Statutes

STATUTES 

THE “FAUSTINUM” ASSOCIATION OF APOSTLES OF THE DIVINE MERCY

Translation from the original Polish published on faustinum.pl

TABLE OF CONTENTS

General Provisions

§1. The Association shall bear the name The “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of the Divine Mercy, and shall be referred to hereinafter as the “Association.”

§2. The Association grew out of the charism of Saint Faustina Kowalska from the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Priests, consecrated persons and laity, who desire to bring to the world the message of the Divine Mercy by the witness of life, deed and prayer may join the Association.

§3. The headquarters of the Association is at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Kraków, Łagiewniki. 

§4. The Association operates in the territory of the Archdiocese of Kraków as well as in those dioceses in Poland and abroad where, with the consent of the diocesan Bishop, Communities of “Faustinum” are officially established.

§5. The Association operates by virtue of a Decree of Erection of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kraków and possesses an ecclesiastical juridical personality.

§6. Priests of the Society of Jesus shall exercise spiritual care over the Association.

§7.

(1) A seal with the inscription: Stowarzyszenie Apostołów Bożego Miłosierdzia „Faustinum” shall be used by the Association.
(2) The Association shall have a logo, a badge of membership, and shall issue membership identification cards according to the design approved by the Executive Board.

Purpose and Means of Action

§8. The purpose of the Association consists in the following:

(1) to strive for Christian perfection, that is, perfect love along the path of trust in God and mercy toward neighbour;
(2) to learn and to participate in [the work of] proclaiming the mystery of Divine Mercy most fully revealed in Christ crucified and risen;
(3) to implore the Divine Mercy for the whole world, especially for sinners, for priests and religious.

§9. In fulfilling its goals, the Association shall in particular:

(1) participate in  [the work of]  proclaiming the message of the Divine Mercy by the witness of life and word;
(2) implore Divine Mercy for the world through a deeper sacramental life, prayer, sacrifice, and deeds of mercy;
(3) contribute to [the spreading of] the practice of the forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy handed down by Saint Faustina: veneration of the image of the Merciful Jesus, the Feast of Divine Mercy, the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy, and prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3:00 p.m.);
(4) conduct a formation [program] in the spirit of Saint Faustina, prepare and publish materials for use in the formation of the members of the Association, and issue a periodical entitled, Orędzie Miłosierdzia;
(5) organise symposia and inspire research with the goal of deepening the theology of the Divine Mercy, the Divine Mercy devotion, and knowledge of the life and mission of Saint Faustina;
(6) insofar as possible, undertake or take part in works of mercy, especially toward persons in need of deep moral renewal;
(7) support the creation of communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy at the parish level, in accordance with the appropriate provisions of law;
(8) cooperate with persons and institutions that pursue goals similar to the goals of the Association.

Rights and Obligations of the Members of the Association

§10. The Association is made up of:

(1) volunteers
(2) members
(3) honorary members.

§11

(1) Any person, including a minor, who commits to accomplish the tasks specified in §15 art.1-3, may be a volunteer.
(2) A volunteer shall be accepted on the basis of a completed declaration.
(3) A volunteer who is of legal age, after being a volunteer for a year, may apply for membership in the Association.

§12

(1) Any person who is of legal age (priest, consecrated person, or lay Catholic) who makes a resolve to participate in fulfilling the goals of the Association and who commits to obey its Statutes may be a member of the Association.
(2) Admission to membership follows after being a volunteer for at least one year. The Association’s Board admits members by a simple majority of votes, in a secret ballot, on the basis of a written application, a duly completed personal questionnaire, a letter of reference from his/her parish pastor or appropriate superior, letters of reference from two persons; these letters must be approved by the ecclesiastical authorities.
(3) The Board may, for good and sufficient reason, shorten a person’s period of a being a volunteer.
(4) After going through the necessary formation, specified by the Board, members may make a promise of commitment and service in the work of Divine Mercy for a specified period (one year) or for life.

§13 The Board may confer honorary membership for outstanding service in the pursuit of the goals of the Association.

§14 Members of the Association:

(1) share more fully in the spirituality and apostolic mission of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy;
(2) partake in the spiritual goods of the Association, which the Merciful Jesus has promised to all apostles of the Divine Mercy:

Souls who spread the honour of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Saviour (Diary 1075).

All those souls who will glorify My mercy and spread its worship, encouraging others to trust in My mercy, will not experience terror at the hour of death. My mercy will shield them in that final battle (Diary 1540).

To priests who proclaim and extol My mercy, I will give wondrous power; I will anoint their words and touch the hearts of those to whom they will speak. (Diary 1521).

(3) may submit proposals and suggestions to the authorities of the Association;
(4) insofar as possible, shall participate in the works of the Association;
(5) possess a membership card, and a badge of the Association according to the conditions set out in the regulations;
(6) may vote and be elected to [be part of] the Association’s authorities.

§15 Volunteers of the Association are obliged:

(1) insofar as possible, to learn about the mystery of God’s mercy, and to cultivate an attitude of trust, by fulfilling the will of God contained in the commandments and obligations of their state;
(2) to pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy;
(3) during the day, to accomplish, for the love of Jesus, at least one act of mercy towards one’s neighbours by deed, word, or prayer.

