CMJ Constitution 

The Constitution of the Community of the Mother of Jesus


Article One Introduction
Article Two Requirements to Join
Article Three Members
Article Four Officers and the Joseph Council
Article Five Decision Making
Article Six Episcopal Visitor
Article Seven Board of Directors
Article Eight Companions
Article Nine Archives
Article Ten Dissolution
Article Eleven Amendments
Article Twelve Effective Date

Article One: Introduction
A. The legal name of this Episcopal Christian Community shall be: The Community of the Mother of Jesus, Inc. Throughout this Constitution this name shall also be rendered simply as “The Community of the Mother of Jesus,” or “this Community,” or “the Community.”
B. The Community of the Mother of Jesus is organized exclusively for religious purposes. Thus, the mission of this  Community is to:
1. Help each individual member grow in wisdom and grace before God through a life of prayer, study, contemplation, and service as enunciated in the Rule of this Community that is titled: “Mary’s Way of Discipleship.”
2. Call each member to live the four vows of Justice, Tenderness, Humility, and Contemplation.
3. Serve our neighbors who are in need in our parishes, diocese, or local civic communities.
4. Be proclaimers of justice for the poor and those whom society labels as foreigners.
5. Welcome into this Community any baptized Christian in communion with The Episcopal Church, whom God is calling to join The Community of the Mother of Jesus.
C. The Community of the Mother of Jesus is a Christian Community of The Episcopal
Church. This Community is obedient to Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of
Mary; to the Good News of the Gospels; to the canons, disciplines, teachings,
constitution and worship of The Episcopal Church; and to the Episcopal Visitor or
Protector to this Community.
D. The charism of this Community is contained in the New Testament texts that speak
of Mary, the Mother of Jesus; in the Marian Message from our founder; in our
Rule, that is called “Mary’s Way of Discipleship;” and in the book of Pearls of the
Community of the Mother of Jesus.
E. The Community is governed by this Constitution; by the By-Laws of the Community
of the Mother of Jesus; by the Acts of this Community; by the Steward Guardian
and officers listed in this Constitution; and by the Episcopal Visitor or Protector to
this Community. The Acts of this Community are those legislative decisions that are
made by the Community through the Annual Gathering or Quarterly Days, or
meetings of the Nazareth Committee or Joseph Council, or decrees issued by the
Steward Guardian or the founder.
F. The motto of this Community shall be: “Quodcumque dixerit vobis facite,” which
means, “Do whatever he tells you.” These are the words spoken by the Mother of
Jesus to the stewards at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. The Latin motto is
pronounced, “quod-koom-quay dix-air-it voe-bees-fah-see-tay.
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Article Two: Requirements to Join
A. Any person may seek to join the Community of the Mother of Jesus after
1. they have been a baptized Christian for at least a year; and
2. they have been an adult communicant of The Episcopal Church for at
least a year, or a member of another church or ecclesial community in
communion with The Episcopal Church for at least a year; and
3. they have been an active member in the life and ministry of their
parish community; and
4. they have turned eighteen years of age.
B. Those who wish to join must fulfill the requirements of the application process as
spelled out in the By-Laws of this Community.
C. Once applicants have successfully completed the entire application process and have
been invited by the Steward Guardian of the Community of the Mother of Jesus to
become a member of this Community, the applicant is known as a postulant until
they are welcomed into the Community of the Mother of Jesus as a novice.
D. Membership in the Community of the Mother of Jesus is prohibited to any person
convicted of any felony. The exception to this is if the crime committed was a
statement of our advocacy for the poor and the least of God’s people.
E. Membership in the Community of the Mother of Jesus is prohibited to anyone
convicted of sexual misconduct or harassment.
Article Three: Members
A. Membership in the Community of the Mother of Jesus is made up of those who are
novices and are in the novitiate of this Community, and by those members who have
professed the four vows of Justice, Tenderness, Humility and Contemplation.
B. An applicant becomes a postulant for this Community after:
1. having successfully completed the application process; and
2. being named a postulant by the Steward Guardian of the
Community of the Mother of Jesus, as contained in the ceremonial
of this Community.
