STATUTES OF THE „FAUSTINUM”
APOSTLES OF THE DIVINE MERCY
The Association shall bear the name The „Faustinum” Association of Apostles of the Divine Mercy, and shall be referred to hereinafter as the „Association.”
The Association originates from the charism of Saint Faustina Kowalska from the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. It may bring together priests, consecrated and lay persons, who desire to serve the message of the Divine Mercy.
The Association shall operate within the Archdiocese of Cracow.
Headquarter of the Association shall be at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Cracow-Łagiewniki. The Executive Board, also situated at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, shall conduct its statutory activities within the Archdiocese of Cracow.
The Association acts by virtue of a decree of foundation granted by Archbishop the Metropolitan of Cracow, Franciszek Cardinal Macharski; it possesses ecclesiastical juridical personality.
Spiritual care over the Association shall be directed by priests from the Society of Jesus.
1. The Association shall use a seal with the inscription in Polish: Stowarzyszenie Apostołów Bożego Miłosierdzia „Faustinum”, [in English: The „Faustinum” Association of Apostles of the Divine Mercy].
2. The Association shall possess a graphic symbol and membership badge, and shall issue membership cards conforming to the design approved by the Executive Board.
The goals of the Association are the following:
- to strive for Christian perfection – that is, to perfect love – on the path of trust in God and mercy towards our neighbors;
- to come to know and be involved in proclaiming the mystery of Divine Mercy as most fully revealed in the crucified and risen Christ;
- to implore the Divine Mercy for the whole world, especially for sinners as well as for priests and religious.
In order to achieve its goals, the Association shall in particular:
- be involved in proclaiming the message of the Divine Mercy by the testimony of life and word;
- implore Divine Mercy for the world, through a deepened sacramental life, prayer, sacrifice, and deeds of mercy;
- contribute to the practice of the forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy handed down by Saint Faustina: 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.);
- direct spiritual formation in the spirit of Saint Faustina, elaborate and publish materials serving in the formation of Association members, and issue its own periodical Orędzie Miłosierdzia [The Message of Mercy];
- organize symposia and inspire research, with the goal of deepening the theology of the Divine Mercy and the Divine Mercy devotion, as well as the knowledge of the life and mission of Saint Faustina;
- insofar as possible, initiate or participate in works of mercy, especially those extended to persons in need of deep moral renewal;
- support the creation of communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy at the parish level, according to the appropriate by-laws;
- cooperate with persons and institutions that strive after goals similar to those of the Association.
The Association shall be comprised of:
- Honorary Members.
- Any person, including a minor, who obliges him / herself to fulfill the tasks specified in §15.1-3 herinunder may become a Volunteer.
- A Volunteer shall be accepted on the basis of a completed Volunteer’s application.
- Any Volunteer who has attained majority [completed the eighteenth year of age], after a year as a Volunteer, may apply for membership in the Association.
- Any person who has attained majority (priest, consecrated person, or lay Catholic) who resolves to participate in achieving the Association’s goals and who promises to obey its Statutes, may be a Member of the Association.
- Acceptance to the circle of Members shall take place after at least one year of service as a Volunteer. A Member shall be accepted by the Executive Board of the Association by a simple majority of votes, in secret ballot, on the basis of the Volunteer’s 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.
- The Executive Board may, for good and sufficient reason, shorten the required period of service as a Volunteer.
- fter going through the necessary formation, as specified by the Executive Board, Members may make promises of devotion and service in the work of Divine Mercy for a specified period (one year) or for life.
The Executive Board may confer honorary membership in reward for outstanding service in achieving the Association’s goals.
- shall participate more fully in the spirituality and apostolic mission of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy;
- shall participate in the spiritual goods of the Association, which the Merciful Jesus has promised to all the apostles of the Divine Mercy:Souls who spread the honor 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 Savior (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).
- Have the right to submit proposals and suggestions to the Association’s authorities;
- insofar as possible, shall participate in the work of the Association;
- posses an Association membership card and badge, in accordance with the principles laid down in the rules;
- have the right to vote for and be elected to all the Association’s authorities.
Association Volunteers are obliged:
- insofar as possible, to come to know the mystery of God’s mercy, and to cultivate an attitude of trust, by fulfilling the will of God as found in the commandments and obligations of their particular state;
- o pray the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy;
- in the course of each day, to perform at least one act of mercy towards one’s neighbors by deed, word, or prayer, out of love for Jesus.
Association Members have the following obligations:
- to receive the holy sacraments regularly (if possible, monthly Confession and frequent Holy Communion);
- to constantly come to know the mystery of Divine Mercy, as most fully revealed in the crucified and risen Christ, and to become thoroughly familiar with the message of Divine Mercy handed down by Saint Faustina;
- to proclaim the message of the Divine Mercy by the testimony of one’s life and words;
- to develop an attitude of complete trust in God through the fulfillment of His will in all aspects of life, depending on one’s state and profession;
- in the course of each day, to perform at least one act of mercy towards one’s neighbors by deed, word, or prayer, out of love for Jesus;
- insofar as possible, to initiate or take part in works of mercy, especially those extended to persons in need of deep moral renewal;
- to pray and offer their suffering, especially for the conversion of sinners as well as for the intention of priests and religious;
- in the course of each day, to unite oneself with the Merciful Jesus in acts of love and prayer, imploring Divine Mercy for the entire world;
- to practice the forms of worship handed down to us by Saint Faustina: to venerate the image of Merciful Jesus, to pray daily the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy, to offer prayer at the hour of Mercy, and to observe the Feast of Mercy;
- to complete the formation program which is obligatory in the Association both individually as well as in community;
- to take an active part in the realization of all the Association’s goals;
- to conform to the provisions of the Statutes, and the by–laws and resolutions of the Association;
- to be a worthy representative of the Association in one’s own environment;
- to pay membership dues regularly, in the amount established by the Executive Board.
