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Canon Law Myths

Myths about future planning: Myth: If we make the wrong choice about the future of our congregation, we face extinction. Many congregations face critical choices about the future when their congregations are getting older and smaller. However, it can be paralizing to think that any one choice could undermine a congregation or its future. the co [...]

Vocation / Formation in the 21st Century

The ministry of vocation and formation in the 21st century requires new skills and understanding. Leadership, Formators and the Candidate would be well served by developing an Individual Formation Plan, taking into account the formation plan of the institute and the particular needs and even desires of the candidate. Family. Today we are conside [...]

Transitioning Sponsorship

A fundamental part of the life and work of religious is carrying on the mission of Jesus in the world of today. Most institutes have a specific mission or a particular way of doing ministry that inspired their founding members, and that continues to animate generation after generation: I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you ga [...]

Civil / Canon Law Issues in Vocation and Formation

Those who do vocation and formation ministry in our communities are challenged to be at the forefront of our community story. They are deeply imbued with the life and charism of our communities and they set out to engage younger generations of men and women. They invite them to our communities and for those that accept, they help them to become t [...]

Taxation and New Overtime Rules

2016 brings us the end of the Year of Consecrated Life and the Beginning of the Year of Mercy. As the year dawns, it is time to review the basics of taxation. Although the religious order is exempt from taxation, members of a religious order are taxable like every other citizen. Religious may have taxable income coming from several sources. Its t [...]

Associates of Religious Institutes

Background Throughout the history of religious life, from the early centuries of Christianity, there have been men and women who have associated to religious orders. In the Egyptian deserts, individuals would go out to converse with the hermits living there, receiving their guidance and blessing. In medieval monasteries, individuals sought to l [...]

Privacy in Religious Life

Privacy is an important notion in modern society and in modern law. It may come as a surprise to learn that the right to privacy, enshrined in canon law, in modern human rights law and in many nations' Constitutions is of relatively recent vintage in the course of human history. Democracy and national Constitutions have only been around for a [...]

Legal Issues for Older and Indebted Candidates for Religious Life

I often work with communities when they are considering candidates for entrance into their formation programs. Today's inquirers are a diverse group, from the perspective of age, life experience, professional and academic background, physical and psychological health, personal assets and debt, language and culture. Exploring these factors bri [...]

Covenants and Completion

Consider the following scenarios: Case One - Sixty remaining members of a community are mostly over 80, they are unsure of where to turn for leadership in their upcoming chapter. Case Two - A diocesan institute has thirty members. All are aging and they are no longer able to supply leadership. The institute has two ministries that it continue [...]

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