2020-10-07 GENERAL HOUSE

Constitutions and Statutes of the Marist Brothers

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Today, 7 October, on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary,  Brother Superior General presents to the Institute the text of the Constitutions and Statutes, approved by the Holy See and which will come into force on 1 November 2020. The printed text will be sent out at the beginning of January 2021. Below is Br. Ernesto’s presentation of these documents.

Dear Brothers,

I am very pleased to present to you the text of our Constitutions, approved by the Holy See on June 6, 2020, the feast of our Founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat.

Together, we have made an important and decisive journey to arrive at the present text. In 2009, the XXI General Chapter invited us to carry out a profound revision of our Constitutions and Statutes, with the intention of achieving the conversion of heart needed to be of service in a new world and of facilitating the revitalizing of our vocation as brothers.

From 2013 onwards, we held conversations using the study guide, “Stories of the Journey, Told Around the Fire“, and made proposals for modifications to the text. In 2017, the XXII General Chapter dedicated several days to the study and approval of the proposal presented by the previously appointed commission.

Along the way, the idea emerged of having the document Wherever you go: Rule of Life of the Marist Brothers.  This was accepted and approved by the same General Chapter as a text that blends with and complements the Constitutions and Statutes.

Article 12 defines the sense of this vital document for us in a clear and motivating way:

Our Constitutions, approved by the Holy See, guide us in our way of living as brothers in the Church, and in carrying out the mind and heart of our Founder. We look upon them as the Gospel interpreted for us, and a sure guide in accomplishing God’s will. By our religious profession, we have committed ourselves to live by them. Attentive to the richness and the calls that lie within, we frequently read them in a spirit of prayer and discernment.  Approved by the Holy See, their authentic interpreter, the Constitutions can only be modified with its authorization.

It is clear that it is important to read and meditate on them frequently, to allow ourselves to be confronted by them with an open and well-disposed heart and to strive daily to make them alive in each of us, each community and Marist work.  We are heirs and bearers of a valuable charism which we wish to live in a meaningful way in today’s world, making our way together with lay Marists and with so many other people committed to our life and mission.

Today, we present the approved text in a digital format, in the four official languages of the Institute. I indicated in my letter of July 3 that we would speak of the next steps in the text’s application once we were able to get it published for all. The new Constitutions and Statutes will officially come into force on November 1, 2020. The printed version will be sent in early 2021 and will include references and notes.  

I again express my gratitude to all of you for your involvement in the process and to all the teams that have worked on the revision and renewal of our Constitutions, Statutes and Rule of Life over the past few years. 

May Mary, our Good Mother, be our constant source of inspiration.  May we live as her children, bearers of her name. By her side, let’s continue on our way towards Jesus.


Br. Ernesto Sánchez Barba, Superior General
Rome, October 7, 2020

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