The Rule of 1221 and Statutes, Chapter 6: Special Mass and Monthly Meeting

Article 19: Rule

All the brothers and sisters of every city and place are to foregather every month at the time the ministers see fit, in a church which the ministers will make known, and there assist at Divine Services.

Article 19: Statutes

a. Penitents living in proximity to each other should stay in touch with one another and ideally form a chapter to assist each other in this way of life, subject to the Association’s guidelines on forming a chapter.

b. No chapter may be formed without a spiritual assistant unless there isn’t one available. The spiritual assistant must be a priest, deacon, or male or female religious who upholds all the teachings of the Catholic Church and who fully supports the penitents in living this Rule of Life.

c. Where a chapter does not have access to a local spiritual assistant it must obtain permission from the Visitor or one of the ministers of the Association to continue meeting while looking for one. Specific questions or issues may be directed to the Visitor or Administrators of the Association for resolution at such times. One spiritual assistant can be responsible for more than one chapter.

d. Chapters that are temporarily without spiritual assistants may wish to use audio or video tapes to provide formation for their members until a new spiritual assistant is located.

e. All members of this Association are to gather for their monthly chapter meeting at a time the local ministers see fit. If possible, they should attend Mass as part of this meeting.

f. If there is no local chapter of the Association, or if the local chapter is too small to provide a vital community life to its members, a member of the BSP is permitted to attend the meeting of a different chapter of the Association; an area Third Order meeting if agreeable to the affected Third Order members; or live this Rule on their own under a competent spiritual director or confessor as they decide. E-mail contact with other BSP members may help in these situations. All members so affected should be in regular contact with the Communication Center of the Association.

Article 20: Rule

And every member is to give the treasurer one ordinary denar. The treasurer is to collect this money and distribute it on the advice of the ministers among the poor brothers and sisters, especially the sick and those who may have nothing for their funeral services, and thereupon among the poor; and they are to offer something of the money to the aforesaid church.

Article 20: Statutes

a. All members are responsible to provide for the financial needs of their Chapter and the Association on some reasonable basis consistent with their state in life and financial ability. There are no fixed dues or fees, but there are fixed expenses.

b. The fixed expenses affiliated with running the Association include but are not limited to mail and newsletter costs, formation materials, miscellaneous printing, phone expenses, computer expenses and the cost of maintaining the Web page. Monies received will be used to cover these expenses and to provide alms for needy members, as approved by the Administrators and the Council of the Association. Members wishing to assist other members financially or otherwise may do so anonymously through the BSP.

c. A simple financial report will be maintained by the treasurer and available upon request by any member of the Association.

d. If a chapter in the Association requests a visit from the Visitor or someone else, they should reimburse the expenses of the visit.

e. In the United States of America, all monies donated to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis are tax deductible as the BSP is a bona fide tax-exempt non-profit organization registered in the State of Minnesota and in the National Catholic Directory under the Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Article 21: Rule

And, if it be convenient at the time, they are to have some religious who is informed in the words of God to exhort them and strengthen them to persevere in their penance and in performing the works of mercy. And except for the officers, they are to remain quiet during the Mass and sermon, intent on the Office, on prayer, and on the sermon.

Article 21: Statutes

a. At Mass the penitents should pay particular attention to the Gospel, the homily or sermon, the Consecration of the Eucharist, and its worthy reception.

b. In their chapter meetings they are to listen attentively and to speak charitably striving always and in all things to contribute what they have to share with all present.

c. All members should have the opportunity to faith share about their spiritual experiences and concerns at each gathering of the Association.

d. It is suggested that all penitents make an annual retreat or hermitage experience, unless exempted by a spiritual director, confessor, or their Chapter minister. All are encouraged to attend the annual retreat of the Association if one is held and they can do so.