V Chapter – 1867, Saint-Genis-Laval

08/1867 – 39 Brothers participants

The death of Br. Pascal (19 June 1867), Assistant, required1 the holding of a Chapter to elect a successor. In his circular of 19 July 1867, Br. Louis-Marie gave this reason for convoking the 5th General Chapter: « What we cannot delay, what is to be done, even before the retreats, if it is possible, is to give the deceased Brother Assistant a worthy successor, a Brother with the four vows, filled like him with the spirit of the Congregation, entirely devoted to the welfare of the Brothers and of the Institute, full of zeal for the good education of the children2

This Chapter was elected for 16 months and divided into two sessions; the first for the elections, and the second to prepare a new printing of the Constitutions : « The next Chapter will be elected for a year and four months, at least from the month of August 1867 to the month of December 1868, inclusive. Our intention is to meet in two separate sessions, for the elections as well as to prepare the reprinting of the book of the Constitutions, since the first edition is all used up3 ».

The two sessions of this Chapter were held on the first floor of the south-west wing of Saint-Genis-Laval, as in 1862-1863.

The Chapter consisted of 33 Brothers elected from among those with Stability, plus the members by right: « There will be 16 delegates for the Province of the Centre, Section of Notre-Dame de l’Hermitage ; 13 for the Province of the Midi, sections of Saint-Paul-Trois-Château and Aubenas ; four for the Province of the Nord, including the West, Belgium, and England. The Brothers eligible, that is to say, the Brothers with Stability, are divided as follows among the various Provinces : 27 for the Centre; 20 for the Midi; 12 for the Nord »4. Brs. Placide and Marie Jubin were named as secretaries.

The first session of the Chapter started on 28 October. The circular of 8 December5 proclaimed the results of this session, namely: the unanimous election of Br. Euthyme, as Assistant for the Province of Notre-Dame de lHermitage, in replacement for the late lamented Br. Pascal and, by a large majority, the election of Br. Félicité, to help Br. Jean-Baptiste. But the latter did not want any help, and so the new Assistant became responsible for the General Secretariate, replacing Br. Euthyme, who had previously carried out these functions6.

In his circular of 2 February 18697, Rev. Br. Louis-Marie gives a brief account of the second session of the fifth General Chapter, which had started on 16 November 1868.

The second session was concerned with the financial situation of the Institute. After the expenses caused by the purchase of the Saint-Genis-Laval property, the construction and furnishing of the General House, and some work in many of the boarding schools, the finances of the Institute were in a difficult state. A loan of 500 000 francs having been obtained, the debts were paid, but the interest owing each year was very high.
« It is understandable that, with all these purchases, with all the building and improvements, one could not help making a considerable deficit in the balance of the accounts. No one in the Institute will be surprised to learn that we have liabilities of about 500.000 francs; and no one likewise will be too concerned, these liabilities being established on assets five or six times higher.
However, the General Chapter understood, as we ourselves have understood, that the financial situation of the Congregation merits, on the part of all, prompt and et serious attention. » And the Reverend Brother indicates the very positive intention of the General Council to devote the funds of the Institute to the construction of the Provincial Houses of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux and Aubenas, with the latter being given priority8 ».

The Chapter then looked to the state of the personnel of the Congregation: an increase of 700 Brothers since 1858 (so 1,700 subjects). In addition, it laid the groundwork for the foundation of Juniorates , or minor Novitiates9.

At this second session, seeing that the opening of the Vatican I Council was approaching, it was decided to postpone the printing of the Constitutions – authorized in the previous session – with the changes demanded.


1 Voir Circulaires, T. 3, p. 383-384.

2 Circulaires T. 3, p. 383.

3 Circulaires T. 3, p. 386.

4 Circulaires T. 3, p. 384.

5 Circulaires, T. 3, p. 426-427.

6 Fr. AVIT, Annales, cahier 7, p. 617-618.

7 Circulaires, T. 3, p. 485 et s.

8 H. Jules-Victorin Bulletin de l’Institut T. 23, (1958-1959) p. 74

9 H. Jules-Victorin Bulletin de l’Institut T. 23, (1958-1959) p. 74