Amended on March 3, 2023




Edition after Gen. Chap. 2022

CI 2023




The holy abbots Robert of Molesme, Alberic and Stephen Harding gave the Benedictine tradition a particular form when in 1098 they built the New

Monastery of Cîteaux, the Mother of us all, and founded the Cistercian Order. About 1125, Saint Stephen established the nuns' monastery of "Tart", as Cîteaux's own daughter-house, entrusted to the pastoral care of the abbot of this monastery. The Exordium Parvum and The Charter of Charity express the vocation and mission that the founders received from God which the Church has authoritatively approved both in their times and in ours. Under the influence of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and others the ideal of this reform spread and monasteries of monks and nuns following the Cistercian way of life multiplied even beyond western Europe. From the very beginning the Order received lay brothers and lay sisters. A substantial spiritual heritage was engendered through the lives and labours of innumerable brothers and sisters that found expression in writing, chant, architecture and crafts, and in the skilful management of their lands. 


Monks and nuns of the Order acknowledge their indebtedness to the movement that is called the "Strict Observance", which strongly defended certain aspects of the Cistercian patrimony in troubled times and, through the labours of Abbot de Rancé and the initiatives of Dom Augustine de Lestrange, made it possible for these values to be handed on to succeeding generations. In 1892, the three congregations that arose from la Valsainte formed a union that became an autonomous order, the Order of Reformed Cistercians of Our Lady of La Trappe, now named the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance.       


The desire for an authentic monastic life acting in different ways through the centuries continues to inspire the monks and nuns of the Order to work hard to renew their way of life. In obedience to the principles of the Second Vatican Council they strive to come to a deeper understanding of their origins and at the same time show themselves docile to God's action in the present. In 1969 the General Chapter, by its Declaration on Cistercian Life and Statute on Unity and Pluralism, reaffirmed the Order's commitment to the Rule of Saint Benedict as its traditional interpretation of the Gospel and gave guidelines for the faithful observance of this Rule in the changed conditions of the world. In these documents the General Chapter made a distinction between the orientation and fundamental observances of the Rule, which constitute the Cistercian way of life, and those details that can be modified according to local circumstances. 


This collection of Constitutions and Statutes is the fruit of the experience of those years of renewal. It is to be hoped that they will be an effective means of helping the Order to embody the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and show itself ever more able to carry out its particular function in the Church and in the world. 


Part One  


C. 1 The Tradition of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance 

The Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance has its origin in that monastic tradition of evangelical life that found expression in the Rule for Monasteries of Saint Benedict of Nursia. The founders of Cîteaux gave this tradition a particular form and the monasteries of the Strict Observance strongly defended certain of its principles. In 1892 the three congregations of the Strict Observance combined to form a single order, now called the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance. 

C. 2 The Nature and Purpose of the Order 

This Order is a monastic institute wholly ordered to contemplation. The monks dedicate themselves to the worship of God in a hidden life within the monastery under the Rule of St Benedict. They lead a monastic way of life in solitude and silence, in assiduous prayer and joyful penitence as defined in these Constitutions, thus rendering to the divine majesty a service that is at once humble and noble. 

C. 3 The Spirit of the Order 


The Cistercian way of life is coenobitic. Cistercian monks seek God and follow Christ under a rule and an abbot in a stable community that is a school of brotherly love. Since all the brothers are of one heart and one mind, they have everything in common. By bearing one another's burdens they fulfil Christ's law, participating in his sufferings in the hope of entering the kingdom of heaven. 


The monastery is a school of the Lord's service where Christ is formed in the hearts of the brothers through the liturgy, the abbot's teaching and the fraternal way of life. Through God's Word, the monks are trained in a discipline of heart and action to be responsive to the Holy Spirit and so attain purity of heart and a continual mindfulness of God's presence. 


The monks follow in the footsteps of those whom, in times past, God called into the desert to engage in spiritual warfare. As citizens of heaven, they become strangers to worldly behaviour. Living in solitude and silence, they aspire to that interior quiet in which wisdom is born. They practise self-denial in order to follow Christ. Through humility and obedience, they struggle against pride and the rebellion of sin. In simplicity and labour, they seek the blessedness promised to the poor. By generous hospitality, they share with their fellow-pilgrims the peace and hope which Christ has freely given. 


The monastery is an expression of the mystery of the Church, where nothing is preferred to the praise of the Father's glory. Every effort is made to ensure that the common life in its entirety conforms to the Gospel, which is the supreme law. In this way the community will not be lacking in any spiritual gift. The monks strive to remain in harmony with all the people of God and share their active desire for the unity of all Christians. By fidelity to their monastic way of life, which has its own hidden mode of apostolic fruitfulness, monks perform a service for God's people and the whole human race. Each community of the Order and all the monks are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Symbol of the Church in the order of faith, love and perfect union with Christ. 


The organisation of the monastery is directed to bringing the monks into close union with Christ, since it is only through the experience of personal love for the Lord Jesus that the specific gifts of the Cistercian vocation can flower. Only if the brothers prefer nothing whatever to Christ will they be happy to persevere in a life that is ordinary, obscure and laborious. And may he lead them all together into eternal life. 

C. 4 The Character of the Order 


The communities of the Order spread all over the world are gathered into unity by a bond of charity. Through the union that results from this association they can help one another in coming to a more complete understanding and practice of their common patrimony and they can offer mutual encouragement and support in difficulties. 


This communion assumes juridical form in the government of the Order according to The Charter of Charity as interpreted by the norms of these Constitutions. The abbots and abbesses assembled for the General Chapter are active in their common solicitude for all the communities of the Order in matters both human and divine. This pastoral care has been exercised traditionally through the institutions of filiation, visitation and the General Chapter. In addition, other organs of dialogue, collaboration and mutual service have developed, by which communion is fostered in the entire Order and the ideals of the founders are effectively adapted to modern conditions. 


Following The Charter of Charity, Cistercians of the Strict Observance live by one charity, one rule and similar observances. It is for each community, in dialogue with other communities, to find new ways in which the patrimony of the Order can be expressed dynamically in its own culture according to particular circumstances, observing always the norms established by the General Chapter. 


Part Two  


C. 5 The Local Community 

Gathered by the call of God the brothers constitute a monastic church or community that is the fundamental unit of the Order. 

ST 5.A


The traditional form of the community is to be autonomous as an abbey. To be declared as such, it must fulfil the conditions defined by the Statute on Foundations (n. 15), in such a way that the monastic observance can be lived in its entirety, according to the Rule of Saint Benedict, the Cistercian tradition and the present Constitutions 


If these conditions are not fulfilled but the community has the necessary criteria to be autonomous, according to the Statute on Foundations (n. 15) it is a major priory or a simple priory according to the case. The simple priory continues to have the right to assistance from the founding house in both personnel and temporal goods.  


A foundation is part of the founding house and is not autonomous. Its superior remains that of the founding house. The conditions for attaining autonomy, like those of moving from a simple priory to the rank of a major priory or from a major priory to that of an abbey, are defined by the Statute on Foundations (cf. n.15).

ST 5.B

Unless stated otherwise, what is said in the following constitutions regarding the local community is equally valid for an abbey, a major priory, a simple priory, and a foundation. 

C. 6 Composition of the Community 

The community is composed of brothers who have made profession in it, novices and others who have been admitted into the community on probation, and oblates. 

ST 6.A 

Among the professed mentioned above are included the lay brothers who made their profession before the Decree of Unification in 1965. These are considered the same as the rest of the brothers in all things, without prejudice to the rights acquired by them.  

ST 6.B

Oblates participate in the life of the community according to the norms of the Statute on Oblates promulgated by the General Chapter, and according to local customs.  

ST 6.C 

The brothers coming from other monasteries of the Order for a prolonged visit participate in the life of the community except for what concerns the conventual chapter.

ST 6.D 

Each community may define, with prudence, before the civil law of its country, its status and its membership.  


CHAPTER ONE: The Cistercian Way of Life  

C. 7 Regular Observance 

In the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance the way of life is consecration to God expressed in fraternal union, solitude and silence, in prayer, work and a disciplined life. By a hidden apostolic fruitfulness, it causes the mystical body of Christ to grow. 

C. 8 Monastic Consecration 

By monastic profession a brother is consecrated to God and joined with the monastic community that receives him. At this time the consecration received in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation is renewed and given vitality. The brother binds himself in faithful stability to a sincere conversion of life through ready obedience until death.


C. 9 Stability of Place 

By the vow of stability within his community, a brother obliges himself to make constant use of the means of the spiritual craft there, trusting in the providence of God who has called him to this place and to this group of brothers.

C. 10 Conversatio Morum 

By the vow of conversatio morum or fidelity to monastic life a brother who, in the simplicity of his heart, seeks God by the following of the Gospel, binds himself to the practice of Cistercian discipline. He retains nothing at all for himself, not even authority over his own body. He renounces the capacity of acquiring and possessing goods for himself. For the sake of the Kingdom of heaven, he makes profession of perfect continence and celibacy. 

C. 11 Obedience 

By the vow of obedience, a brother desiring to live under a rule and an abbot promises to fulfil all that lawful superiors command in accordance with these Constitutions. In thus renouncing his own will he follows the example of Christ who was obedient until death, and commits himself to the school of the Lord's service.

C. 12 Monastic Clothing 

The characteristic Cistercian habit is the white cowl. Given at solemn profession it is a sign both of a monk's consecration and of the unity of the whole Order. 