C. A postulant becomes a novice after:
1. having been a postulant for at least three months; and
2. completing successfully the course of formation for postulants as
outlined in the By-Laws of this Community; and
3. being invited to enter the novitiate by the Steward Guardian of the
Community of the Mother of Jesus; and
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4. celebrating the Rite of Reception as a Novice into the Novitiate and
the Reception of the Novitiate Habit as contained in the
Ceremonial of this Community.
D. A novice becomes an annually professed member after:
1. having normally been a novice for at least two years; and
2. successfully completing the course of formation for novices as
outlined in the By-Laws of this Community; and
3. beginning a ministry to our neighbors who are in need; and
4. following the procedure to request permission to profess first vows
and receive the profession habit as contained in the By-Laws of this
Community; and
5. being invited by the Steward Guardian to profess the vows of
Justice, Tenderness, Humility and Contemplation, and to receive
the profession habit of this Community; and
6. celebrating the Rite of Profession of First Vows and the Reception
of the Profession Habit, as contained in the Ceremonial of this
Community.
E. An annually professed member may become a professed member who has taken
Final Vows after:
1. having spent three years annually professing the vows of Justice,
Tenderness, Humility, and Contemplation; and
2. having served the neighbors who are in need in an ongoing
ministry or ministries during the past three years; and
3. requesting permission to take Final Vows as outlined in the ByLaws of this Community; and
4. being invited to profess Final Vows by the Steward Guardian of the
Community of the Mother of Jesus; and
5. celebrating the Rite of Solemn Profession of Vows as contained in
the Ceremonial of this Community.
F. Each member of the Community of the Mother of Jesus shall have a spiritual
companion who is a professed member of the Community of the Mother of Jesus.
Each member shall meet monthly with their spiritual companion so the two may
pray, reflect and study together. Each member of this Community shall also have a
Spiritual Director, with whom they meet with on a regular basis. A member of this
Community may ask their spiritual companion to also be their spiritual director.
G. In the Community of the Mother of Jesus titles such as Brother, Sister, Mother, or
Father are not required to be used by the members with one another.
H. Titles used by members shall be as follows:
1. Postulants are known simply by their legal name.
2. In ecclesial communities and in documents and writings pertaining
to life in this community:
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a. novices write their name “legal name, cmj;” or if they are
ordained, “Reverend, legal name, cmj;”
b. professed members write their name “legal name, CMJ;” or if
they are ordained, “Reverend, legal name, CMJ.”
I. A novice or professed member who is seriously ill or terminally ill, remains in
good standing within this Community, even if they cannot take or renew their
novitiate commitment, annual vows, or participate in the life of this Community.
J. Members of the Community of the Mother of Jesus support themselves through
their jobs in the world. The personal finances and debts of each member are the
sole responsibility of that member. The Community of the Mother of Jesus has no
legal or financial responsibility for the finances or debts of any applicant,
postulant, novice, professed member, former member, or present or former
Companion of this Community.
K. Members of this Community live in their own homes, by themselves, or with their
spouse, partner, companion, or family. Small groups of members of this
Community may choose to live in the same dwelling. In such cases the good order
of the house is maintained by the consensus of those who live there. This
Community does not establish houses in dioceses unless required to by Canon
Law, or by the legitimate ecclesiastical authority of the diocese.
L. Novices and professed members of this Community may take a leave of absence
for any length of time from one month up to three years. Novices and professed
members may also leave the Community. In both cases they write a letter to the
Steward Guardian explaining the reason for either the leave of absence or the
need to leave the Community. They shall also return their habit to this
Community along with the aforementioned letter that explains the reason for
their leave of absence or decision to leave the Community. When a novice or
professed member leaves this Community, the Steward Guardian shall release
the one leaving from their novice commitment or professed vows. The Steward
Guardian also has the authority, in consultation with the Joseph Council, to place
a postulant, novice, or professed member on a leave of absence, for the good of
the member or the good of this Community. In such a case, the Steward
Guardian states in the letter both the reason or reasons that the leave of absence
is being mandated, the length of time the leave of absence is for, and the
conditions that need to be met for the leave of absence to be lifted. The Steward
Guardian shall also request that the novitiate or profession habit be returned to
this Community for safe keeping.
