Did you know that our Institution is undergoing a Constitutional Review process? Learn more about what the process entails from sister Laurinda Faria.
My name is Laurinda Faria, Sister Hospitaller from the Province of Portugal and member of the Commission tasked with preparing and promoting the project to review and update our Constitutions. Many of you may wonder what this process entails, what is its scope, its objective, and who will be affected by the changes…
The Congregation’s Constitutions serve as our “Book of Life”, thus named by our Founder. They articulate the history of hospitality, as lived by the sisters who formed the first community and by successive generations of Sisters Hospitallers. It is an abiding text that changes infrequently, unlike the Constitutions of nations or states.
Papal approval of the Constitutions gives the Congregation its juridical, canonical, and legal standing. The first Constitutions, drafted by Father Menni in 1882, were amended to reflect the changes needed in a fledgling Congregation and its progressive development. Then, in 1908, Pope Pius X definitively approved the text presented, thereby recognising the Congregation on an ecclesiastical level.
In 1923, our Constitutions incorporated the modifications required under the 1917 Code of Canon Law and remained thus until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). As a result of conciliar reflection, the Church required that the congregations revise their Constitutions in order that, in addition to the canonical laws by which they are governed and the common fundamental principles of consecrated life, they clearly specify the origin of the Congregation, their charism and spirituality, as well as their lifestyle and mission, among other necessary topics, for full identification. This re-working became definitive in 1983 and remains in force to this day, with minor amendments to certain articles.