ST 12.A 

The monks' garments traditionally include a white robe, a black scapular and a leather belt. It can be adapted to local conditions.  

ST 12.B 

Temporarily professed and novices wear a cloak instead of the cowl. The novices' scapular is white.  


C. 13 Coenobitic Life 


A monk follows the common life in his monastery. The law of the common life is this: unity of spirit in the charity of God, the bond of peace in the mutual and unbroken love of all the brothers, communion in sharing all goods. 

ST 13.1.A

The common table both expresses and strengthens the unity of the brothers. For this reason, all have their meals together unless they are excused for a reasonable cause.  

ST 13.1.B

If there are private rooms, their use is determined by the abbot according to local usage. They should be such as to be able to promote the brothers' reading and prayer, if they are used for that purpose, and to safeguard personal dignity. They should not be prejudicial to the common life and be modest in conformity with Cistercian simplicity. The abbot is permitted to visit them.


The brothers are to bear their infirmities with great patience and to serve one another humbly. They are to support by prayer and by other appropriate means those who are weak, troubled or unwell. The sick, the aged and the dying are to be surrounded with a care that is attentive and affectionate. 

ST 13.2.A 

The abbot is to be very careful that the sick and the aged are looked after with diligence and love, as if it were Christ himself. If possible, the brothers will assemble for the anointing of the sick.


A monk is not allowed to leave the monastery without the permission of the abbot. When there is question of prolonged absence, the abbot, with the consent of his council and for a just cause, and after consulting the Father Immediate, can permit a monk to live outside the monastery, but not for longer than a year, except for the treatment of illness, for study, or, in extraordinary cases, to lead an eremitical life. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 86 )

ST 13.3.A 

The abbot having listened to his council, may permit a brother to lead an eremitical life. The hermit remains under the authority of the abbot. If he lives away from the monastery property, the consent of the council and the consent of the bishop of the place where he will reside are necessary.

C. 14 Unity and Pluriformity of the Community 


The community forms a single body in Christ. Each brother is to contribute to the upbuilding of fraternal relations especially by sharing with others the spiritual gifts he has received by God's manifold grace. 



The equilibrium between the Work of God, prayer, lectio divina and manual work, essential to the Cistercian way of life, is determined according to the character, training and age of each. The abbot is to discern and moderate everything so that each brother may grow in the Cistercian vocation. 


C. 15 Reconciliation with God and with the Brothers 


The preservation of unity among the brothers depends on a sincere and mutual effort towards reconciliation. To eliminate thorns of scandal from the community, the brothers are not to prolong the time of anger but, when there is a dispute, to make peace as soon as possible. 

ST 15.1.A

In the spirit of the Gospel, the brothers are to help one another by humble and discreet correction. The community is to establish suitable means of doing this.


The brothers are to confess their sins each day in prayer to God and frequently approach the sacrament of reconciliation. 

ST 15.2.A 

The abbot can make provision for a communal celebration of penance as appropriate.  

C. 16 Active Participation of the Brothers 


The brothers have the right and duty to participate fully in the common life, although this participation can be exercised in different ways. 


All the brothers are called to mutual care, mutual co-operation and mutual obedience. All are to be concerned for the spiritual state of the community, knowing that the good zeal of one is a help to all, whereas bitter zeal is a hindrance.


The abbot is to govern the brothers with reverence for the human person created in God's image, promoting their voluntary obedience and appropriately fostering their gifts of zeal and intelligence. The abbot should lead the brothers so that they co-operate with an active and responsible obedience both in carrying out their duties and in taking the initiative, all the while maintaining his authority to decide and give orders about what is to be done. 




The abbot and the officials are to communicate to the brothers what concerns all and readily accept their desires and suggestions.


C. 17 Liturgical Life 


The spiritual character of the community is especially evident in the celebration of the liturgy. The liturgy strengthens and increases both the inner sense of the monastic vocation and communion among the brothers. Each day in the liturgy God's Word is heard. A sacrifice of praise is offered to God the Father, there is a sharing in the mystery of Christ and the Holy Spirit's work of sanctification is accomplished. 

ST 17.1.A 

The liturgy is celebrated in the rite to which the community belongs. According to the proper spirit of each rite, this is done in conformity with the Cistercian tradition, following the norms approved by the General Chapter and confirmed, where necessary, by the Holy See.  


The changing seasons of the liturgical year have great power to nourish and enrich the contemplative life of the brothers. They provide a solid basis for the preaching and teaching given to the community. 


Sunday is dedicated to the mystery of the Resurrection. It is a day of joy and freedom from work so that the brothers may come together to share the Eucharist more fully and intensely, and zealously apply themselves to lectio divina and prayer.

C. 18 Celebration of the Eucharist 

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the whole Christian life and of the brothers' communion in Christ. For this reason, it is to be celebrated by the whole community every day. It is by sharing in the paschal mystery of the Lord that the brothers are united more closely with one another and with the whole Church. 

C. 19 Work of God 


Nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God. Accordingly, the Liturgy of the Hours is to be celebrated by the community which, in union with the Church, fulfils Christ's priestly function offering to God a sacrifice of praise and making intercession for the salvation of the whole world. 

ST 19.1.A 

Because the Work of God is a means of sanctifying the day, [each Hour] is to be

celebrated at the time assigned to it, determined according to Cistercian tradition and local custom.


The Liturgy of the Hours is a school of continual prayer and an outstanding component of the monastic way of life. It is the abbot's duty to promote zeal for the Work of God among the brothers. 

ST 19.2.A 

The celebration is to be such that it expresses the spirit of the community and leads the brothers to full participation.  

ST 19.2.B 

In particular cases the abbot may determine the measure in which an individual monk participates in the Liturgy of the Hours in choir. This is done only after careful examination of the question with the brother himself and having regard to the needs of the community.  

ST 19.2.C 

In exceptional cases the Abbot General may, with the consent of his council, dispense a community from one or two Little Hours.  


A brother who was absent from the choral celebration is to acquit himself of the Hours according to the instructions of the abbot and the norms of universal law.


C. 20 Mindfulness of God 

By constantly cultivating mindfulness of God, the brothers extend the Work of God throughout the whole day. The abbot is to see to it that each one has ample leisure to give himself to lectio and prayer. Furthermore, all should take care that the monastic environment is favourable to silence and quiet. 

ST 20.A

Each year all the brothers are to make a retreat of at least six days.  

C. 21 Lectio Divina 

Careful lectio divina greatly strengthens the brothers' faith in God. This excellent monastic practice, by which God's Word is heard and pondered, is a source of prayer and a school of contemplation, where the monk speaks heart to heart with God. For this reason, the brothers are to devote a fitting amount of time each day to such reading. 

ST 21.A 

Tradition greatly values lectio divina done in common. This is especially recommended during Lent.  


C. 22 Heartfelt Prayer 

In a spirit of compunction and intense desire, monks devote themselves frequently to prayer. While dwelling on earth, their minds are occupied with heavenly things, desiring eternal life with all spiritual longing. May the Blessed Virgin Mary who was taken up into heaven, the life and sweetness and hope of all earthly pilgrims, never be far from their hearts. 

ST 22.A

The abbot is to make prudent provision for the time of daily lectio and prayer for the brothers.  

C. 23 Night Vigils 

In the sober anticipation of the coming of Christ, following the tradition of the Order, the hours before sunrise are appropriately consecrated to God by the celebration of Vigils, by prayer and meditation. 

ST 23.A 

The brothers' hour of rising is so determined that Vigils maintains its nocturnal character.

C. 24 Silence 

Silence is counted among the principal monastic values of the Order. It assures solitude for the monk in community. It fosters mindfulness of God and fraternal communion. It opens the mind to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and favours attentiveness of heart and solitary prayer to God. Therefore, at all times but especially during the hours of night, the brothers are to be zealous for silence, which is the guardian both of speech and of thought. 

ST 24.A 

According to the tradition of the Order, silence is to be observed especially in the regular places such as the church, the cloisters, the refectory and the scriptorium. There is no recreation in communities of the Order.  

ST 24.B 

Other norms governing the use of speech, particularly in the chapter room and the private rooms, are established by each community and verified at the Regular Visitation.  

C. 25 Monastic Asceticism 

The quietness of mind cultivated by silence is also the fruit of purity and simplicity of heart. For this reason the monk, in a spirit of joyful penitence, is to embrace willingly those means practised in the Order: work, the hidden life and voluntary poverty, together with vigils and fasting. 


C. 26 Work 

Work, especially manual work, has always enjoyed special esteem in the Cistercian tradition since it gives the monks the opportunity of sharing in the divine work of creation and restoration, and of following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. This hard and redeeming work is a means of providing a livelihood for the brothers and for other people, especially the poor. It expresses solidarity with all workers. Moreover, work is an occasion for a fruitful asceticism that fosters personal development and maturity. It promotes health of mind and body and contributes greatly to the unity of the whole community. 

ST 26.A

The duration of work is to be determined according to the demands of the monastic way of life and local needs. The brothers are to be engaged in work for at least four and usually not more than six hours a day.

C. 27 Simplicity 

Following the example of the Fathers of Cîteaux, who sought an uncomplicated relationship with the God of simplicity, the brothers' lifestyle is to be plain and frugal. Everything in the household of God should be appropriate to monastic life and avoid excess so that its very simplicity can be instructive for all. This is to be clearly apparent in buildings and their furnishings, in food and clothing and even in the celebration of the liturgy. 