M. Any member of this Community, no matter what their rank or position, is
automatically dismissed from this Community if they are found guilty of
committing a felony. The exception is if the crime committed was a statement of
our advocacy for the poor and the least of God’s people. This dismissal happens,
ipso facto, at the very moment the criminal activity is committed, even if it does
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not become known in the public domain until later. By committing the criminal
action the member has chosen to leave the Community of the Mother of Jesus.
Any postulant, novice or professed member is automatically placed on a leave of
absence if they are charged in a court of law with any felony. The exception is if
the crime committed was a statement of our advocacy for the poor and the least
of God’s people.
N. The normal wear for all members shall be their civilian clothes so that they dress
simply like those they serve and work with.
O. A traditional habit for professed members, and a novitiate habit for novices shall
be designed and issued according to the By-Laws and the Ceremonial of the
Community of the Mother of Jesus. Modified habits may also be designed and
used.
P. The traditional habit, novitiate habit, or modified habit may be used in liturgical
settings, special occasions, and in those cases where it helps others to hear this
Community’s message of advocacy for the least ones or where it enables any
member to have access to the least ones they seek to serve.
Q. The use of roman collars, or the brother style roman collars, and clerical shirts
by professed members of this Community shall be worn as stipulated in the ByLaws and the Ceremonial of the Community of the Mother of Jesus.
R. When a novice or professed member dies, he or she may be buried or cremated in
their habit. If the member does not wish that this be done, then the member must
state in their will that the habit be returned to the Community of the Mother of
Jesus. The novitiate habit, modified habit, and profession habit, even if they are
paid for by the novice or professed member, remain the property of this
Community.
S. The entire Community, novices and professed members alike, shall gather for the
Annual Gathering of the Community of the Mother of Jesus. Postulants of the
Community shall also attend. Companions of this Community are invited to
attend. The Annual Gathering is usually held in the Fall of each calendar year. It
is a time for prayer, reflection, study, the annual business meeting, and for
celebrating the Rites to advance members within this Community. Regulations
regarding the Annual Gathering shall be outlined in the By-Laws of this
Community. The Annual Gathering should usually last a minimum of four days.
T. Each year on the anniversary of their entrance as a postulant into the
Community of the Mother of Jesus, each professed member shall write a Year of
Grace Letter to the Steward Guardian. This letter is to give a reflective
accounting of how the past year has been a time of grace, growth, and service for
the professed member.
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U. Every postulant, novice, and professed member is required to make a regular
and recurring financial donation to the Community of the Mother of Jesus. The
amount that is given is at the discretion of the respective postulant, novice, and
professed member. In addition, each postulant, novice, and professed member is
expected to contribute, as they are able, to help this Community to meet the
financial obligations of the Annual Gathering, and the costs for the novitiate and
profession habits, as well as the general operating expenses of this Community.
Regulations concerning donations by postulants, novices, and professed members
may be spelled out in the By-Laws of this Community, or by the consensus of this
Community, or the members of the Joseph Council or Nazareth Committee.
V. Quarterly Days shall be held at various times throughout the calendar year to
enable the members of this Community to pray, reflect, and be in touch with each
other. Regulations regarding Quarterly Days shall be outlined in the By-Laws of
this Community.
Article Four: Officers and the Joseph Council
A. The office of president and superior general of the Community of the Mother of
Jesus shall be known as the Steward Guardian.
B. The Steward Guardian is responsible for the leadership and care of the
Community of the Mother of Jesus. The Steward Guardian is especially charged
with keeping the Community of the Mother of Jesus faithful to the founding
charism of the Community. When pastorally necessary for the good of this
Community, the Steward Guardian has the authority to decide issues, or issue
decrees in those matters that this Constitution could not foresee. In addition, the
Steward Guardian has the authority to issue dispensations to any postulant,
novice, or professed member. Dispensations simply mean that in this particular
case, a certain law of this Constitution or a regulation of the By-Laws of this
Community do not apply to a particular member. Dispensations, when granted,
are also communicated to the members of the Joseph Council or Nazareth
Committee, and if necessary, to the Episcopal Visitor or Protector.
