Decree 40: “Province Congregations,” General Congregation 31 (1966)

The following decree of the 31st General Congregation states who would attend, ex officio, a province congregation and how others would be elected to attend the gatherings. Included in the election are “all the solemnly professed and formed spiritual and temporal coadjutors” in the province, meaning brothers were to be included.

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1.     The following have a right to attend a province congregation by reason of office (maintaining also decree 44, n. 11, of the present General Congregation and nn. 21–26 of the Formula of the Provincial Congregation) :

1 ° the provincial;

2° all local superiors, whatever their title, who are normally named by Father General;

3° the vice-provincial and vice-superiors in accordance with the Formula of the Province Congregation;

4° the treasurer of the province;

5° the consultors of the province.


2.     Besides those who enter by reason of office and those who are summoned by the provincial in keeping with the following number, forty fathers or brothers will assemble for the province congregation who were previously elected in accordance with the rules that follow:

a. In this prior election, all the solemnly professed and formed spiritual and temporal coadjutors who are members of the province have active voice, and unless they are already attending the congregation by reason of office, they also have passive voice.

b. The election takes place by means of a form sent to the provincial “soli” in which each elector can write the names of twenty-five candidates. The votes should be personal, that is, based on one’s own conscience and knowledge and after mature consideration in prayer before God; it is permitted, however, to ask one or other prudent man in secret for information. The electors should look to the good of the whole province and Society rather than the advantage of some house or some part of the province.

c. The counting of the ballots, after the names of the voters have been removed from them, is done by the provincial with the consultors of the province.


3.     The provincial, with the deliberative vote of the group that counts the ballots, can summon to the congregation three other fathers or brothers, and these attend in addition to the fixed number of forty (supra numerum).

4.     At least half of the members of the congregation, including those who enter supra numerum, should be professed of four solemn vows. The formed temporal coadjutors should not number more than five, but at least one of them should be present in the congregation.

5.     In a vice-province congregation, the number of members is twenty, in addition to those who enter by reason of office or by nomination by the vice-provincial. Each elector can write on his form the names of twelve candidates.



Original Source (English translation):

Jesuit Life & Mission Today: The Decrees & Accompanying Documents of the 31st35th General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, ed. John W. Padberg. St. Louis, Mo.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2009, General Congregation 31, Decree 40, “Province Congregations,” pg. 193–194 [624–630].