Constitution of the Secular Order of
Jesus, Mary & Joseph

APPROVED PURPOSE GENERAL PROCEDURES
GLOSSARY GOVERNMENT APPROVED HABIT

The call to holiness as a lay religious in the Secular Order of Jesus, Mary and Joseph requires heroic virtue and especially the practice of humility as modeled by Our Lady of Sorrows and our Eucharistic Lord.

God is love. We are called to live like Him in our everyday life. We are called to be transformed in Jesus Christ though the power of the Holy Spirit. We are called to be perfect.

Our baptism allows us to be part of Godís family. By definition, baptism demands a full-hearted response: to live out Christís death and resurrection as prescribed by the gospels and by the teaching of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. In our fidelity to our lay religious life of consecration, our response is directed and eloquent: Together as a body, we bear witness to the primacy of Godís love.

Each person is called by the Father to follow Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Each individual response to the Father is to be lived out in Prayer and Service to Jesus through Mary. Our response to Godís call, to bring about the Fatherís Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven, is in measured step with the faith of our fathers. At final profession, each member swears allegiance to the Holy Father.

Each member must consecrate their life: first, to their baptismal promise and spiritual inheritance as adopted children of God; second, through Scripture, to Truth; third, a Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; fourth St. Louis de Montford Consecration to Our Lady, lastly, the Consecration to the Father in His Will, and live it on earth as in heaven.

Our secular and religious lives reflect each other, and together must be a prophetic stance of the Truth of the gospel to the worldly. In accordance with the rule of Life, we are led by Godís Spirit to reflect Jesus to the world and to our family. Our charism derives from Maryís role as our Lady of Sorrows in her total fiat at all times to our Father in heaven. God invites her to teach us to live the Will of God, even as she taught her son, Jesus the Christ, and the disciples in the early church.

The mystery of salvation is actualized and springs forth in the modern world in the Eucharist. It is our goal to bring about the Eucharistic reign of Jesus Christ in the world. We are to contemplate the hidden presence of the Lord God in the Eucharist and offer atonement, reparation, and love to the Eternal Father. This act of worship and adoration is made individually and collectively in home altars of devotion, and/or in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass and Holy Hours in the presence of the Living God at church.

The vocation in the Secular Order of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is a true call to heroic virtue as lay religious in the church. Evangelical promises of love, poverty, obedience are perpetually promised, serving as a sign in the world of the importance of the simplicity, peace, joy and power of the Holy Spirit.

We are to be evangelizers of the Word. We are to announce the good News of salvation by example and deed.

All members answer the same call: to live with the People of God whom God inspires to share their lives with us. Our communities are a place of mutual conversion and built up in faith around the life of Jesus Christ in the Word of God and in the Bread of Heaven.


We are called to save those souls that can still be saved. This is our responsibility and mission. It brings us together in a common communion of life in fidelity to the church and to the Holy Father.


APPROVED:
International Council of the Secular Order of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

February 17, 1993
St. Petersburg, Florida
USA

GLOSSARY

Foundation Procedures - Things you need to do in accordance with the established guidelines of the Secular Order of Jesus, Mary & Joseph, Inc.
Community Formation - Training and preparation needed before erection.
Community Erection - Formal recognition of a Founded Community.
Sponsoring Community - The community responsible for and giving direction and approval to the new proposed community.

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PURPOSE
The purpose of these guidelines is to implement the Order of Jesus, Mary & Joseph Rule, III, General Statutes, Chapter 12, Paragraph 58.

A.    General Procedures:   The guidelines provided will help you begin your foundation and establish a systematic method of requesting a Secular Community to be erected.

It is important that each erecting council realize the Order of Jesus, Mary & Joseph is a Religious Order.  It is not a prayer group or an association.  This is a special call, a call to perpetual promises and a consecrated lifestyle.

