Provincial chapters were meetings of the entire province held every three years or so.
For the first time we are digitising them. They are valuable historical resource for the interaction of the Passionists with the world around them, and also for the inner workings of the order.
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What were the General Chapters for? Here is an extract from the convocatory letter of the 1914 chapter.
“The holding of the Provincial Chapter is an event which deeply concerns us all, whether we are superiors or subjects. In it are chosen those who under God are destined for three years to govern the Province and the various communities of which it is composed. The well being of an Order or Congregation, and the spiritual and temporal happiness of the religious depend in great measure on the character of the Superiors. When men are chosen who endavour faithfully to copy in their own lives the example of our Bless Lord, our Heavenly Model, men who are full at once of charity and firmness, who know how to unite the simplicity of the dove with the wisdom of the serpent, who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the brethren, and do not make their office a means of gratifying their love of self or of ease, then indeed all is well.
The other great duty of the Chapter is to consider the needs and requirements of the Province, and to try to meet them as far as possible. As time goes on, new conditions arise, and though Religious Orders ought diligantly to guard their original spirit, yet they are not exempt from the general law that if an organism is to maintain a healthy and vigorous existence, it must seek to adapt itself to its environments. “