Community July 15
It is fully in accord with our ideal of life in community that much freedom be allowed to the provinces and individual local communities in specifying the details of their daily life within the framework of our proper law (Const. 18.1).
In the history of the Order, the local community always had the preeminent place in the structure of the organization. The local community is considered the place where Crosier life is lived in its essence. Among the various chapters of the Order, it is the local community chapter that is honored as the most vital, because it is there that the confreres give concrete expression to the charism of the Order and live it out daily. The other chapters, General and Provincial, more legal in character and convoked less frequently, depend on the local chapters for their vitality and effectiveness. It is in the local chapter that the principle of subsidiarity is realized, a principle so dear to the Constitutions: life ought to be regulated first at the level it is lived before involving or imposing the intervention of a higher authority. In this perspective, the universal law of the Order recognizes the rights of provinces and, especially, of local communities to find their own form of the life of the charism. That demands of every confrere a sense of personal and irreplaceable responsibility.
Only the person who lives in the village can tell you what happens there. (Bagumbu)