The European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ECLDF) hereafter referred to as the European Council (E.C) or the “Council”, is motivated by the love of Christ and His Church as expressed by the apostolic spirit of Saint Dominic. It is established, in accordance with Rule 22(b) of The Rule of Dominican Fraternities, in March 1998 following the IVth European Meeting of Lay Dominicans Fraternities in Vienna
While recognizing that each Province and Vicariate is entitled to its own autonomy according to the rights and responsibilities as defined in the Rules, the Council draws on and also supports each one’s specific charism.
I. THE COUNCIL
1. The Council is governed by:
i). Statutes and
2. The Statutes can be changed only at a General Assembly with a two-thirds majority.
The Council can alter the regulations
3. The Council is accountable to the Assembly of European Lay Dominican Fraternities
1. The Council is composed of five elected Finally Professed Lay Dominicans.
2. Any Finally Professed Lay Dominican who is a member of a European Lay Dominican Fraternity may be elected to the Council
3. No country may have more than one elected member on the Council.
See Appendix 1 for current list of countries
4. The Council shall be elected every three years except under special circumstances.
5. Council members may be re-elected for not more than 2 consecutive terms.
6. The officers of the Council are the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Formation Liaison Officer who shall be elected from its members.
7. Should any member resign or die before their term of office has ended, the nominee receiving the next highest number of votes at the last Assembly will be nominated as the substitute member. This is provided there is not already a member from the same Province, Vicariate or country on the Council. Under the latter circumstances the delegate receiving the next highest number of votes will be invited to join the Council. If the same conditions apply, then the 4 remaining members of the Council will vote for a replacement. There must be at least a majority of three.
8. All decisions of the Council require a majority of those present. For a meeting to take valid decisions there must be at least three members present. In cases where there are four members present, the President shall have the casting vote if the votes are evenly divided.
B. Duties of the Council
1. The Council shall establish on-going communication with the Lay Dominicans in the European Provinces and Vicariates.
2. The Council shall establish and maintain an effective relationship with other European structures within the Dominican Family.
3. The Council shall endeavour to collaborate with all groups in the International activities of the Dominican Family.
4. The Council shall present subjects pertaining to the European Lay Dominican Fraternities to the official institutions of the Dominican Order.
5. The Council shall prepare for and be responsible for the effective running of the following European Assembly that follows its election.
a) produce a programme for the Assembly
b) establish the membership of the Electoral Body at the Assembly.- (see D2:2)
c) i) present its independently audited financial report
ii) propose financial contributions for the effective running of the Council.
iii) prepare and publish the Acts of that Assembly
6. The Council shall request an annual financial contribution from each Fraternity.
7. The Council shall collect and distribute information and relevant documents.
8. When requested the Council shall nominate its representatives for the European meetings of the Dominican Family.
II. THE ASSEMBLY
A. Composition of the Assembly
1) a) Each Province and Vicariate shall send two lay delegates to the Assembly.
b) Provinces or Vicariates with 500 or more Lay Dominican members or which have 30 or more fraternities, may send an additional delegate.
2) A Promoter of each Province and Vicariate also attends the Assembly
3) Those Provinces and Vicariates that consist of more than one country in which there are fraternities may send an additional delegate from each country to participate in the Assembly.
4) Each Provinces and Vicariate shall send the names of their delegates at least three months before the Assembly.
5) a) All delegates shall have a letter of authorization from their Lay Provincial Council testifying that they have been chosen to represent their Province, Vicariate or Country. (see Rule 20c)
b) The Province or Vicariate having no Provincial Council may be invited to send a representative to the Assembly. This representative will have no vote.
The Assembly will normally take place every three years.
1. To study and discuss the situations of the Lay Dominicans in Europe and make proposals to their Council.
2. To suggest ways in which to assist in the mission of Lay Dominicans in Europe.
3. To propose and promote means of financing the work of their Council.
4. To vote on the acceptance of any change in the Statutes of their Council
D. Electoral Body
1. The Council is elected by the Electoral Body, which shall convene during the European Assembly every three years.
2. The Electoral Body is composed of:
a) One Lay Dominican representative mandated by each Province and Vicariate
b) Members of the current European Council.
If a member of the European Council is also a representative they may have one vote only.
3. The Council shall draw up a list of the representatives entitled to vote in the Electoral Body.
E. Election of New Council.
1. The President of the Council is President of the Electoral Body
2. The President of the Council will specify the date, time and place of the election at least 36 hours in advance of the Election.
3. The Assembly will elect two Returning Officers.
4. All Nominees shall be Finally Professed Lay Dominicans ordinarily resident in Europe.
5. Nominations will be made known at least 24 hours before the time of the Election.
a) All Nominees shall agree to accept their nomination prior to the election.
b) Nomination Forms must be seconded and signed by the Nominator and
c) Nominees must be able to speak and write English and to understand one or more
of the other official languages.
d) All Nominees must have regular access to means of communicating with
members of the Council by fax or electronic mail.
e) The Electoral Body may vote for up to five of the Nominees. Any voting paper
containing material other than the names of the Nominees shall be declared void.
f) Only members of the Assembly may make Nominations.
g) Only authorized persons who are unable to attend the Assembly because of
exceptional circumstances may make Nominations or Vote by Proxy.
