copy of these responses.

S83 If the visitators of a monastery prudently judge that there is a serious abuse to be corrected in that monastery, they will notify both the abbot of the monastery and the abbot president, who will then confer with the abbot of the monastery on action to be taken.



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Rev. 08 Apr 2009 |