ST 27.A

The monastery should be conspicuous for its simple and pleasant appearance. The brothers are to be concerned about conservation of the environment and to manage natural resources prudently.  

C. 28 Fasting 

Monastic fasting expresses the humble condition of a creature before God. It arouses spiritual desire in the heart of a monk and lets him share in Christ's pity for the hungry. The brothers are to observe the lenten and paschal fasts and also other fasts according to the customs of the Order and the directives of the abbot. 

ST 28.A 

For the main meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the brothers are to be content with bread and water or something similar.  

ST 28.B 

In accordance with tradition, the brothers abstain from meat at all times, except in case of necessity.  

ST 28.C 

If a brother, moved by God's grace, wishes to undertake additional fasting, he is to propose this to his abbot.


C. 29 Separation from the world : monastic cloister (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 92)


Those who prefer nothing to the love of Christ make themselves strangers to the actions of the world. In the monastic tradition, this involves a certain degree of physical separation. For this reason, the monastery is built so that it completely safeguards the quiet and solitude of those who reside there.


The buildings where the monks live and work are strictly reserved to them.  Nevertheless, the faithful may have access to the church, especially during the celebration of the liturgy.  It is for the abbot, with the consent of his council, to fix the limits of strict enclosure.  It belongs to the abbot to give permission when, for an appropriate cause, outsiders come in or monks go out.  The necessary discretion is to be maintained in the use of the means of social communication.  These can be permitted only if the special character of the contemplative life is safeguarded.  The monks, moreover, are to be given a careful formation in the discipline of separation from the world.  The application of these principles is the responsibility not only of the abbot but of all the brothers. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 94)

C. 30 Reception of Guests 

Every monastery is to continue the tradition of welcoming guests and the needy as Christ according to local circumstances. Let those whom the providence of God has led to the monastery be received by the brothers with reverence and kindness but without allowing this service to impair monastic quiet. 

ST 30.A 

The community is to render assistance to those who come to the monastery looking for deeper prayer.  

ST 30.B 

In God's providence, monasteries are holy places not only for those who are of the household of the faith but for all persons of good will.  

ST 30.C 

It is for the community to make arrangements about the manner in which guests are to take part in the Work of God.  

ST 30.D 

The relatives of the brothers are to be received with the utmost kindness in a way consonant with the monastic vocation.  

C30 bis: Safeguarding of Minors and Vulnerable Adults


Each community and each member of the Order, attentive to the respect and dignity of each person, in particular minors and vulnerable persons, is vigilant in the prevention of all forms of abuse of power, of conscience and of sexual aggression.


ST 30 bis A

A community protocol will be drawn up with the various church bodies. TheY will receive training on this subject.


ST 30 bis B        

The protocol and its application are to be reviewed during the             Regular Visitation.

C. 31 Apostolate of Monks 

Fidelity to the monastic way of life is closely related to zeal for the Kingdom of God and for the salvation of the whole human race. Monks bear this apostolic concern in their hearts. It is the contemplative life itself that is their way of participating in the mission of Christ and his Church and of being part of the local church. This is why they cannot be called upon to render assistance in the various pastoral ministries or in any external activity, no matter how urgent the needs of the active apostolate. 

ST 31.A

When pastoral assistance is sought from the monastery in particular circumstances the abbot, if he judges it expedient to agree to the request, should entrust this ministry to a brother who is competent and willing to undertake the task.

C. 32 Relationship with the Church Hierarchy 

The monks are to foster good relations with their local church and its bishop, to whom they render devoted submission and respect. They are humbly to obey the Sovereign Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ as their supreme Pastor, even by virtue of the vow of obedience. 


CHAPTER TWO:  The Service of Authority  

C. 33 The Ministry of the Abbot 


The abbot is elected from among the brothers. He receives his power from God through the ministry of the Church. He is believed to act in the monastery as Christ's representative. He ministers to the whole community as a father in both spiritual and temporal matters.


The abbot exercises pastoral care of the flock entrusted to him. He shows to all the goodness and kindness of Christ, striving to be loved rather than feared. He adapts himself to the character of each, encouraging the brothers to run with a cheerful and happy disposition along the way God has called them. He is to pray constantly to God for each.


As a master in Christ's school, the abbot is the guardian of his disciples' fidelity to monastic tradition. He sustains them with the food of God's Word and by his example. He does not neglect to renew himself with Sacred Scripture and the wisdom of the Fathers. He makes himself available to all the monks for conversation. 

ST 33.3.A

On appointed days, the abbot is to give a conference to the community and he is to explain the Rule of Saint Benedict frequently.

ST 33.3.B 

The brothers should approach the abbot with confidence and be able to reveal to him freely and spontaneously the thoughts arising in their hearts. Nevertheless, the abbot should in no way induce them to manifest their consciences to him.  


As a skilled physician, the abbot seeks to cure both his own wounds and those of others, and to bring healing in the name of Christ to those hurt by sin. He is to exercise great solicitude and to use all his skill and energy so as not to lose any of the brothers entrusted to him. When the situation warrants it, he calls on the help of spiritual seniors. Above all, he relies on the prayer of all to cure the infirmities of the brothers.


C. 34 The Abbot's Power of Governance 


The abbot is a major superior with ecclesiastical power of governance in both the external and the internal forum. 

ST 34.1.A 

The superior of a monastery that is still part of the mother-house has delegated power. This he may sub-delegate.  

ST 34.1.B 

The superior ad nutum mentioned in ST 39.2.B has proper ordinary power as a major superior of an autonomous community. 

ST 34.1.C

In an exceptional situation, the Father Immediate can ask a superior ad nutum to delegate the exercise of his right of paternity. 


Everything said about an abbot applies equally to the prior of a priory and to a superior ad nutum unless explicit exception is made.

C. 34 bis – Appointment of a Monastic Commissary

1. When a community is experiencing an especially grave situation, the General Chapter may suspend the exercise of its autonomy and authorize the Father Immediate to appoint a monastic commissary in accordance with par. 10 of the Statute on Fragile Communities and on the Suppression of a Monastery.

2. The monastic commissary, who may be from within or without the Order, has proper ordinary power as a major Superior of an autonomous monastery, as defined in the letter of appointment. The commissary represents the community at the General Chapter, with voting 41 rights unless he or she is not a member of the Order.

3. The situation of the community will be examined at each following General Chapter and the autonomy of the house will be restored when the situation has sufficiently improved. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 13)


C. 35 Brothers in charge of Offices 

The abbot selects suitable assistants for the various offices of the monastery. With the advice of God-fearing brothers, he appoints as prior, master of novices, cellarer and the other officials those with whom he can safely share his burdens. The brothers thus chosen are to fulfil their offices cheerfully and worthily keeping in all things the commandments of God and the instructions of the abbot, so that no one may be disturbed or saddened in the household of God.


C. 36 Consulting the Brothers 


To deal with matters affecting the welfare of the community the abbot, mindful of the admonitions of the Rule, willingly consults the brothers, by means of either the conventual chapter or his private council. The brothers are to approach the consultation in a spirit of docility to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to offer their opinions humbly and forthrightly. Except in those cases where the law provides otherwise, it belongs to the abbot, having listened to the brothers attentively, to make the final decision. In confidential matters, all are to be careful to maintain secrecy.


Voting is to be secret in all elections, in other cases prescribed by law, and when one of those present requests it. In the counting of votes, null votes and abstentions are not included. When the consent of the abbot's council or the conventual chapter is required for the performance of an action the abbot, to act validly, must obtain this consent either by an absolute majority or by a two-thirds majority, as the case may be. Having obtained the consent, the abbot may perform the action, but he is not bound to. If the consent is denied, he cannot act validly. In the same way, when it is prescribed that the abbot must consult his council or the conventual chapter, that consultation is required for the validity of the action. 

ST 36.2.A 

Votes are not taken unless the matter to be voted upon has been clearly presented and some interval allowed for reflection and prayer. 


ST 36.2.A bis

When consent is required, it means a vote by absolute majority, unless a two-thirds majority vote is explicitly requested.

ST 36.2.B 

Whenever consent is required, after the votes have been cast, the abbot and two witnesses are to count the votes and announce the result. The result is to be entered in the book of the acts of the chapter or council and signed by the abbot and the two witnesses.


In seeking advice or consent, the abbot or superior may vote, but he is not bound to. Those absent cannot vote by letter or by proxy. The exclaustrated lack both active and passive voice. 

ST 36.3.A

A brother absent from his monastery for the service of the Order or, in accordance with C. 13.3, for reasons of health, studies or the eremitical life, keeps his active and passive voice as a member of the conventual chapter. However, conscious of his responsibilities, he should be prudent and judicious in using or not using this right.  

ST 36.3.B 

Except in the cases foreseen in ST 36.3.A, a brother's active voice is suspended if he is absent from the monastery for more than six months, even legitimately.  a.

If this brother wishes to return definitively to his community the abbot, with the consent of his council and taking into consideration the duration of the absence, can require that the brother live in the community for a certain period before resuming the exercise of his voting rights.


Having consulted the conventual chapter the president of an election can restore voting rights to a brother who is resident in the monastery but who has lost them by reason of previous absence.



C. 37 Conventual Chapter 

The conventual chapter is composed of brothers in solemn vows who have stability in the community together with the superior. All enjoy active and passive voice in its deliberations and acts unless otherwise noted in the Constitutions. 