A. Responsibilities of Office Holders:
– to Chair the meetings.
– to convene the Council .
– to ensure that the distribution of work among the Council members is organized to the best advantage and ensure that tasks are carried out.
– to ascertain that links are forged with the Lay Dominican Promoter and the Curia and to communicate the results to the Council.
– to inform the Council of correspondence received pertaining to the work of the Council.
– to summon the Electoral Assembly at least six months before the fixed date of the Assembly.
– to co-ordinate the preparation of the Acts of the Assembly and present it to the provincial Council
– to communicate the proposed draft Agenda to Council members and take into consideration their proposals.
– to prepare the minutes of the meetings and to distribute them to the Council members prior to the meeting.
– to carry out routine secretarial duties.
– to produce the Minutes of the election of the new Council.
– to arrange for Nomination Forms to be distributed
– to oversee the distribution of Voting Forms.
– to establish, with the help of other Council members, an up-to-date and lawful database with
the Provincial (or National) Fraternities and the religious Provincial (or National) Promoters.
3. Formation Officer:
– In accordance with Rule 11, the organization of on-going Formation to search for means of
formation and study.
– to help in ways of sharing the above with all the European Fraternities.
– Lay Dominicans or Friars with special skills or qualifications may be co-opted at the
discretion of the Council for a specific period. These do not have voting rights.
– Council members will be delegated to Provinces and Vicariates to assist the Lay Dominicans who apply for help or information regarding their Dominican life and activities
-. to manage the financial resources of the Council.
– to devise strategies to obtain resources.
– to set up a budget in EUROs in accordance with the financial rules set out below in Section B for the expenses concerning the Council and the European Lay Dominican Assemblies.
– to submit yearly independently audited accounts to the Council and to the European Assembly as required
B Rules and Procedures
– All monies received will be deposited in a named account.
– Only Council members have the right to draw on the account for the expenses incurred in their Council duties.
– Both the Treasurer and the President are entitled to draw on the account and sign cheques.
– Approval of expenses is the responsibility of the President, Treasurer together with another member of the Council.
– Liabilities incurred by the Council in the name of the Council will be the equal responsibility of all and each Council member.
– Should the Council be disbanded. any outstanding funds remaining after Council settling expenses will go to the body agreed by the Assembly.
– The Council shall assemble at least twice a year.
– The Council shall
a) inform all Provinces and Vicariates on matters relating to the Assembly.
b) draw up and distribute the Acts of the Meeting.
c) produce and discuss matters pertaining to the Assembly.
d) maintain proper records of its meeting and its correspondence and safeguard the records of the preceding Councils which comprise its history
1. On order to put into practice its nature, the Council being a fraternal community as well as a working and a structure for organization, shall carry out the following at each meeting:
i). Some time in prayer appropriate to the Council
ii). A study and information given on a subject prepared by each member in rotation.
iii). Some time in fellowship.
2. The Council aims to publish news, information and themes of formation in I.D.I.
3. The Council will seek to improve the opportunities of Preaching in mixed teams with Dominican friars/ sisters/ laity.
4. The Council aims to stimulate meetings with friars connected with the preaching and Dominican apostolate in order that the Lay Dominicans can acquire the art and study the needs of preaching.
5. The Council will encourage the exchange of Formation Programmes.
6. The Council will suggest dialogue concerning life in our Fraternities and the creation of some space for reflection on the problems of today.
7. If the Council considers it desirable to have a European Promoter for the ECLDF (friar or lay) the Council shall submit nominations to the General Promoter.
8 The Council shall ask the Master of the Order for an audience with him and his Council once in each mandate.
9 When invited the Council shall nominate its representative to the General Chapters of the Order and elaborate a text with proposals and petitions to be presented.
10. To ensure continuity in the Council the Electoral Body shall elect five Nominees, one of which to be a member of the previous Council.
11. Officers may not serve in a particular capacity for more than 2 terms.
12. Each elected member of the Council shall be delegated to and will be responsible for
dispersing any information and communication intended for general distribution among the
List of Countries
Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
Proposed Amendments to Statutes – see II The Assembly. C. Duties
1. THE COUNCIL
1a. The Council shall co-opt the representative for Europe serving on the International Council for Lay Dominican Fraternities (ECLDF) as member of the Council without voting rights.
3. No country may have more than one member on the Council except that of the representative on the ICLDF
II. THE ASSEMBLY
F. Election of the European Representative for the ICLDF
The procedure for the election of the representative for Europe to the ICLDF follows that of the Election of the new Council.
The elected representative takes up the post at the first meeting of the ICLDF after the term of the preceding member has expired. This office does not run concurrently with the terms of office of the members of the European Council.
These amendments were approved by the Assembly in June 2004