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The Order includes the following:

  1. The Rule of Life;

  2. A 90-day Postulancy, the period of probation for prospective members;

  3. A Habit (religious garb);

  4. A Novitiate:  1st year membership period, during which the member's vocation is tested, and a training program is completed;

  5. A Profession:  formal Promise of lifelong membership, received in the name of the Church by a properly designated priest and/or prior;

  6. Daily prayer obligation;

  7. Properly authorized and elected superiors;

  8. A common life, as much as possible, by means of Holy Hours, retreats in common, social and other gatherings, etc., joint ministry.

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By professing a Rule, Members voluntarily consecrate themselves to the pursuit of Christian perfection and the service of the Church in the Secular Order of Jesus, Mary & Joseph.  Whatever they do, in a spirit of submission to their Rule, brings them merit:  Growth in holiness, the merit of good works done, the merit of the virtue of obedience, and on account of their solemn promise made to God and accepted by the Church, the merit of the Virtue of Religion, the greatest of the moral virtues.

There can be many communities in one city, region, or area.  We suggest that Communities be kept to a minimum of 12 or 16 people, to facilitate the Community's growth in a more personal and family-oriented way than would be possible with a large group, where people tend to "get lost."

Until Erection, the new, proposed community and members shall be under the primary jurisdiction of and shall be primarily responsible to the Sponsoring Community.

In addition to meeting other obvious qualifications of spirituality and vocation, and the various other approvals, each Community must have at least two couples or four associates to request foundation.   Until this number is reached, only a request to the Council to be an isolated member can be approved.  (Rule, Par. 55).

Each Community must have a general focus as to their purpose for forming a Community.  This focus or goal should be agreed upon by the founding community members.  It must be included in the request for an erection of a Community.

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B.   Government:    The written request for erection must list:

1.  The names of people who will be the founding members;

2.  The agreed upon place, day, and time of meetings;

3.  Each founding Member must be an isolated member admitted to the Order.  In the event circumstances prevented membership, letters requesting this said admittance must be submitted with the written request for erection.  Please note, a letter of recommendation is required from this person's pastor.  This can be submitted within the 90-day postulant period when necessary.

4.  A formation plan must be submitted with the erection request, naming the person responsible for the formation program.

5.  A dated background sheet and log or diary is to be furnished to the Sponsoring Council, which is responsible for the formation and approval of the new Community.

6.  The Community's Spiritual Director's name shall be submitted.  If a priest is not available, attempt to get a spiritual mentor to assist the Council.

It is permissible to use the outline provided in this package to assist you in formulation of your written request for erection.

Each forming Community should have a preliminary election at which a Prior, Treasurer and Secretary should be tentatively elected.  A permanent election is to be help upon the approval of a Secular Community.  See election procedures for a proven method.

A letter to the local Ordinary must be mailed, informing the Diocese that a request for a Secular Community is being submitted (Rule, Par. 60).  After the Community is permanently erected, they shall provide the Diocesan Directory for Religious Life a list of members, copy of the Rule, and a brief biographical background of the Order and their Community.

Communities will not be permanently established by the Order until a Prior and Secretary are Professed Members of the Order.   Communities may remain in this temporary status for a maximum of two years.   If, after two years, the Community has not progressed to a permanent status, the new and sponsoring Communities must show due cause why a permanent status should ever be considered.

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C.   Approved Habit:    When the Blessed Virgin appeared to the founders of the Servants of Mary, she showed them a black habit and said, "It is a symbol of mourning and sadness.   It indicates the profound grief which filled my soul at the death of my only Son".   She is wearing the color gray at many apparitions in these last days.  To honor the Sorrowful Mother, the Order has elected the colors black and gray.  Men wear black shirts and gray pants.  Women are requested to wear the same colors.   The black wood cross with silver corpus is used for all postulants and novitiates.   A silver-metal backing is added to the black wood cross with silver corpus for the professed.

We chose the black wood cross with silver corpus, because it symbolizes our need to be at the Cross with Jesus and Mary every day.   We bring everything to the Cross and leave it in the hands of Mary and Jesus.

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