C. The founder of the Community of the Mother of Jesus, Stephen Charles
Wetmore, shall serve as the Steward Guardian until his death or retirement from
office.
D. Successive Steward Guardians shall be elected to five-year terms and may be reelected as often as the members of the Community of the Mother of Jesus desire.
E. As this Community grows the Steward Guardian shall appoint professed
members to the following positions of service:
1. the Vicar Pro Tempore;
2. the Steward of Service;
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3. the Steward of Study;
4. the Steward of Prayer; and
5. the Steward of Giving.
Their specific duties shall be determined by the By-Laws of this Community.
However, the Steward of Study is always the Secretary of this Community, and the
Steward of Giving is always the Treasurer of this Community. These appointments
shall be made during the Annual Gathering, and those appointed serve until the end
of the next Annual Gathering. The Vicar Pro Tempore may be appointed for a term
of office that has no ending date, or until the Steward Guardian makes a new
appointment of a Vicar Pro Tempore. The Vicar Pro Tempore may be a position
that is given to one of the Stewards or the position may be given to a professed
member who is not a Steward.
F. Should the Steward Guardian die or retire before the time of the Annual Gathering,
the line of succession to serve as the acting president, begins with the Vicar Pro
Tempore, followed by the Steward of Service and then it follows the listing in Section
“E” of this article.
G. The Steward Guardian, along with the Vicar Pro Tempore and the four stewards
listed in Section “E” above, make up the leadership team called the Joseph Council.
The Joseph Council assists the Steward Guardian in the care of this Community.
Where required by state or federal law, the Joseph Council functions as the Board of
Directors.
H. Until he is able to appoint professed members to the Joseph Council the Founder
shall perform all the responsibilities that would be exercised by each of the Stewards
of the Joseph Council.
I. Once there are eight professed members who have taken the vows of Justice,
Tenderness, Humility and Contemplation, elections shall be held for the positions of
the Steward of Service, the Steward of Prayer, the Steward of Study, and the
Steward of Giving. These elections shall be held at the Annual Gathering at which
the eighth member of this Community was professed. The Vicar Pro Tempore is
always a position that is appointed by the Steward Guardian. The Vicar Pro
Tempore is not a position that may be filled by votes cast by professed members.
J. The Stewards listed in Section “I” directly above, are elected to a five-year term, and
may be returned to office as often as the members of this Community desire.
Nominations for these positions are made after the opening address at the Annual
Gathering. Only professed members may vote for the Stewards to be elected to the
Joseph Council. Voting takes place later in the Annual Gathering and is by paper
ballot. Ballots are normally counted by the Steward of Study in the presence of the
entire Community. To win an election a member must receive three fourths of the
ballots cast for that office. Votes are cast as often as necessary until a three-fourths
majority is achieved. This same process is followed if a Steward Guardian is to be
elected. The terms of office begin at the closing of the Annual Gathering with the
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commissioning of the new officers as contained in the Ceremonial of this
Community.
K. Should the Steward Guardian be ill and unable to lead the Community for a period
of time, the Joseph Council handles the affairs of the Community, with the Vicar Pro
Tempore acting on behalf of the Steward Guardian. The Vicar Pro Tempore may, as
necessary, grant permission for the advancement of postulants, novices and
professed members, as well as inviting applicants to become postulants.
L. Should the entire Joseph Council suddenly become vacant, and if the position of
Vicar Pro Tempore is also vacant, the member who is professed the longest becomes
the acting president and calls for a special gathering of this Community to fill the
positions on the Joseph Council, including the position of Steward Guardian. This
gathering may be held through electronic or social media so that all the professed
members can attend. At this gathering membership on the Joseph Council is
decided by simple majority. Only professed members may vote, unless there are
fewer than three professed members. Then, those who are in the second year of
novitiate may also vote. Those elected serve only until the next Annual Gathering, at
which point elections must be held again. This provision of this Constitution
presumes that the Office of Steward Guardian is also vacant.