ST 37.A 

The abbot needs the consent of the conventual chapter with a two-thirds majority in the following cases:  


to admit of a monk of the Order to stability in the community, without prejudice to the exception mentioned in C. 60. 


to implement the plan for a new foundation. 


to raise a foundation into an autonomous monastery.  

ST 37.A bis

The titular prior also needs the consent of the conventual chapter with a two-thirds vote to begin the process for his priory to move to a superior rank.

ST 37.B 

The abbot needs the consent of the conventual chapter with an absolute majority in the following cases:  


to admit a novice to temporary profession. 

a. bis

to allow a brother coming from another community to renew his temporary vows.


to admit a brother to solemn profession. 


to proceed validly in the administrative matters treated in C.



to allow a change of filiation (cf. ST 73.B). 


to enable a brother in a simple priory to take part in an election if he has been simply professed for at least three years. 


to begin the process of a new foundation.


to accept the paternity of a house of nuns (cf. ST 73.A Nuns). 

ST 37.C  

The Conventual Chapter must give its consent for a Father Immediate to inquire into the capacity of an abbot and to verify it, in the circumstances foreseen on ST 40.B.bis.  

C. 38 The Abbot's Council 

The council, composed of some of the members of the conventual chapter, helps the abbot in governing the community. 

ST 38.A

The abbot's council is composed of at least three brothers of whom at least one is elected by the conventual chapter with an absolute majority.   

ST 38.B 

The abbot needs the consent of the council with an absolute majority in the following cases:  


to readmit a brother who has lawfully left at the end of the novitiate or after making profession without the obligation of repeating the novitiate, and to determine the form and duration of the new period of probation.


to determine, in accordance with ST 36.3.B.a, the length of time a brother who returns to the community is to live there before he can resume the exercise of his voting rights. 


to allow a brother to remain outside the monastery in the cases mentioned in C. 13.3. 


to fix the limits of strict enclosure d.

to ask the Abbot General to oblige a particular brother to transfer temporarily to another monastery for the sake of peace according to ST 60.B. 


to ask the Abbot General to petition the Holy See to impose an exclaustration on a particular brother.

ST 38.C 

The abbot must first hear his council in the following cases:  


to admit a postulant into the novitiate.  b.

to name the superior of a new foundation. 


to choose the members of a new foundation. 


to give permission to a monk to follow an eremitical vocation.  e.

to exclude a brother in temporary vows from making further profession.


to have recourse to the Abbot General to seek an indult of dispensation from solemn vows.


to begin the process of dismissal of a monk with solemn or temporary vows.

h. to prolong the period of postulancy beyond twelve months, for a period up to a maximum of two years postulancy. (Cf. 46.1.B)

ST 38.D 

The abbot acts with his council in making the declaration of fact that juridically establishes the dismissal of a monk in accordance with can. 694.2 CIC.  

C. 39 The Election of an Abbot 


The Father Immediate assumes responsibility for all things when a daughter house is without an abbot. 


An abbot is elected by the conventual chapter, acting collegially with the superiors of the daughter-houses. The Father Immediate, who presides at the election by right, or his delegate is to promote among the brothers a spirit of faith and discernment so that they may set a worthy steward over the household of God. 

ST 39.2.A 

In the election that takes place when a foundation has become an autonomous monastery, and in those held until the community attains the status of a major priory, with the consent of the conventual chapter, the temporarily professed who have at least three years of profession may vote.  

ST 39.2.B 

If the welfare of the community requires it, the Father Immediate may postpone an election beyond three months and propose that the community pass to the regime of a superior ad nutum. Before deciding this, he should first consult the conventual chapter and obtain the consent of the Abbot General. Before choosing the person to be superior ad nutum, he consults the brothers again. If such a regime, which is exceptional, lasts more than three years, at the time of the General Chapter, the Father Immediate, after having first consulted the community, submits the case to the General Chapter.  

ST 39.2.C

When the number of professed members in solemn vows goes down to five, the community loses the right to elect its superior. In this case, the Father Immediate informs the Abbot General, and proceeds to the appointment of a superior ad nutum or follows the Statute on the accompaniment of fragile communities, according to circumstances.  (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 97)


To be elected abbot a monk must be solemnly professed in the Order for at least seven years. 

ST 39.3.A 

The one who is elected should be at least 35 years old and less than 75 years of age. (Decision of the 2014 General Chapter, vote 48).

ST 39.3.A bis

A monk or a nun having attained 75 years of age can neither be elected nor postulated. (Gen. Chap. 2017, vote 12)


ST 39.3.B

Any brother who has made profession in the Order can be elected abbot, including the abbot of a daughter-house if this is necessary, but neither the abbot nor the titular prior nor the superior ad nutum of any other monastery nor, unless he is a member of the community, a councillor of the Abbot General can be elected.  


An abbot and a prior of a major priory are elected for an unrestricted term. Nevertheless, they can be elected for a fixed term according to the conditions laid down by the General Chapter. The prior of a simple priory is elected in accordance with the norms of the Statute on Foundations

ST 39.4.A

When two-thirds of the conventual chapter desire it, the chapter may elect an abbot for a fixed term of six years. In subsequent elections, so long as the community has not reverted to having an abbatial mandate for an unrestricted term, an absolute majority is sufficient for the conventual chapter to elect an abbot for a fixed term of six years.  

ST 39.4.B 

Before an election, the president is obliged to inquire of the conventual chapter whether it desires to elect an abbot for a term of six years.  

ST 39.4.C

An abbot elected for a fixed term can always be re-elected.  

ST 39.4.D 

The election is to be held not less than fifteen days after the vacancy and, unless there is a just impediment, within three months. In the case of an abbatial mandate for a fixed term, the election is held immediately the mandate ends.


An absolute majority of votes is required for an election, not counting null votes and abstentions. If a majority is not obtained on the first or second ballot, further ballots are to be held until it is achieved. For the good of the community, however, and with the consent of the conventual chapter, the president of the election has the faculty of limiting the number of ballots. A two-thirds majority is required in cases of postulation. 


The election is confirmed by the Abbot General. Each re-election requires a new confirmation by the Abbot General. If the brother who is elected is a deacon or is preparing for ordination in the near future, he should receive the priesthood as soon as possible. The Abbot General is not to confirm the election until he has verified that the one elected is willing to receive the priesthood and has the qualities required by universal law for ordination. If the brother who is elected is not preparing for ordination in the near future, or is not willing to accept ordination, or does not have the qualities required by universal law for ordination, the confirmation must be received in writing from the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.  (Cf. Rescript Ex audientia of Pope Francis, May 2022)

ST 39.6.A

When confirmation has been received, the one elected is installed. He receives the abbatial blessing at a convenient time.  

ST 39.6.B 

The acts of the election are to be sent to the Abbot General as soon as possible.  

ST 39.6.C 

The ritual of the Order is followed for the election, installation and blessing of an abbot.


C. 40 Resignation from Office 

For a just cause, an abbot may submit his resignation to the General Chapter. When the General Chapter is not in session, he presents his resignation to the Abbot General who acts as vicar of the Chapter in this matter. 

ST 40.A 

An abbot is to tender his resignation of his own accord when he reaches 75 years of age.  This resignation is always tendered to the Abbot General who passes it to the General Chapter only in exceptional circumstances. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote  27)

ST 40.A.bis

The abbot whose resignation at age 75 has not been accepted will present it again to the Abbot General six months before the next General Chapter. In exceptional circumstances he may pass the matter to the General Chapter. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote  17)

ST 40.B 

When an abbot offers his resignation, the Father Immediate is always consulted. Careful inquiry is made, if the matter demands it, into the views of the community. Neighbouring superiors also are to be consulted, if appropriate.

ST 40.B.bis

If because of an infirmity or other reason (such as imprisonment, banishment or exile - cf. Can 412 CIC) it is impossible either physically or psychologically for an abbot to exercise his pastoral function, it is for the Father Immediate, having consulted experts and obtained the consent of the conventual chapter, to investigate and verify the matter. If the impossibility is evident, he immediately informs the Abbot General, who with the consent of his council can remove the abbot from office.

ST 40.C 

The monk who left the community of his profession to exercise the abbatial ministry in another community of the Order can, within a year of resigning from office or completing his mandate, resume his first stability.  

CHAPTER THREE:  Temporal Administration  

C. 41 Temporal Goods of the Monastery 


Fidelity to Cistercian traditions requires that the community's regular income be mainly the fruit of its own work. Each brother has the right and duty of serving the community by doing his share of its work according to his abilities and within the economic structure of the monastery. 


It is the abbot's responsibility as the steward of God's household to ensure that the community's possession and use of temporal goods is such that provision is made for human needs and, at the same time, the law of the Gospel is obeyed. The community is to remain faithful to the Church's teaching on social justice, and in its business dealings to withhold support from all structures of oppression.


Following a long tradition, some part of the monastery's income is to be allocated for the needs of the Church and the support of those in want, as far as this is possible.


C. 42 Juridical Status 

By law, the Order and each of its monasteries are juridical persons, capable of acquiring, possessing, administering and alienating temporal goods. 

C. 43 Ordinary Administration 


The abbot appoints a cellarer who is responsible for the ordinary administration of the monastery's temporal affairs. Normally, apart from the abbot, only he may act validly in the name of the monastery when incurring expenses and in legal matters. The abbot may, however, entrust some business to other brothers, specifying the limits of their authority and their responsibility in financial dealings. All these officials are accountable to the abbot. 

