CICLSAL, Canonical Novitiate Carried Out in Another Institute, 1988, 1990. Private.


In 1988, the superior general of an apostolic institute of pontifical right wrote to the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes (CRIS) requesting that the one novice of that institute make the year of canonical novitiate in a novitiate of another religious institute.

The letter advised CRIS that the institute to which the superior general wished to send the novice for the canonical year shared the same foundress, charism, and apostolate as her own institute. Likewise, both institutes adopted a core constitutions which articulated the goals for formation:

1. To intensify the novice’s experience of the “essential aspects of religious life,” namely prayer, community living and service.

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2. To deepen the novice’s understanding of the “charism, heritage and mission of the Sisters of _____________________”within the Church.

3. To “facilitate the novice’s reflection on the meaning of her experience” in order to “discern with her the authenticity of her call” so that she may freely respond to God’s love.

The superior general informed CRIS that the recent extraordinary general chapter of her institute supported petitioning CRIS for permission to form part of the union of religious institutes in the Americas that shared the above lived realities of bondedness.

The superior general consulted extensively with the council and formation personnel of her institute. This consultation led her to conclude that sending the novice to carry out the canonical novitiate with other novices sharing the same charism would provide a much better experience than fulfilling the canonical novitiate alone. The superior general asked to designate the novitiate in the other institute as the canonical novitiate for the novice for one year.




During the same year, the superior general received the following rescript in Latin from CICSAL:

The Superior General of the Congregation of ____________ in the diocese of _________ humbly implores from Your Holiness the faculty to permit the current one novice to carry out the novitiate year validly in the novitiate house of the sisters of ______________ in the diocese of _________ in the place called __________ for the reasons presented.

The Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, having been attentive to the request, benignly grants the favor of carrying out the novitiate in a house of another institute according to the request, observing all other things that must be observed.

Anything contrary to the above does not stand.

Given in Rome, day______, month______, 1988.




In 1990, the same superior general wrote to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) making a similar request. However, this time there were two novices, and the superior general wished them to have their canonical year of novitiate in still another institute where there would be approximately twelve novices. This third institute also shared the same foundress, charism, and core constitutions. The goals for the canonical novitiate in this third institute were those articulated in the core constitutions.




The rescript received from CICLSAL in 1990 was in English and read as follows:

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We have received your letter of ___________, requesting that two novices of your Congregation be permitted to fulfill their canonical year under the direction of the novice director of the _________________.

In view of the reasons you have set forth, we grant the necessary dispensation from canon 651, §1 and give permission for your candidates, duly admitted to the novitiate, to enter the program established at _____________. This presumes, of course, that all other norms for a valid canonical novitiate are fulfilled.




CICLSAL, 1988 and 1990, Canonical Novitiate Carried Out in Another Institute, RRAO (1993): 7-9.