III. Formation to live in fraternity
19. Way of initial formation
The Fraternity is a living reality and as such it should be maintained. Each one of them tries, then, to promote growth and maturation of its members in the light of the mystery of Nazareth, offering all an adequate formation and support coherent with the spirit of family, the spirituality and mission of the charism of Brother Gabriel Taborin, in order to partake his spiritual inheritance.
The call to enter the Nazarene Fraternity starts from an existential experience or a personal search acted by the Spirit.
The period of initial formation or preparation is carried out from the moment in which a person joins the group. It is realized in times and modalities established by the same Fraternity or the Advisor Brother.
The period of discernment for the compromise is a time of conversion and of reflection in the light of the Spirit.
After an opportune period of experience in a Fraternity, the interested person can make a request, by writing and motivated, to Brother Provincial asking for carrying out his/her compromise in the Fraternity.
When the person is admitted to make the compromise, he/she pronounces it for one year and can be renewed annually. Who wants to compromise for lifetime, must have lived the compromise at least during three continuous years.
The interruption of the compromise is also carried out through a writing request to Brother Provincial.
20. The compromise in the Fraternity
The official entrance of a person in a Fraternity is carried out in a communitarian act, carefully prepared, during which it is expressed the compromise on the part of the person and the welcome on the part of the Institute.
The formula of the compromise is the following:
“In the presence of this Assembly,
and before you, Brother Provincial (or Brother N. Delegate of Brother Provincial),
I, N. …, promise (for one year / for my lifetime) to live the Gospel
and to work in the Church for the Kingdom of God,
drawing inspiration from the Holy Family of Nazareth
and living the spirit of family in my state of life,
according to the Plan of Life of the Association of the Nazarene Fraternities.
May Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin
help me to be faithful to the commitment I freely make today.”
In the act there can be introduced some meaningful gestures, according to circumstances and places.
The formula of the compromise can be completed with other expressions approved by the person who receives it. These expressions can even contain a lay consecration through which the person assumes the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience in order to live them in his/her state of lay life.
The signed minute of the compromise is kept in the Archive of the Province and the new associates are inscribed in the register of members of the Nazarene Fraternities Association.
By the compromise, the person, member of the Fraternity, assumes the current Plan of Life of the Association and becomes a member associate of the Institute, and as such, he/she participates in its life, keeps a living contact with it through information, communication, participation and collaborates according to his/her possibilities.
For its part, the Institute welcomes him/her and commits itself to sharing its life (its charism, its spirituality, its mission, its spiritual goods) and to helping him/her spiritually and materially in the development of his/her Christian life, as far as the possibilities and in the Superiors’ judgment.
21. On-going formation
After the compromise it comes a time of on-going formation that, through several stages, lasts the whole life.
The formation of the members of the Fraternity, nourishes from the Holy Scripture, the teachings of the Church, the documents of the Institute and the reflection on the signs of the times and the events of the ordinary life.
The on-going formation is carried out according to the orientations proposed in the Plan of Formation of the Nazarene Fraternities.
In full joining to the Taborinian charism, the lay member of the Fraternity realizes his/her path of sanctity and apostolate in a way which is connatural to him/her, bearing in mind his/her conditions of life, family and profession.
IV. Organization of the Nazarene Fraternities
22. The Fraternity, vital unit of the Association
The Nazarene Fraternity, constituted by lay people who have opted to live their own vocation according to the spirit of Brother Gabriel, is the vital unit of the Nazarene Fraternities Association.
Each Fraternity expresses its own characteristics on a Project of Life. To prepare its content, these orientations are taken into account:
- To indicate how to live the main dimensions of the Nazarene spirituality: prayer, work, love.
- To distribute the responsibilities within the Fraternity.
- To plan the community meetings and activities, the places and moments for encounter and celebrations.
- To organize the Christian formation and the formation of Nazarene identity.
- To determine the mission inside and outside the Nazarene Fraternity.
- To establish the economic means necessary for the life of the Fraternity and some way of sharing good among its members.
Every year the Project of Life is evaluated and there is an “aggiornamento” (update) of the same.
The Project of Life is ratified by Brother Provincial.
23. Structure of the Association
The Nazarene Fraternities Association is drawn up in different levels:
- The Nazarene Fraternity: It is the first cell of the Association; it develops its life and mission united to a Community and/or a Province of the Institute of the Brothers of the Holy Family;
- The Nazarene Fraternities that refer to a religious Province of the Brothers have among them a Coordination;
- The Nazarene Fraternities Association: It is the set of all the Fraternities and is subject to the present Plan of Life. Although spread in different countries, it forms a single family.
24. The Animators and the Coordinators of the Fraternities
The Association has one Coordinator.
Each one of the groups of Fraternities that refers to a religious Province of the Brothers, has also its Coordinator.
These Coordinators, together with the Coordinator of the Association and the Delegate of the Superior General, form the Council of the Association.
The Coordinator of the Association and those of the Provinces are appointed respectively by Superior General and by Brother Provincial; the first at the suggestion of the Council of the Association and the seconds at the suggestion of the Fraternities of the Province among the members who have made the compromise.
Each Nazarene Fraternity has an Animator and an animator team elected by the members of the Fraternity who have made the compromise. The Advisor Brother is part of the animator team.
The Animator is the driving force of the life and activities of the Fraternity.
The Advisor Brother is the link between the Fraternity and the Religious Community of the Brothers.
The service of the Coordinators and Animators is for three years and they may always be re-elected.
25. The duties of the Coordinators and the Animators are:
In the Fraternities:
The Animator and his team, in collaboration with all the members of the Fraternity and in communion with Advisor Brother:
- Favour the mutual knowledge and the fraternal solidarity among the members of the Fraternity;
- Coordinate the preparation of the Project of Life;
- Contribute in the meetings promoted by the Institute;
- Announce to the Institute the path followed by the Fraternities, their proposals, their hopes;
- Keep the documents and texts which are used for the formation;
- Assess the initiatives of the Fraternity, so that it may better fulfil the objectives proposed;
- Offer the collaboration of some member of the Fraternity to the local Church.
The Fraternities that refer to the same religious Province of the Brothers have one Coordinator assisted by two other persons designated by the Fraternities, among the members who have made the compromise, plus one Brother Delegated by Brother Provincial. The mission of this Provincial Coordination is:
- To maintain the unity of the Fraternities;
- To promote specific activities at a provincial level;
- To prepare an annual meeting of encounter, formation and commitment, whenever possible;
- To keep contacts with the Superiors of the Institute and with the Fraternities of other Provinces.
Coordination of the Association:
The Coordinator of the Association, together with his Council:
- Maintains the communication and information among the Fraternities;
- In accordance with the Superior General and his Council, summons and prepares every six years, usually, an international meeting of the Fraternities with the purpose of:
- Promoting the life and communion among the Fraternities;
- Reviewing the performance of the Plan of Life of the Association;
- Dealing with some topic of formation necessary for the Fraternities.