M. Should the Joseph Council, including the Steward Guardian, suddenly be totally
vacant, and there are no other professed members to assume the role of acting
president, the novice with the most seniority becomes the coordinator of the
Community of the Mother of Jesus. The coordinator gathers together all the novices
of this Community and in the presence of the Episcopal Visitor or Protector, or if the
Episcopal Visitor or Protector is not available, in the presence of another priest,
bishop, or vowed religious of another religious order or Christian community of The
Episcopal Church, they profess the vows of Justice, Tenderness, Humility, and
Contemplation. The coordinator then assumes the role of acting president and
follows the procedure in Section “L” of this article. If there are no professed
members or novices, then the postulant with the most seniority becomes the
coordinator and follows the same process as a novice who would become the
coordinator.
N. Prior to the formation of the Joseph Council by appointment or election, the Steward
Guardian shall seek the counsel of members of a Nazareth Committee. The members
of the Nazareth Committee, totaling at least three and no more than five, are
appointed to a one-year term, renewable as needed. Members of the Nazareth
Committee may be chosen from the Companions, postulants, novices or professed
members of this Community. The Nazareth Committee shall advise the Steward
Guardian on matters pertaining to the foundation, constitution, and legal matters of
the Community of the Mother of Jesus. Prior to the formation of the Joseph Council,
the Nazareth Committee may also approve changes to this constitution as pastoral
need requires, so as to insure the survival of this new community. The Nazareth
Committee shall also serve, where required by state law, as the board of directors,
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until such time as the Joseph Council is formed and able to assume those duties.
Should a member of the Nazareth Committee be unable to complete their term of
office, the Steward Guardian appoints a replacement to finish out the term of office.
O. Should the Steward Guardian die, or ever be unable to resume functioning as the
Steward Guardian, the Vicar Pro Tempore serves as the leader of this Community
until elections for a new Steward Guardian are held at the next Annual Gathering.
Should the Steward Guardian die, or ever be unable to resume functioning as the
Steward Guardian, the Vicar Pro Tempore shall arrange to remove from the
residence of the Steward Guardian, this Community's files, notebooks, books, and
habits, along with the Steward Guardian's Cross, all of which are to be handed over
to the Joseph Council.
P. Should the Steward Guardian become physically or mentally incapable of leading
this Community and should the Steward Guardian be unable to freely resign the
office of Steward Guardian, the Vicar Pro Tempore, along with the Stewards, and in
consultation with the Episcopal Visitor or Protector, shall declare the Steward
Guardian to be removed from office. The Episcopal Visitor or Protector shall then
issue a decision of Pastoral Care and name the Vicar Pro Tempore as the new
Steward Guardian until the next Annual Gathering, where the Community shall
elect one to serve as Steward Guardian.

Q. As this Community grows, other steward positions may be added to ensure that the
members of this Community are being served and affirmed in the living of their
novitiate commitment or professed vows. The title, responsibility, and manner of
election or appointment shall be decided by the members of the Joseph Council.
Committees, subcommittees, or other positions of service may be created as deemed
necessary by the Steward Guardian or the entire Joseph Council.
R. Should the membership of the Community of the Mother of Jesus decrease to one or
two members, the Steward Guardian may appoint a Nazareth Committee to consult
in the governing of this Community.

Article Five: Decision Making
A. At the Annual Gathering and in all meetings, decisions are reached through prayer,
discussion, and discernment so that consensus may be achieved. Consensus means
that all concerned seek the decision that is grounded in the grace of the Holy Spirit.
B. If consensus cannot be reached on a particular matter, all present take a short recess
to individually reflect and pray to seek what God is asking of the Community of the
Mother of Jesus. If, when all have returned and again discussed the matter under
consideration, consensus cannot be reached, the chair calls for a decision in faith.
