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2. Community Life (C2)

  1. Consecrated to God through their profession of obedience according to the same Rule and Constitutions, all the brothers and sisters are built up in the one community. Experiencing Jesus individually through prayer, study, and apostolic work, the brothers and sisters join together to support one another on their spiritual journey. Even in the solitude of one's dwelling or hermitage the life of the community is primarily communal. For this reason, although the individual members may differ by reason of nature, they keep the grace-filled unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace. To facilitate this unity still more, let the brothers and sisters anticipate each other in mutual love. Let them serve each other with a ready heart. Let them encourage wholesome undertakings, and let them genuinely find joy in the success of one another's work.

  2. The priorities of community life are as follows:

    1. God is first.

    2. The church comes next as an umbrella governing every aspect of our life on earth.

    3. Within the umbrella of the church comes the nuclear family, and the monastic and domestic community.

      1. The nuclear family composes what the Church calls the most basic expression of God’s ordained natural community for humanity, and the domestic church.

      2. For celibate monastic members, the monastic community becomes their primary family circle, as in any traditional community of consecrated life.

      3. For the monastic and domestic single and family members, the community becomes the privileged place for nurturing the family.

    4. Lastly, comes the local Church of the diocese and parish.

    5. From the church, we overflow to minister to the whole world.

  3. The community strives to provide for a familial lifestyle that nurtures mature and interdependent relationships in Christ, especially with those of one's own particular expression. Each and every brother, sister, and family shows a special sense of respect and gratitude to the senior brothers, sisters, and families, as well as to their Vicars. One’s stage of entrance, and the date of one’s entrance into the community determine seniority. The elderly are also shown special concern and respect.

  4. Noteworthy events about the community are communicated to the brothers and sisters as well as to others through letters, bulletins, and newsletters. Likewise, efforts are made to preserve our posterity so that we will have a record of past achievements through chronicles and archives.

  5. The brothers, sisters, and families live with a single-hearted observance of the Rule, Constitution, Directories, similar lifestyles and participation in the activities of the community.

  6. Beyond the normal monastic schedule, each member discerns a daily discipline and schedule for themselves to help insure that proper time is given to each aspect of their gospel life. The daily schedule is kept flexible in keeping with different circumstances and work, but work is not to impede our more primary commitment to a life of solitary and communal prayer. For monastic members this is discerned with the Monastic Vicar. For domestic members this is created within one’s own rule of life and submitted to the Domestic Vicar for approval.

  7. The Av or Vicar, along with the appropriate chapter, arranges a place and time for common recreation and shall strive to supply whatever will facilitate a close contact between the brothers and sisters. According to the norms set forth in the appropriate chapter or council, silence is kept at fitting times and places as a condition for encouraging prayer and a requirement of work and quiet.

  8. Vicars
    The Vicars live in close union with the brothers and sisters committed to their care and so enhance the common life, keeping in mind the proper privacy and autonomy needed for both the brothers and sisters and the families. The spirit of service is their norm for effective use of authority.

    1. To promote responsible and active obedience the Vicars dialogue with the brothers and sisters and actively seek their opinions as individuals and as a group in chapter; still, the actual decisions belong to the Vicar.

    2. The brothers and sisters consider the Vicar as the one on whom the greater burden is laid, and they freely offer their assistance, making their views known, and putting the Vicar’s decisions into practice in a spirit of trust and wholeheartedness.

    3. Vicars are alert to the needs of each brother or sister. They provide what is needed on an individual and family basis and in so far as local circumstances permit so that there will be neither excess permissiveness nor the denial of a legitimate need.

  9. Sick
    Brothers and sisters bear their sicknesses with patience and humility as a share in the cross of Christ. Vicars, with the assistance of the other brothers and sisters, are to show concern for the spiritual and material well being of the feeble and sick brothers or sisters wherever possible, and whenever necessary.

  10. Traveling
    As we go about the world we are faithful to the norms of our Rule, Constitutions, and Directories. In a spirit of poverty we offer witness to the gospel in both our means of travel and in the way we supply for our needs of room and board.

  11. When traveling in conjunction with ministry, the brothers, sisters, and families stay with other members of the Companions of Christ, in religious or monastic houses, or in rectories associated with the parish in which they minister. When these are not suitable, we may stay in the homes of honest and reputable lay people or commercial lodging of moderate cost for the purpose of adequate privacy for solitude and silence.

  12. Relationship With Other Expressions
    The Vicars and all the brothers, sisters, and families freely make every effort to meet and cooperate with the other expressions of the Companions of Christ. As conditions allow, we meet together to unify efforts on our way of life and apostolate on a national or regional basis. We are quick to offer assistance to these meetings once they have begun.