§ 16 Members of the Association have the obligation

(1) to regularly receive the holy sacraments (if possible, monthly Confession and more frequent Holy Communion);
(2) to continually [make efforts to] learn the mystery of Divine Mercy, most fully revealed in Christ crucified and risen.  To become thoroughly familiar with the message of Divine Mercy handed on through Saint Faustina;
(3) to proclaim the message of the Divine Mercy by the witness of life and words;
(4) to develop the attitude of complete trust in God through the fulfilment of His will in every circumstance of life, depending on one’s state and profession;
(5) during the day, to accomplish, for the love of Jesus, at least one act of mercy towards one’s neighbours by deed, word, or prayer;
(6)insofar as possible, to carry out or participate in works of mercy, especially for persons in need of deep moral renewal;
(7) to pray and offer their suffering, especially for the conversion of sinners, and for priests and religious;
(8) during the day, to unite oneself with the Merciful Jesus by acts of love and by prayer, imploring Divine Mercy for the entire world;
(9) to practice the forms of worship handed on through Saint Faustina: veneration of the image of Merciful Jesus,  daily prayer of the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy, prayer at the hour of Mercy, and celebration of the Feast of Mercy;
(10) to undergo, individually and in community, the current formation program of the Association;
(11) to take an active part in fulfilling all the goals of the Association;
(12) to conform to the provisions of the Statutes, regulations and resolutions of the Association;
(13) to represent, with dignity, the Association in one’s own milieu;
(14) to pay membership dues regularly, in the amount established by the Board.

§17 Volunteership and membership in the Association is terminated following

(1) a request submitted in writing to the Association’s Board;
(2) the removal of the person’s name from the book of volunteers and members, by virtue of a decision of the Board, in the case of non-fulfilment of the obligations arising from the Statutes, and in particular in the case of scandalous behaviour not befitting a Christian’s conduct. The decision to remove a name ought to be preceded by a written warning.

 

The Government of the Association

§18

(1) The General Assembly of Delegates is an advisory body of the Association. It shall meet to recapitulate the activities of the Association and to present suggestions about activities
(2) Every five (5) years, the General Assembly elects two (2) members to the Board.
(3) The system of electing delegates and the activity of the General Assembly is determined by rules approved by the Board.

§19

(1) The highest internal authority of the Association is the Board.
(2) The Board shall be composed of: the Chairman; the Vice-Chairman; the Treasurer and three members and the spiritual adviser of the Association. The Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy appoints, from among the perpetually professed sisters of the Congregation, the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer and one member.  The Provincial of the Southern Polish Province of the Society of Jesus designates the Spiritual Advisor.  The remaining two members [of the Board] are elected by the General Assembly of Delegates. The Chairman, Spiritual Advisor and members of the Board elected by the General Assembly require the confirmation of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kraków for a term of 5 years.
(3) The Board shall:

i.represent the Association externally;
ii.determines the direction of the Association’s work and directs its activities without prejudice to the appropriate provisions of church law;
iii.approve the regulations of the Association regarding the functioning of its structure s and the ceremonies for the admission of members. It approves the design of the Association’s membership identification cards and badge;
iv.adopt amendments to these Statutes, without prejudice to the provision of §26;
v.adopt annual work plans and decide on the budget breakdown of the Association for the implementation of its particular goals;
vi.accept Members and grant honorary membership;
vii.establish and dissolve communities of the Association at the parish level, without prejudice to the particular provisions of church law;
viii.supervise the activities of the Association;
ix.consider and implement proposals regarding planned activities of the Association, paying special attention to those that were accepted at the General Assembly;
x.engage and dismiss workers;
xi.present annual reports on the activities of the Association to the Archbishop of Kraków and the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, as well as to the General Assembly of the Association;
xii.The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy shall set up a competent committee to evaluate the annual financial activities of the Association’s Board.

§20

(1) The following committees shall operate under the Board: the Formation Committee, the International Committee, and the Publications Committee.

i. The Formation Committee shall organise formation for the Members of the Association; it shall serve pilgrims from Poland arriving at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki;
ii.The International Committee shall be responsible for contacts with people from other countries and shall serve pilgrims from abroad arriving at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki;
iii.The Publications Committee shall prepare, in various languages, formational publications that spread and deepen the understanding of the essence of St. Faustina’s mission and the message of the Divine Mercy.

(2) The persons responsible for direct the work of the particular committees shall be appointed by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.

The Structure of the Association

§21

(1) The Community of Apostles of the Divine Mercy is the basic organisational unit of the Association. It is composed of at least ten (10) Members.
(2) Communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy are organised at the parish level, at the request of the local parish pastor and the approval of the diocesan Bishop;
(3) Communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy remain under the direct care of the priest and are subordinate to the Board of the Association;
(4) Communities of Apostles of the Divine  Mercy conduct activities in accordance with the Statutes of the Association;
(5) Volunteers may also take part in the formational and prayer meetings of Communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy.

The Assets  of the Association 

§22 The assets of the Association shall consist of real estate, movable property, and funds.

§23 The assets of the Association shall come from:

(1) membership dues;
(2) grants;
(3) donations, inheritances, and bequests;
(4) its own revenue (from its own ordinary activities). 

The Board may set up the appropriate bodyto run ordinary activities.

§24 To incur property liabilities, the joint action of two members of the Board shall be required, including the Chairman, the person authorised by the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman or another member of the Board and the Treasurer. Declarations of intent in this respect shall be submitted in writing in the name of the Association.

§25 The assets and funds of the Association shall be at the disposal of the Board.

Amendments to the Statutes and Dissolution of the Association

§26

(1) It is the Board who adopts resolutions regarding amendments to the Statutes or regarding the dissolution of the Association.  A two-thirds (2/3) majority of all the members of the Board shall be required in order for such resolutions to be valid.

(2) Such resolutions, after having been accepted by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, require the approval of the Archbishop of Krakow in order be valid.

§27 In the event of dissolution of the Association, the Board shall, in conjunction with the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and the Archbishop of Kraków, specify the manner of liquidation, and shall select a Liquidation Committee composed of 3-5 persons, who shall carry out the liquidation of the Association.

§28 In the case of the dissolution of the Association, its assets pass to the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, who shall dispose of it according to the provisions of Canon Law.