The General Chapter of the Congregation of Marian Fathers celebrated in Rome in February 2023 introduced several important changes in its legislation, and this in turn necessitated the re-printing of the Congregation’s Constitutions and Directory. On June 29, the Superior General of the Marians Most Rev. Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, having obtained the approval of the Holy See, promulgated the new edition of the Constitutions by a special letter, which we quote below. Thus, the revised laws of the Congregation acquired the force of law beginning on the day of their promulgation.

Greetings to all of the Marian Confreres around the world!

Rome, June 29, 2023
On the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul
Prot. n. 150/2023

In the name of the Triune God and for His glory, out of love and reverence for the mystery of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of the Savior, under her protection and following her example, faithful to the Holy Church, for our sanctification and the salvation of others, We the Marians, accept these Constitutions as a rule of life for living the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Preamble – Invocatio Dei)

 The General Chapter held six years ago in 2017 was a Chapter of great historical significance for our Congregation. It marked the second time since the Second Vatican Council that our Constitutions and Directory had been amended and ratified, the first time being in 1986. In his promulgation letter, our former Superior General, Fr. Andrzej Pakuła, MIC very eloquently explained the circumstances which led to the renovations of our Rule in 2017. The result was the clearest expression of our Marian Charism in our rule to date. We can say that the 59th General Chapter which took place during the last year of our 350th Jubilee was a continuation of the work of the previous General Chapter. We did not make as many changes to our Constitutions and Directory as the last General Chapter, but there was a historic change which hearkens back to something that our Founder, St. Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary, held dear: the white habit. He once stated, “… I assumed the white habit in honor of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary…” (Testamentum II, 3).

The Jubilee Message of the General Chapter of 2023 speaks of the Marian Fathers’School of Spirituality of the Immaculate Conception. The Mystery of the Immaculate Conception is a gift of God to Mary, to the world, and in a special way to our religious community. It is a mystery that we are only beginning to appreciate and understand. Each of us has the task throughout our lives of continuing to discover the hidden treasures contained within this mystery. Mary wants to lead each of us on the paschal path of Christ to our destiny. She did this for our holy Father Founder and for Blessed George, our Renovator. She showed the Marian martyrs of Rosica, Blessed Anthony and Blessed George how to remain faithful until the end. As we discover the depths of this mystery, we will continue to more fully discover our Marian identity. Our Founder considered the white habit an important part of the Marian identity. He had wanted to don the white habit when he professed his Oblatio in 1670, but it was not possible. He was only able to do so on September 15,1671, when he received ecclesiastical permission. He once stated, “All of these will be white in color in honor of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady” (Norma Vitæ, IV, 4).

In this General Chapter, there were also changes made to the Constitutions and the Directory, especially regarding Formation, Structure, and Government. We are also including, for the first time in our history, interpretations of the Constitutions and Directory in an appendix. These are in accordance with Constitutions § 306, which states that the highest authority in the Congregation for interpreting the Constitutions and Directory belongs ordinarily to the General Council acting collegially and extraordinarily to the General Chapter.

Therefore, acting in accordance with ecclesiastical law (CIC, can.8), I promulgate the present edition of the Constitutions and Directory of our Congregation. As we state in the preamble to the Constitutions, may we each accept them as our rule of life and our way of living the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. May we each grow in holiness through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculately Conceived, and of St. Stanislaus, our Founder, Blessed George, our Renovator, as well as Blessed Martyrs Anthony and George.

Joseph G. Roesch, MIC
Superior General