ST 43.1.A 

The monastery is to keep accounts using a system that is locally acceptable. At regular intervals, the accounts are to be submitted to the judgement of a professional.  

ST 43.1.B 

The consent of the abbot is required for investing money. Investments are to be managed prudently. Any speculation is forbidden.  

ST 43.1.C 

It is not permissible in any circumstances for the members of our Order to grant to third parties rights to the use of the titles "La Trappe" or "Trappist" or terms derived from them. They are to use their best efforts, according to their own civil law, to prevent or stop any usurpation, imitation or illegal use of these words. They must avoid ceding or conceding for any reason the rights to the use as a title, commercial name or trademark, of any name derived from the title of the monastery or containing such words as "abbey", "monk" or "monastery" and the like.


The monastery is to have a finance committee, with which the abbot regularly reviews the economic situation of the monastery. 


Temporal administration is to be examined during the regular visitation. 

ST 43.3.A

The account books of the monastery are to be shown to the visitor. At least every four years, before he signs them, they should be examined by a person who is really competent. If the visitor perceives that the monastery is in a dangerous economic situation, he notifies the Abbot General and also, if he is a delegated visitor, the Father Immediate.  

C. 44 Extraordinary Administration 


Alienation or any transaction by which the patrimonial condition of the monastery could be adversely affected is considered an act of extraordinary administration. Special permissions are required to perform such acts validly when the matter involves sums in excess of what is fixed by law. 


The permission of the Holy See is required for an act of extraordinary administration if the sum involved exceeds that fixed by the Holy See for each region, or if it concerns things donated to the monastery in fulfilment of a vow or that are precious for artistic or historical reasons. 

ST 44.2.A 

When the permission of the Holy See is needed the consent of the conventual chapter and the General Chapter should be obtained.  

ST 44.2.B 

In an urgent case, the permission to be asked from the General Chapter may be obtained from the Abbot General with the consent of his council. This permission is to be given in writing.  


The General Chapter determines the sums in excess of which special permissions are needed for the validity of acts of extraordinary administration that are not covered in paragraph 2. 

ST 44.3.A 

The consent of the conventual chapter and of the General Chapter is required for any transaction that exceeds the greater sum fixed by the General Chapter, and for the construction or demolition of buildings if more than this amount is involved.  

ST 44.3.B 

The consent of the conventual chapter is required for any transaction that exceeds the lesser sum fixed by the General Chapter and for giving power of attorney in a serious matter.  


C. 45 The Process of Formation 


Formation to Cistercian life has for its purpose the restoration of the divine likeness in the brothers through the working of the Holy Spirit. Aided by the maternal care of the Mother of God, the brothers so advance in the monastic way of life that they progressively attain the full measure of the stature of Christ. 


Solitude, continual prayer, humble work, voluntary poverty, celibate chastity, and obedience are not human skills, and cannot be learned from human beings. Nevertheless, the teaching of the abbot, the experience and wisdom of the seniors, and the constant help and example of the community are of great value to the brothers as they pass through the different situations and changes of the spiritual journey.


The role of the community in the process of formation is to help each brother to assimilate the essential elements of the Cistercian way of life. Those in formation, conscious of their responsibility, should actively collaborate with their formators so that they may faithfully be responsive to the grace of their divine vocation. This formation, which begins at entry and continues throughout life, has many aspects: human, doctrinal and spiritual. It is to be regarded as an important part of the pastoral responsibility of the abbot. 

ST 45.3.A 

A Ratio Institutionis is to be promulgated for the Order and adapted in all the regions according to the different circumstances of each monastery.  

ST 45.3.B 

Monasteries are to offer generous mutual assistance in making this formation a reality.  

C. 46 Admission of Brothers 


Newcomers to monastic life are to be received kindly, but not easily admitted into the community. By frequent visits to the monastery, they become acquainted with the members of the community. They are told about all the hard and difficult things that are to be found on the way to God. They are to be received as brothers only if they manifest the spiritual attitude needed for monastic life and give evidence of adequate maturity and health. When these qualities are present, their desire to embrace this life can be recognised as an indication of God's call and of their intention of truly seeking God with all their heart. 

ST 46.1.A 

The aspirancy is the stage when the candidate acquires initial knowledge of the community and the community of the candidate, through a series of contacts and times of community experience.  The aspirancy is of a minimum duration of twelve months but not more than two years. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 99)

 ST 46.1.B

Postulants are initiated into the spiritual disciplines of the Order in a manner appropriate to them at this stage.  The postulancy has a minimum duration of twelve months which can be prolonged according to need by the abbot, having heard his council, but must not exceed two years.  (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 101)


A religious in perpetual vows coming from another institute to enter our Order needs the permission of his Supreme Moderator and of the Abbot General, each with the consent of his council. He does not make temporary profession, but can be admitted to solemn profession after at least three years of probation. The norms of universal law are to be observed if he is not admitted (can. 684 § 2). Universal law also defines his canonical status during the time of probation (canon 685, §


ST 46.2.A 

The brother first obtains a leave of absence from his institute and lives in the community for at least six months. After that, when the abbot has received the authorisations necessary for the transfer he admits the brother to probation for three years, at least two of which are to be spent with those in formation. The time of probation can be prolonged by the abbot for another three years.

ST 46.2.B

For the admission of a member of a secular Institute or Society of Apostolic life, permission of the Holy See is required, and its instructions are to be followed (Can. 684. 5).


For the admission of clerics, can. 644 CIC is followed which requires that their Ordinary be consulted. 


C. 47 The Master of Novices 

One who is skilled in winning souls is to be chosen as master of novices. He is to be prudent, well formed in the monastic way of life, effective in communicating the wisdom of the Fathers to the juniors and capable of giving them direction. 

ST 47.A 

The master of novices is to be at least 30 years old and solemnly professed in the Order for at least two years.  



C. 48 Admission to the Novitiate 

The abbot is to observe all that is required by law for admission into the novitiate (canons 641-645).

ST 48.A 

The abbot is to consult his council before admitting postulants into the novitiate.  

ST 48.B 

The rite of admission is given in the ritual of the Order.  

C. 49 Formation of Novices 


The master of novices should lead newcomers to share in the life of the monastic family. He is to instruct them in monastic observances, especially the Work of God, lectio divina, prayer and manual work. During the novitiate, they are not given offices or work that could impede their formation. All the brothers are to support the novices by prayer and example and encourage them to persevere. 

ST 49.1.A 

To facilitate the formation of the novices it is recommended that a special part of the monastery be assigned to them.  

ST 49.1.B 

Between the abbot and the master of novices there should exist a sincere and profound unity of spirit, heart and orientation. This is an indispensable condition for a genuine formation of the novices. The abbot and the master of novices together determine novitiate policy. This is explained to the community by the abbot in order to obtain its co-operation.


Even in the school of love obstacles to full affective maturity can occur. It is of great importance that the community provide for the brothers such help as they need to overcome these obstacles. The master of novices should constantly discern their characters and their progress and help them to grow in selfknowledge. Where appropriate, he should make use of professionals in this field.

The formation of novices should be entrusted only to wise and suitable brothers. 


C. 50 Duration of the Novitiate 

The novitiate lasts two years. For pastoral reasons the abbot can prolong it for a further six months. For the novitiate to be valid, a novice must spend twelve months in the novitiate. For absences from the monastery during this time can. 649.1 CIC is applicable. First profession can be anticipated but not by more than fifteen days. 

ST 50.A

The Abbot General, having consulted his council, can dispense from the second year of novitiate.

C. 51 Admission to Temporary Profession 

During the novitiate, care is taken to discern whether the novice has grown spiritually through his participation in monastic life. If he truly seeks God, is zealous for the Work of God, obedience and humiliations and is suited to living correctly, in solitude and silence, the community relationships that constitute Cistercian life then at the end of the novitiate he is to be admitted by the abbot to temporary profession. This is done at his free request and with the consent of the conventual chapter.


C. 52 Temporary Profession 


By temporary vows, brothers undertake the obligations proper to monastic life either for a period of three years, or for three periods of one year. The abbot may prolong this time but not beyond a further six years. 

ST 52.1.A 

The rite of temporary profession is found in the ritual of the Order.


According to can. 668.1-3 CIC, a brother bound by temporary profession retains the ownership of his goods and the capacity of acquiring more. Before he makes temporary profession, he should assign the administration of his goods to someone else and freely make arrangements regarding their use and revenues. In this matter, the abbot is competent to give the necessary permissions. 


C. 53 Formation of the Temporarily Professed 

Monastic formation is to be completed during the years of temporary profession. A Ratio Institutionis is to be prepared for this so that the newly professed may come to an ever greater knowledge of the Mystery of Christ and the Church, as well as the Cistercian patrimony, and strive to express it in their lives. Care is to be taken that offices and work given to the temporarily professed do not impede this formation. 

ST 53.A 

The temporarily professed can remain for some time in the novitiate or in a special part of the monastery. The abbot is to take care that they receive whatever assistance they need, according to the monastery's resources.  


C. 54 Admission to Solemn Profession 

At the end of the period of temporary profession, after prolonged reflection so that he might clearly perceive the significance of the action he is about to take, the brother may of his own accord present to the abbot his petition to make solemn profession. If the abbot considers him suitable then, with the consent of the conventual chapter, he is to admit him to profession. For a just cause solemn profession may be anticipated but not by more than three months. The conditions for the validity of solemn profession are listed in can. 658 CIC. 