The chair leads those assembled in a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to make known
God’s will. Then a straw vote is held. The secretary of the gathering holds straws,
each straw representing the options being considered. The youngest person present,
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who is able to do so, draws one of the straws. The straw drawn is the will of the Holy
Spirit, and the matter has been decided by a decision in faith.
C. Before the straw vote is taken in “B” of this article, any professed member may rise,
if the Steward Guardian is present, and ask for a decision in obedience. All professed
members who are present then stand and turn to the Steward Guardian. The
Steward Guardian asks them: “Are you willing to give me the gift of your obedience
so that I might seek God’s will for all of us?” Professed members who are so willing
bow profoundly from the waist. If all the professed members do not bow, the straw
vote in “B” of this article is then taken. If all the professed members do bow, the
Steward Guardian decides the matter. The Steward Guardian may give the decision
then, or later in the meeting, or outside the meeting. If it is made outside the meeting
the Steward Guardian must communicate the decision to all who were present within
thirty days.
D. In all discussions the voices of novices are listened to and esteemed so that they are
included in the consensus of the Community.
E. Disputes within the Community can and should be brought to the Steward Guardian
for resolution and reconciliation. The Steward Guardian is the final appeal in any
dispute within this Community, except for the following stipulation in “F” of this
article, that concern the founder, or the provisions in Article Six, section H,
concerning the Episcopal Visitor or Protector.
F. If any person or persons in this religious order seek to alter or change the founding
charism of the Community of the Mother of Jesus, or seek to impose a more rigid or
ego serving interpretation into any of the documents of this Community or upon the
life of its members, the founder may cry, “Epikeia!” The founder may do this even if
he is no longer the Steward Guardian. “Epikeia” means, “according to the mind of
the lawgiver.” The founder may do this because he is the initial lawgiver and
guardian of the Community of the Mother of Jesus. When the founder cries,
“Epikeia!” the entire Community of the Mother of Jesus shall bow in obedience to
his vision and discernment and obey him. The word, “Epikeia,” is pronounced, “epih-kie-ah.”
Article Six: Episcopal Visitor or Protector
A. To help this Community remain faithful to the founding charism, the Community of
the Mother of Jesus shall have an Episcopal Visitor or Protector who serves as the
spiritual advisor and protector for this Community. The Episcopal Visitor or
Protector may also be called the Bishop Visitor.
B. The Episcopal Visitor or Protector is an ordained bishop of The Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Visitor or Protector may be a Companion of this Community, but is
never a postulant, novice, or professed member of this Community.
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C. The Episcopal Visitor or Protector is chosen in obedience to the canons of The
Episcopal Church and represents this Community to the House of Bishops of The
Episcopal Church.
D. Should the Episcopal Visitor or Protector need to resign, or dies in office, a new
Episcopal Visitor or Protector is chosen in obedience to the Canons of The Episcopal
Church. In the initial years of this Community this selection shall be made by the
Steward Guardian and the members of the Nazareth Committee. After the Joseph
Council is formed this selection shall be by the Steward Guardian and the members
of the Joseph Council. Should the membership in this community decrease, and the
Nazareth Committee be brought back into existence, the selection of the Bishop
Visitor would again be made by the Steward Guardian and the Nazareth Committee.
E. The Steward Guardian shall consult with the Episcopal Visitor or Protector at least
twice a year.
F. Any postulant, novice or professed member may bring troubles or concerns to the
Episcopal Visitor or Protector.
G. The Episcopal Visitor or Protector is always invited to preside and preach at a
celebration of the Eucharist during the Annual Gathering, and to preside at
liturgical celebrations of the profession of vows.
H. The Episcopal Visitor or Protector shall serve as the facilitator for the Community
when there are disputes that threaten the unity of this Community, and which are
not able to be solved by consensus, or by decisions in faith or obedience, or by
Epikeia. In such cases the Episcopal Visitor or Protector may issue a decision of
Pastoral Care and call the entire Community to obedience. A decision of Pastoral
Care may never alter the founding charism of the Community of the Mother of
Jesus.