The status of Volunteer or Member shall expire upon:
- a request to that effect, submitted in writing to the Executive Board of the Association;
- removal of the person’s name from the Book of Volunteers and Members, by virtue of a decision of the Executive Board, in the event that the obligations resulting from these Statutes are not fulfilled, and in particular in the event of scandalous conduct inconsistent with a Christian attitude. The decision to strike a name from the book shall be preceeded by a written warning.
- The General Assembly of Delegates is an advisory body of the Association. It shall meet once a year to summarize the year’s activities of the Association and to present suggestions for activities in the next year.
- Every 5 years, the General Assembly of Delegates shall elect 2 members to the Executive Board.
- The way of the election of delegates and the activity of the General Assembly shall be governed by separate rules, approved by the Executive Board.
- The chief internal authority of the Association is the Executive Board, appointed for a term of 5 years by Archbishop of Cracow;
- The Executive Board shall consist of: the Chairman; the Vice Chairman; the Treasurer and a member of the Board who are proposed by Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy; the Spiritual Advisor, presented by the Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Cracow; two Members elected by the General Assembly of Delegates.
- The Executive Board shall:
- represent the Association externally;
- specify the general direction of the Association’s work and direct its ongoing activities according to appropriate regulations of the Canon Law;
- approve the by–laws of the Association regarding the functioning of its structure and the ceremonies for admitting members, as well as the design of the Association’s membership cards and badge;
- enact resolutions to amend these Statutes according to § 26;
- enact resolutions regarding annual work plans and decide on the allocation of the Association’s budget for the realization of its particular goals;
- accept Members and grant honorary membership;
- create and dissolve communities of the Association on the parochial level according to the separate regulations of the ecclesiastical law;
- supervise the Association’s activities;
- consider and enact proposals in matters relating to the planned activities of the Association, paying special attention to those accepted at the General Assembly of Delegates;
- hire and dismiss employees;
- present annual reports on the Association’s activities to the Archbishop of Cracow and the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, as well as to the Association’s General Assembly of Delegates.
- The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy shall appoint a competent committee to evaluate the financial activities of the Association’s Executive Board on an annual basis.
- The following committees shall operate under the Executive Board: the Formation Committee, the Foreign Committee, and the Publications Committee.
- The Formation Committee shall organize the spiritual formation of Association Members; it shall offer services to pilgrims from Poland arriving at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy – Łagiewniki;
- The Foreign Committee shall be responsible for contacts with people from other countries and shall offer services to pilgrims from abroad arriving at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy – Łagiewniki;
- The Publications Committee shall prepare formation publications in various languages, spreading and deepening the contents of the mission of Saint Faustina and the message of the Divine Mercy.
- The persons responsible for directing the work of the particular committees shall be appointed by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.
and its Authorities
- The Association’s basic organizational unit is the Community of Apostles of the Divine Mercy, each of which comprises of at least ten (10) Members.
- Communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy shall be organized on the parish level, upon the consent of the local parish pastor, and preferably under the spiritual care of an ordained priests;
- Communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy shall be subordinated to the Association’s Executive Board;
- Communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy carry out their activities in conformity with the Statutes of the Association;
- Volunteers are allowed to take part in formation and prayer meetings of the Communities of Apostles of the Divine Mercy.
The Association’s property shall consist of immovables, movables, and funds.
The Association’s property shall be acquired from:
- membership dues;
- gifts, bequests, and endowments;
- earned income (from the Association’s business operations).
The Executive Board may appoint the appropriate institution to conduct these business operations.
The joint action of two members of the Executive Board shall be required to incur property liabilities, including the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman or another Member and Treasurer authorized by the Chairman. Declarations of intent in this respect shall be submitted in writing in the name of the Association.
The Association’s property and funds shall be administered by the Executive Board.
1. Resolutions to amend the Statutes or dissolve the Association shall be enacted by the Executive Board. A 2/3 majority of the total membership of the Executive Board shall be required in order for such resolutions to be valid.
2. Approval of the Archbishop of Cracow after the acceptance of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy shall be required in order for such resolutions to be valid.
In the event the Association is dissolved, the Executive Board shall, in consultation with the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and Archbishop of Cracow, specify the manner of liquidation, and shall choose a Liquidation Committee consisting of 3-5 persons, who shall conduct the liquidation of the Association.
In the event the Association is liquidated, its property shall pass to the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which shall administer such property in accordance with the regulations of the Canon Law.