C. 55 Renunciation of Goods 

By virtue of solemn profession, a brother loses the capacity of acquiring and owning goods. If he owns goods or has a right to them, he is bound, before this profession, to distribute them to the poor or dispose of them in some other way in accordance with the norm of can. 668.4-5 CIC. This renunciation is to be made before solemn profession, as far as possible in a form that is valid in civil law, to take effect from the day of profession. Whatever comes to him after the renunciation goes to the monastery.


C. 56 Solemn Profession


By making profession of solemn vows, a brother gives himself to Christ in a spirit of faith and commits himself perpetually to lead in his community a way of life in accordance with the Rule of Saint Benedict. The abbot and the brothers are to welcome him warmly into the community, knowing they are duty bound to help him by prayer and example, more and more to put on the likeness of Christ. 

ST 56.1.A 

The rite for the blessing of a monk is found in the ritual of the Order.  

ST 56.1.B 

The abbot is to notify the pastor of the parish in which the newly professed was baptised that the solemn profession has taken place.


By solemn profession, a brother is definitively incorporated into the Order and with the rights and duties defined by law. 


This is the formula of profession: 

I, Brother N..., promise my stability, my fidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience until death in accordance with the Rule of Saint Benedict, Abbot. I do this before God and all his saints, in this monastery of N... of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, constructed in honour of the Blessed and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and in the presence of Dom N..., abbot of this monastery.  

C. 57 The Ordination of Monks 

If an abbot requests that one of his monks be ordained priest or deacon for his monastery, he must ensure compliance with everything required in this matter by universal law, especially can. 1019.1 CIC, and by the Order's Ratio Institutionis. [Ratio Institutionis, n. 60-62]. Because a brother who is a priest or deacon serves the community in a special way, it is recommended that the abbot consult the conventual chapter or at least his council before proceeding with the ordination.

C. 58 Continuing Formation 

After solemn profession and throughout their lives, the brothers continue to learn “the philosophy of Christ.  Accompaniment is provided for the newly solemnly professed dureing this time of particular vocational maturation.  Continuing formation is to be made available to the whole community and to individual brothers according to their capacity.  This formation is always to be based on the Rue of saint Benedict and the Cistercian patrimony and is to draw from the riches of biblical, patristic, liturgical, theological and spiritual sciences. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 108)

ST 58.A 

The liturgy, the teaching of the abbot, readings, conferences given to the community and a well-stocked library are means that contribute to the continuing formation of the whole community. The abbot is to encourage individual brothers to give themselves fully to this formation according to their gifts, using means compatible with monastic life.  

ST 58.B 

Provision is to be made so that the monastery is not without well-trained teachers who have sufficient time to carry out their task effectively.  

ST 58.C 

The brothers who work in the various offices and crafts are to do so peacefully. The abbot is to see to it that they are able to acquire useful skills as needed.  


CHAPTER FIVE: Separation from the Community                            and Suppression of a Monastery


C. 59 Pastoral Solicitude 


The abbot is to act with pastoral solicitude towards those leaving the monastery. Above all he is to act with disinterested concern for the welfare of the one who is leaving as well as for that of the whole community. 


Those who leave or are dismissed are not entitled to claim anything from the monastery for services rendered. Nevertheless, the abbot is to observe the norms of equity and evangelical charity towards members who depart. 

ST 59.2.A

To safeguard the welfare of members who leave or are dismissed, as well as that of the community, the abbot is to have a sound knowledge of the social legislation of the place where the monastery is located. 


C. 60 Transfer of a Brother to another Monastery of the Order 

1. A grave cause is required if a professed brother is to change the monastery of his stability. Furthermore, the consent of the abbots of both monasteries is required and that of the conventual chapter of the monastery that receives him. The consent of the chapter is not required, however, in the case of a monk who had changed his stability to a foundation when this became autonomous and later returns to the monastery of his previous profession. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 11)

ST 60.1.A 

In the case of a solemn professed, the presence for one year at least in the new monastery is required before consent is sought from the conventual chapter. A two-thirds majority is needed. The change of stability is marked by a suitable liturgical ceremony.

In the case of a temporary professed, when the vows are to expire they will have to be renewed, but this time for the new community. This renewal of vows by the candidate is made with the consent of the conventual chapter. An absolute majority is needed. A probationary period of at least three years in the new monastery is required, at the end of which the abbot, if he considers him suitable, with the consent of the conventual chapter, admits him to solemn profession.  

ST 60.1.B 

The Abbot General can oblige a brother for the sake of peace to transfer temporarily to another monastery, having heard the brother himself and with due consideration for the community that receives him. This is done at the request of the abbot and with the consent of the abbot's council and of the Father Immediate and for not more than five years.  

2. In the case of a monk of a suppressed house who wishes to make his stability in the community, the receiving community expresses its willingness to accept this brother through a vote of the conventual chapter, taken at the moment of acceptance. This vote requires an absolute majority. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 11)

C. 61 Transfer to another Institute 

If a monk wishes to transfer to another institute of consecrated life, to a secular institute or to a society of apostolic life the norms of can. 684 and 685 CIC are observed. 


C. 62 Exclaustration 


The abbot, with the consent of his council, can grant an indult of exclaustration to a solemnly professed monk, for a period of not more than one year, having obtained the consent of the Ordinary of the place where the monk is to live, and having consulted the Father Immediate.  An extension of this indult of exclaustration can be granted by the Abbot General with the consent of his council ofr a period of not more than four years. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 90)

ST 62.1.A                                                                          

The Abbot General with the consent of his council can, for a grave cause, request the Holy See to impose exclaustration on a monk, equity and charity being maintained. This is done at the request of the abbot and with the consent of the abbot's council and after consulting the Father Immediate.


The exclaustrated monk is released from those obligations that are incompatible with his new state of life. However, he remains dependent on his superiors and under their care. He is also dependent on the Ordinary of the place, especially if he is a cleric. He can wear the habit of the Order, unless it is stated otherwise in the indult, but he loses both active and passive voice. 


C. 63 Departure of the Temporarily Professed 


One who, for a grave cause, asks to leave the monastery during the time of temporary profession can obtain an indult to leave from the Abbot General with the consent of his council. 


At the end of the period of temporary profession if just causes exist, the abbot can, after consulting his council, exclude a brother from making further profession. 


If a brother in temporary vows contracts a physical or psychological illness, the abbot is to observe can. 689.2-3 CIC. 


C. 64 Departure of the Solemnly Professed 

A monk in solemn vows is not to request an indult to leave except for very grave causes, weighed in the presence of God. He is to give his request to his abbot who is to discuss it with his council and send it with his comments to the Abbot General. The Abbot General is to forward this with his opinion and that of his council to the Holy See. In the case of a cleric the norms of can. 693 CIC are followed. 


C. 65 Dismissal 

In the case of the dismissal of a professed monk, whether in temporary or solemn vows, cann. 694-704 CIC are to be followed with regard to causes, procedures and effects. The competent superiors in these cases are the abbot with his council, as Major Superior; and the Abbot General with his council, as supreme moderator. 


C. 66 Readmission to the Monastery 

One who had legitimately left the monastery at the end of the novitiate or after his temporary or solemn profession can be readmitted by the abbot with the consent of his council, without the obligation of repeating the novitiate. It is for the abbot to determine the form and duration of a new term of probation, according to the norm of universal law and particular circumstances. 

ST 66.A

To determine the form and duration of a new term of probation the abbot needs the consent of his council.  


C. 67 – Accompaniment of Fragile Communities and Suppression of a Monastery

1. When a community experiences a situation of grave fragility, it deserves special attention of the Order, especially of the Father Immediate and of the General Chapter. The process of accompanying communities in these situations is described in a special Statute on the Accompaniment of Fragile Communities and on the Suppression of a Monastery approved by the General Chapter.

2. When, despite this help, a community remains in a situation of increasing and irreversible fragility, it will be necessary to proceed to its suppression as outlined in the same Statute.

3. Only the General Chapter, by a two-thirds majority, can decide on the suppression of an autonomous monastery. The process to be followed by the General Chapter is described in the Statute on the Accompaniment of Fragile Communities and on the Suppression of a Monastery. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 12)


CHAPTER SIX:  Foundations  

C. 68 Foundations 


When their number increases, or when they are alerted by some other indication of Providence, the brothers are to know that this may be an invitation to extend monastic life to another place. Let them examine the possibility of a foundation not only prudently but also boldly and generously, considering whether they wish to participate in a monastic manner in fulfilling the mission of evangelization as the contemplative presence of the Church. They are to give special attention to the appeal of the Second Vatican Council to carry the monastic way of life to new churches. 


The process of founding a monastery is described in a special Statute on Foundations approved by the General Chapter. 


C. 69 Care of Foundations 


When they give approval to a foundation, the abbots and abbesses are to encompass the new offshoot with fraternal care. 

ST 69.1.A

The selection of brothers to be sent on a foundation is not merely a matter of practical preparation; it also requires discernment and prayer.  

ST 69.1.B 

If there are financial difficulties in a foundation the superiors of the Order are to provide the necessary help.  

ST 69.1.C 

The superiors of the Order should provide help in the area of formation, especially for very remote monasteries.


With the consent of his council, the Abbot General can give permission for the opening of a novitiate in a foundation.     