I. If there are suddenly no postulants, novices, or professed members of this
Community, the Episcopal Visitor or Protector may declare this Community
disbanded. The Episcopal Visitor or Protector may then carry out the provisions
outlined in Article Ten of this Constitution or appoint a delegate to do so.
J. When pastorally necessary, the required canonical visitation between the Episcopal
Visitor or Protector with each novice and professed member, may be held outside of
the Annual Gathering. As the Community grows, the Steward Guardian and the
Joseph Council shall be in dialogue with the Episcopal Visitor or Protector as to the
procedures and scheduling of all such interviews.
K. In the case of pastoral necessity, a chaplain or chaplains may be elected to serve this
Community, or members of this Community who live in the same geographic
regions. The chaplain or chaplains are normally elected by the Steward Guardian
and the Nazareth Committee or Joseph Council. Chaplains may be either ordained
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priests or deacons of The Episcopal Church, or a church or ecclesial community in
communion with The Episcopal Church.
Article Seven: Board of Directors
A. Prior to the formation of the Joseph Council, the Board of Directors of the
Community of the Mother of Jesus shall be made up of three members. These three
members are the Steward Guardian, and two other members appointed by the
Steward Guardian from the membership of the Nazareth Committee. The Steward
Guardian normally appoints the members of the Board of Directors during the
Annual Gathering of the Community of the Mother of Jesus. They serve until the
conclusion of the next Annual Gathering of the following year. The Steward
Guardian may re-appoint any member of the Nazareth Committee to serve on the
Board of Directors for an unlimited number of terms of office.
B. After the formation of the Joseph Council, the Board of Directors of the Community
of the Mother of Jesus shall be made up of five members. These five members are
the Steward Guardian, and four other members appointed by him from the
membership of the Joseph Council. The Vicar Pro Tempore is always appointed as
one of those four members. If there are not four members on the Joseph Council,
the Steward Guardian shall appoint at least two members of the Joseph Council to
the Board of Directors, so that there is a minimum of three people serving on the
Board of Directors. The Steward Guardian appoints the members of the Board of
Directors, during the Annual Gathering, following the elections that are held for
membership on the Joseph Council. The members of the Board of Directors serve
until the conclusion of the next Annual Gathering, the following year. The Steward
Guardian may re-appoint any member of the Joseph Council to serve on the Board
of Directors for an unlimited number of terms of office.
C. The Steward Guardian is always the chair, president and the CEO of the Board of
Directors of the Community of the Mother of Jesus.
D. The Board of Directors must meet a minimum of two times after the conclusion of
the Annual Gathering where they were appointed, and the beginning of the next
Annual Gathering. These meetings may be held as part of, or in conjunction with,
meetings of the Joseph Council, or the Nazareth Committee.
E. The Board of Directors are always obedient to the canons, disciplines and teachings
of The Episcopal Church; to the Episcopal Visitor or Protector to the Community of
the Mother of Jesus; to this Constitution, By-Laws and Acts of the Community of
the Mother of Jesus.
F. The Board of Directors is charged with the duty of helping the Community of the
Mother of Jesus to manage the temporal affairs of this Community, and to assist the
treasurer of this Community in the exercise of the office of the Steward of Giving.
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G. Should the Steward Guardian be ill and unable to be present for a meeting of the
Board of Directors, the Vicar Pro Tempore may chair the meeting. If there is no
Vicar Pro Tempore the member of the Board of Directors with the greatest seniority
as a professed member of the Community of the Mother of Jesus, may chair the
meeting.
H. Should a member of the Board of Directors be unable to serve his or her entire term
of office, the Steward Guardian shall appoint a replacement to complete the term of
office from the Nazareth Committee or the Joseph Council, or from the membership
of this Community.
Article Eight: Companions
A. Companions of the Community of the Mother of Jesus are a circle of friends, who
are not members of this Community but who desire to support it. This support is
shown through their prayers, words of encouragement, actions, and financial gifts.