C. 70 Adaptation to Local Culture 

Wherever new monasteries are established, the founders are to become lovers of that place. Monastic life is not to be bound to any particular form of culture nor to any political, economic or social system but, as far as possible, what is rightly valued in the local culture should be welcomed as new means of expressing and enriching the treasure of the Cistercian patrimony. 



Part Three  


C. 71 The Bond of Unity   


Autonomous monasteries of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, spread throughout different parts of the world, are joined together by the bond of charity and by a common tradition of doctrine and law. 


Their superiors are united by the bond of solicitude for the welfare of each community. 


They collegially exercise this pastoral care, together with supreme authority in the Order, when they assemble for the General Chapter. 


The same pastoral care is exercised, under the guidance of the General Chapter, through the institutions of filiation and regular visitation, as well as by assemblies of superiors and the various offices by which the welfare of the whole Order is fostered. 


C. 72 Cistercian Monks and Nuns of the Strict Observance 


Cistercian monks and nuns of the Strict Observance constitute a single Order. They participate in handing on the same patrimony. They collaborate and give mutual help in many ways, having due regard to their healthy differences and the complementarity of their gifts. 



CHAPTER ONE:  Filiation  


C. 73 The Character of Filiation 

In accordance with the Charter of Charity, Cistercian communities are united by the bond of filiation. Traditionally filiation has its juridic form in the function of the Father Immediate. Paternity and filiation are expressed through mutual assistance and support. 

ST 73.A

When a foundation is raised to an autonomous monastery, the abbot of the founding house automatically becomes its Father Immediate.  

ST 73.B

All changes in filiation must be discussed by the communities involved and by the General Chapter (cf. ST 37.B.d) If no agreement is reached, the decision rests with the General Chapter.  

C. 74 The Father Immediate 


The Father Immediate is to watch over the progress of his daughter houses. While respecting the autonomy of the daughter house he is to help and support the abbot in the exercise of his pastoral charge and to foster concord in the community. If he notices there a violation of a precept of the Rule or of the Order, he is to try with humility and charity and having consulted the local abbot, to remedy the situation. 

ST 74.1.A 

The abbot needs the consent of the Father Immediate to ask the Abbot General to oblige a brother to transfer temporarily to another monastery.


The Father Immediate ensures that a daughter house that is without an abbot elects a new superior within three months. By virtue of his office, he presides at the election of the new abbot or, if necessary, he names a superior ad nutum to the community according to the norm of the Order's law. 

ST 74.2.A

In an exceptional situation, the Father Immediate can ask a  superior ad nutum to delegate the exercise of his right of paternity. 

ST 74.2.B 

The Father Immediate is always consulted when an abbot offers his resignation.  

ST 74.2.C 

The Father Immediate needs the consent of the conventual Chapter to begin the process of removal of an abbot from office in accordance with ST 40.B.bis.  


It belongs to the General Chapter with the consent of the communities involved to approve the appointment of the Father Immediate of each monastery of nuns. The duties and rights of the Father Immediate are given in the proper law of the nuns, subject to the consent of the General Chapter. 




C. 75 Regular Visitation 


Monasteries are visited by the Father Immediate.  The Abbot General also can visit them.  The Father Immediate will delegate another person to make the Visitation at least once every six years.  Before delegating a Visitor, the Abbot General or the Father Immediate must consult the abbot of the monastery to be visited. (Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 24)

ST 75.1.A

The Visitor may be accompanied by another person according to the norms of the Statute on the Regular Visitation (n.9). This is done after consultation of the abbot of the house to be visited, who in his turn consults his community.  


The purpose of the regular visitation is to strengthen and supplement the pastoral action of the local abbot, to correct it where necessary, and to motivate the brothers to lead the Cistercian life with a renewed spiritual fervour. This requires the active co-operation of the community. The visitor is faithfully to observe the precepts of law, the spirit of the Charter of Charity and the norms of the General Chapter. 

ST 75.2.A 

The delegated visitor can be the superior of an autonomous monastery of nuns or of monks.(Gen. Chap. 2022/2, vote 23). He can also be a former abbot (titular prior) or a monk councillor of the Abbot General. In these cases, both the Abbot General and the Father Immediate consult the abbot of the house to be visited, who in his turn consults his community.  

ST 75.2.B 

Each monastery is to be visited at least once every two years.  

ST 75.2.C 

After the visitation the visitor is to send a copy of the visitation card to the Abbot General within two months. A delegated visitor is also to send one to the Father Immediate.


C. 76 The Chaplain of Nuns 


In accordance with the norms of cann. 567 and 630 CIC, the Father Immediate, having consulted the abbess and the nuns, should propose to the local Ordinary as chaplain and ordinary confessor, a monk of the Order who has the necessary liturgical and pastoral knowledge. 

ST 76.1.A 

This consultation of the community should be repeated at certain times.


This priest by virtue of his office enjoys the faculties mentioned in can 566.1 CIC. In celebrating the liturgy he co-operates with the abbess and the community. He does not in any way involve himself in the governance of the community. 

ST 76.2.A 

As far as possible the chaplain maintains contact with his own community or with another community of monks.  

CHAPTER TWO:  Assemblies of Superiors  


C. 77 The General Chapter  


At fixed times all the abbots and abbesses come together. They discuss there the salvation of their own souls and of those committed to them. They take measures regarding the observance of the Holy Rule and of the Order where there is something that needs to be corrected or added. They foster anew among themselves the benefit of peace and charity. They devote themselves to maintaining the patrimony of the Order and safeguarding and increasing its unity. 


The supreme authority of the Order is exercised by all the superiors meeting as a General Chapter. The General Chapter is competent to legislate for the monks and nuns and to be responsible for the application of these laws. The ecclesiastical power of governance for the whole Order resides in the General Chapter in accordance with canon 596 §2 of the Code of Canon Law. It is exercised by the abbots with the cooperation of the abbesses in accordance with canon 129 §1 and 2. 

ST 77.2.A

Any brother can submit desires or suggestions to the General Chapter. This is done through his abbot or Father Immediate, through the regional conference or the regional delegate, or even directly through the Abbot General.  

ST 77.2.B

It belongs to the General Chapter to ensure that the members of the Order have the possibility of unimpeded recourse to the various instances of appeal as needed: that is to the Father Immediate, the Abbot General, the General Chapter or the Holy See.  

ST 77.2.C 

Ordinarily the General Chapter is convoked once every three years.



C. 78 Those Taking Part in the General Chapter 

The Abbot General, the superiors of autonomous monasteries and the councillors of the Abbot General have the obligation of participating in the General Chapter with the right to vote. The Chapter can invite other members of the Order and even give them voting rights. 

ST 78.A 

The following can assist at the General Chapter with voting rights:  


superiors of foundations, invited by the abbots of the founding houses with the consent of the Abbot General. 


delegates of superiors who are unable to take part. 


representatives of communities in which the abbatial office is vacant, elected by the conventual chapter.

ST 78.B 

The following can assist at the General Chapter, but without voting rights:  


delegates of each regional conference. 


experts and observers invited by the Central



the superiors appointed for future foundations.


C. 79 The Competence of the General Chapter 

It is for the General Chapter to approve new foundations or their closing, to incorporate or suppress monasteries of monks, to incorporate monasteries of nuns, to petition the Holy See for their suppression, to elect the Abbot General and to accept his resignation. It is also for the General Chapter, to elect officials of the Order determined by law, to watch over the manner in which they exercise their office, to accept their resignations and if necessary to depose them, and to accept the resignations of abbots and abbesses or to depose the abbots

ST 79.A 

It is also for the General Chapter:  


to decide by a two-thirds majority about changes to be introduced into the Constitutions, before submitting them to the Holy See, to which belongs the authentic interpretation of the Constitutions. 


except for ST 79.a, all the votes taken by the General Chapter require absolute majority. Yet 50 capitulants can request that the assembly decide, by a preliminary vote that a particular matter requires a vote with a majority of two-thirds.  


to be informed of the state of each community and to exercise pastoral care in its regard. 


to give approval to each regional conference and to determine the manner of its representation in the structures of the Order.  d.

to establish inter-capitular commissions, to name their members, and to supervise their activities. 


to approve changes in filiation and the relocation of monasteries. 


to establish the procedure for the General Chapter and to elect its Promoter.


to promulgate a statute on the publication of books. 


to give communities the permissions required by C. 44.


to entrust causes for beatification or canonisation to the Postulator General.

ST 79.B 

When after consulting the abbots of the region a Father Immediate judges that a particular community can no longer form new aspirants, the General Chapter can suspend its right to receive aspirants until the next General Chapter, which is to re-examine the situation.  


C. 80 The Central Commission  

Each General Chapter elects a commission with the task of preparing the next Chapter. This commission is called the Central Commission. It operates under the presidency of the Abbot General and according to the norms established by the General Chapter. 

ST 80.A 

The Central Commission meets once between General Chapters or when the Abbot General or a majority of the members considers it necessary.  

ST 80.B 

The following are members of this Commission with the right to vote:  


the Abbot General. 


the Promoter of the General Chapter. 


the Vice-promoter of the General Chapter and the three other members of the Coordinating Commission.  


superiors, each representing their regional conference and elected by it. They may hold this office three times only. 

d bis.

A second representative of three regional conferences (ASPAC, RAFMA, and REMILA).  


the councillors of the Abbot General. (Cf. ST 84.1.B) 


others elected by the General Chapter in a particular instance.

ST 80.C 

Other persons invited by the Abbot General may attend the meetings of the Central Commission without voting rights. 


ST 80.D 

In the absence of the Abbot General the Promoter of the General Chapter presides at the meetings of the Central Commission.

ST 80.E 

The Central Commission prepares the General Chapter by co-ordinating the initiatives coming from the regional conferences.  

ST 80.F

The Central Commission can give a provisional interpretation of the decisions of the previous General Chapter.  

ST 80.G

In special cases the Central Commission can propose to the Abbot General that an extraordinary General Chapter be convoked.  

ST 80.H

The Central Commission acts collegially by a majority vote in the following cases:  


matters relating to the preparation of the following General Chapter. 


provisional interpretation of the decisions of the preceding General Chapter. 


proposing the convocation of an extraordinary General Chapter to the Abbot General.

ST 80.I

When in session the Central Commission acts as the plenary council of the Abbot General, who consults it in the cases mentioned in ST 84.1.C.


C. 81 Regional Conferences 

The communities of the Order are grouped in Regions approved by the General

Chapter. These regional conferences foster communion and fraternal co-operation

within each geographical area and in the Order as a whole. Regional conferences can be composed of both monks and nuns. 

ST 81.A 

These meetings of superiors and delegates are very useful in preparing for the Central Commission and the General Chapter. In addition, they provide an opportunity for discussing questions of common interest and relevance that may not concern the whole Order.  

ST 81.B

Each regional conference is represented on the Central Commission by a superior, elected by it (cf. ST 80.B.d and d bis) unless it was decided otherwise at the moment of its approval. It can send a non-superior as a delegate to the General Chapter.  

ST 81.C 

The relationship of the various regional conferences gives rise to a dialogue among the various nations and peoples by which the common patrimony of the Order can be more deeply appreciated.  

CHAPTER THREE:  The Office of Abbot General  

C. 82 The Abbot General 


Because the Abbot General is a bond of unity within the Order he fosters good relations among the communities of both monks and nuns and is the watchful guardian of the Order's patrimony, ensuring its growth. Above all he is to be a pastor who promotes the spirit of renewal in communities. He visits the monasteries sufficiently often, as he judges best, to be aware of the state of the whole Order, and be able to provide valuable help to individual superiors and communities. 


The Abbot General convokes the General Chapter and presides at it. Assisted by his council, he acts in the name of the General Chapter in those matters committed to him by the Chapter or by law, and in cases that cannot be postponed. 

ST 82.2.A

The Abbot General lives at Rome with his councillors. He is watchful of the monastic discipline of those living at the Generalate. He draws up for this community an internal statute or ordinance, adapted to its particular situation, and names a superior who is accountable to him for its administration.   

ST 82.2.B 

Since the Generalate is at the service of the whole Order, each house should consider itself bound to supply personnel. Superiors and communities will readily respond to any request of the Abbot General in this regard.  

ST 82.2.C 

He is responsible for the ordinary temporal administration of the Order and is accountable to the General Chapter for it. He acts in the name of the Order with the Holy See.  

ST 82.2.D

The Abbot General can make the Regular Visitation at all the monasteries of the Order either personally or through a delegate, even though the Regular Visitation has been made recently by the Father Immediate or his delegate.  

ST 82.2.E

The Abbot General acts in every way as a Father Immediate to the Community of Cîteaux.  


He confirms the elections of abbots and abbesses and accepts their resignations, as vicar of the General Chapter, when the General Chapter is not in session. 


He has the power to dispense in all that pertains to the proper law of the Order. However, he does not have the power to pass laws.


He cannot make decisions about the goods or the persons of communities, except as a temporary measure in case of necessity.


The Abbot General is understood in law as Supreme Moderator of a clerical institute of pontifical right, according to the norm of the Constitutions. 


C. 83 The Election of the Abbot General 


The Abbot General is elected by the General Chapter. Whoever obtains an absolute majority is considered to be elected. Election is for an unrestricted term. Confirmation is not needed. To be eligible, he must be or have been an abbot in the Order in the restrictive sense of the term.  

ST 83.1.A 

The Abbot General must be at least 40 years of age.  

ST 83.1.B 

The Abbot General keeps his stability in his monastery and can exercise all rights there that are compatible with his office. When an abbot is elected Abbot General while still in office, his position becomes vacant from the moment of his acceptance of the new office.


For his resignation from office to be valid it must be accepted by the General Chapter. 

ST 83.2.A 

The Abbot General is to offer his resignation to the General Chapter nearest to his 75th birthday.  


C. 84 The Council of the Abbot General 


The Abbot General is helped in fulfilling his pastoral office by a council, which is competent for both monks and nuns in matters defined by law. 

ST 84.1.A 

The council of the Abbot General is made up of five members. Four members,

i.e., two monks and two nuns, are nominated by the Regional Conferences, and elected by the General Chapter. Their mandate lasts six years, so that two members will be elected at each meeting of the General Chapter. The fifth member, a monk or a nun, is chosen for a three year term at each General Chapter, by the Abbot General and the four councillors already elected. These members are chosen for their competence and, among other qualities, their openness to different cultures. They are to be at least 40 years old and solemnly professed in the Order for ten years.  

ST 84.1.A bis

During the time of their mandate, the councillors of the Abbot General lose their passive voice in abbatial elections, except in each one’s own community. [Gen Ch 2002, vote 68] A councillor cannot be appointed superior ad nutum except in his or her own community.  

ST 84.1.B 

The members of the Abbot General's council are also members of the Central

Commission that, in session, acts as the plenary council of the Abbot General. 


In order to approve a foundation, the Abbot General needs the consent of the Central Commission, acting as plenary Council of the Abbot General (cf. Statute on Foundations, n. 9).

ST 84.1.C 

The Abbot General requires the consent of his council for the juridical validity of his acts in the following cases:  


the authorization to open a novitiate in a foundation (Statute on Foundations, n. 14.a)..  


to accept the resignation from office of an abbot.                                                                     b.bis 

to remove an abbot from his office according to ST 40.B.bis.  


to begin the process of canonical deposition of an abbot.  


to accept the resignation of a member of the council and to elect his/her successor.  


to give a monastery permission for an act of extraordinary administration.  


in an exceptional case to dispense a community from one or two of the Little Hours of the Work of God.  


to permit a brother professed in solemn vows to transfer to another institute and a religious in perpetual vows in another institute to transfer to ours.


to grant an indult of exclaustration for up to five years to a monk of the Order. (Competentias quasdam decernere, 11 Feb 2022).


at the request of an abbot to ask the Holy See to impose exclaustration on a brother.  


for a grave cause to grant to a temporarily professed a dispensation from vows.


for serious reasons, to permit raising a priory to a higher rank (cf. Statute on Foundations, n.18) 


in an urgent case, to permit the closing of a foundation (cf. Statute on Foundations, n.20)


ST 84.1.D 

The Abbot General must consult his council in the following cases:  


to dispense a novice from the second year of novitiate.  


to name the Postulator General who is to promote the causes of beatification and canonisation entrusted to him by the Order.


to forward to the Holy See the request for a monk to be dispensed from solemn vows according to the norms of C. 64.  d.

to forward to the Holy See the request of exclaustration for a monk.   

ST 84.1.E 

In the case of the dismissal of a monk, the Abbot General proceeds collegially with his council in weighing the arguments both in support of dismissal and against it. The decision is reached by secret ballot.  

ST 84.1.F 

The Abbot General is to communicate the visitation cards from regular visitations to the members of his council.

ST 84.1.G 

The Abbot General and his council determine the share which each monastery contributes to the expenses of the Generalate, bearing in mind the economic situation of the monastery. A summary of the financial administration of the general curia is given to the General Chapter.  

ST 84.1.H 

One member of the council of the Abbot General is elected at each ordinary

General Chapter as Procurator General. Under the authority of the Abbot General, he is to conduct the business of the Order with the Holy See until the next General Chapter. He is to keep the Abbot General informed on his current business. He is not to ask the Holy See for any faculty or privilege for a member of the Order unless the Abbot General or at least the petitioner's superior has given approval.

ST 84.1.I 

If the Abbot General is impeded, the Procurator General takes care of current business.  

ST 84.1.J

For a particular case, the Abbot General may name a special councillor, who does not reside in Rome, chosen from among the abbots or abbesses of the region where the case is found. If the Abbot General deems it necessary, this special councillor may be invited to a meeting of the council, and have the right to vote.  

C. 85 The Abbot of Cîteaux 

The Abbot of Cîteaux is to take charge of the Order at the death of the Abbot

General. Within three months he is to convoke a meeting of the Central Commission to decide the time and agenda of the General Chapter by which a new Abbot General will be elected. 

ST 85.A 

In the absence of the Abbot General, the Abbot of Cîteaux presides at the General Chapter.  

ST 85.B 

If because of ill health or for any other reason the Abbot General is prevented from adequately carrying out the duties of his office, it is for the Abbot of Cîteaux, having consulted experts, to investigate and find out the truth about his condition. If the incapacity is established, he notifies the Procurator General without delay. With his approval and within a month he consults the members of the Central Commission about what is to be done.  

ST 85.C 

If the office of Abbot of Cîteaux is vacant at this time, the abbot of the most ancient daughter house of Cîteaux acts in his place.  


C. 86 In the Joy of the Holy Spirit 

These are the Constitutions and Statutes of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance. May God grant that by the breath of the Paraclete the brothers may observe them in a spirit of fraternal charity and fidelity to the Church, and so joyfully make their way to the fullness of love with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Cîteaux.