B. Companions may also be those women and men, who are attracted to Mary’s Way of
Discipleship, and to the life and ministry of the Community, but who do not feel a
call to join as a vowed member.
C. Regulations concerning Companions shall be established and spelled out in the ByLaws of the Community
Article Nine: Archives
A. The Community of the Mother of Jesus shall maintain an archives for all its
historical documents and files.
B. The public documents of this Community are the following:
1. the Marian Message from our Founder and Mary's Way of
Discipleship;
2. the Pearls of the Community of the Mother of Jesus;
3. this Constitution and the By-Laws;
4. the Ceremonial of the Community of the Mother of Jesus;
and
5. the website and any electronic media that is created for the
general public to view.
C. The private documents of this Community that are not open to researchers are
personnel files, the Ledger of Members, and the private emails between members.
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D. The Acts of this Community are usually public documents because they give life to
this constitution. Any Acts concerning the personal life of any member is however a
private document and not available to researchers.
E. Only the Steward Guardian may grant access to any document in the archives of this
Community.
Article Ten: Dissolution
A. If this community is to be disbanded it is done through the Nazareth Committee or
the Joseph Council, which declares the community disbanded and all members
released from their vows. Before the Nazareth Committee or the Joseph Council
may disband this Community, they must first go to the Episcopal Visitor or
Protector and obtain his or her permission to dissolve this Community.
B. Any property of this Community is to be sold, and any money from that sale and
any other money of this Community is to be given to local religious charities that
help the neighbors who are in need.
C. All members who are being dismissed from their vows are to be supplied a letter
stating that they have been dismissed from their vows, along with the date of their
entrance as a novice, and the date of their profession of the vows of Justice,
Tenderness, Humility and Contemplation.
D. Novices who are being dismissed from their novitiate commitment are also to be
supplied a letter stating that they have been dismissed from our novitiate and giving
the date they made their novitiate commitment.
E. The Archives of this Community are to be placed in the custody of a larger religious
archives or the archives of an educational institution, with the same restrictions for
access as are stipulated in Article Nine of this Constitution.
F. All habits are the property of the Community of the Mother of Jesus and are to be
surrendered to the Joseph Council or the Episcopal Visitor or Protector and sent to
a community whose habit is similar. If necessary, the surrendered habits may
simply be destroyed.
Article Eleven: Amendments
A. Amendments to this Constitution are due in writing to the Nazareth Committee or
the Joseph Council five weeks before the Annual Gathering, Quarterly Day, or
Nazareth Committee or Joseph Council meeting at which they will be considered.
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B. Amendments are decided by consensus by the professed members present at the
Annual Gathering, Quarterly Day, or meeting where the amendment or changes to
this Constitution are being considered.
C. Whenever an amendment or any changes are being considered to this Constitution,
the wording to any proposed amendment or changes, may be changed or completely
altered.
D. When pastorally necessary, the Nazareth Committee or the Joseph Council may
make changes to this Constitution, and to the By-Laws of this Community,
providing the vowed members of this Community are consulted about the changes
that need to be made, five weeks before the meeting at which they will be
considered. After any such revisions are made, they must be explained to the
Community at the next Quarterly Day or Annual Gathering. All needed revisions to
this Constitution may be made either as amendments or simply within the existing
text of this Constitution.
E. Any professed member of this Community may submit a new amendment or change
to this Constitution. Any professed member of this Community may also submit
proposed changes to the By-Laws of this Community.
F. Any novice of this Community who sees a change that needs to be made to this
Constitution or the By-Laws of this Community, may communicate the desired
change to their spiritual companion, or to the Steward Guardian.
G. The By-Laws of this Community may address and regulate issues concerning the
life of this Community, even if they are not addressed in this Constitution.
Article Twelve: Effective Date
A. This Constitution is approved on 31 May 2011, the Feast of the Visitation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary.
B. This Constitution takes effect on 31 May 2011, the Feast of the Visitation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary.
C. The wording in this Constitution was updated and approved on 13 July 2014.
D. This Constitution was revised and approved for immediate use and governance on 1
April 2019.