FOR SISTERHOODS IN NORTH AMERICA
Approved by Resolution of the Synod of Bishops on 15/28 April
I. ORGANIZATION AND OBJECTIVES OF THE SISTERHOOD
1. At ...........................................................
Church in the city of ...........................................................
church sisterhood has been established which bears the name.................................
2. The sisterhood celebrates its annual feast on the day commemorating
................................................ and has an
icon appropriate to this feast which is kept in the church.
3. The sisterhood comprises a component and integral part
of the parish and exists in accordance with the parish's charter
as a parish organization.
4. It is the sisterhood's objectives on the one hand that
those who enter its membership may perfect themselves morally
in Christian virtue, in accordance with the teaching of the
Russian Orthodox Church under the pastoral guidance of their
pastor and in close contact with the life of the Church; and
on the other hand, the object of the sisterhood is, on the
whole, to render active aid to its church and to carry out,
in a practical manner, the duties of the parish in accordance
with Par. #2 of the Parish By-Laws accepted by the Local Pan-Russian
5. The duties of the sisterhood are:
of the Church building, both during the divine services and
apart from them; care for the vestry; and the adornment of
b) Visitation of the sick; inquiry into the cases of those
in need and aid thereto; visitation of prisons and aid for
c) Visitation of the dying and informing the priest of such
cases; reading the services over the dying; moral support
for the families of the dying and care for them.
d) Concern for the unbaptized and the unwed; bringing them
to the church, that the Holy Mysteries may be performed over
e) To aid, with all the means at their disposal, schools for
children within the parish.
f) Collection of materials and funds, in accordance with subscription
lists distributed by the parish council, signed by the pastor:
for the needs of the church (this is done outside the times
appointed for the divine services), for the sick, the poor,
g) To help the church's Warden (starosta) in acquiring and
distributing religious and liturgical literature, etc.
Annotation 1: For a greater degree of success
in the fulfillment of these duties, a rotating schedule of
sisters may be established.
Annotation 2: During the fulfillment of their
duties in church during the divine services, the sisters should
be appropriately attired in the prescribed form of head covering.
II. GOVERNMENT AND MEMBERSHIP
6. With the priest's blessing, and on the recommendation of
the sisterhood's Council, widows, maidens and married women
who are members of the parish and who have attained the age
of twenty- one may be admitted to membership.
7. In its activity, the sisterhood is subject to and is under
the guidance of the parish priest.
8. The sisterhood is governed by the Council of the Sisterhood,
which is composed of the Senior Sister, her assistant and
deputy, the treasurer and the secretary, all of whom are elected
for a one- year term of office by the General Assembly of
the Sisterhood. The Senior Sister is a member of the parish
9. The General Assembly of the Sisterhood is convoked no less
than twice annually. Notification of such meetings is sent
out two weeks prior to the event and the proposed date of
the meeting is indicated. Additional meetings of the sisterhood
may be convoked by the pastor, or by the Senior Sister with
the pastor's blessing. The General Assembly is considered
valid when a majority of the sisterhood's membership is present.
Members of the sisterhood have the right to an advisory voice
at the General Assemblies. Elections of the members of the
Council of the Sisterhood which are conducted at the General
Assemblies are subject to confirmation by the pastor, who
submits the name of the Senior Sister to the diocesan bishop,
since she is an integral member of the parish council.
10. The Council of the Sisterhood manages the sisterhood's
funds. The treasurer keeps a record of receipts and expenditures
which is countersigned by the parish priest and is sealed
with the parish seal, as presribed by the priest. The sisterhood's
monetary resources and accounts are reviewed by the parish's
Auditing Committee. The yearly accounts, along with the decision
of the Auditing Committee, should be submitted to the General
Assembly of the parish for confirmation.
11. A book of the minutes of all the meetings of the sisterhood
and of the sessions of the Council is kept by the secretary
and is signed by the Senior Sister and the secretary. A sister
may be expelled from the sisterhood by the parish priest,
and also at the recommendation of the sisterhood's Council
or of its General Assembly.
12. The membership dues are fixed by the General Assembly
of the sisterhood.
13. The sisterhood cannot establish titles of honor.
14. The disbanding of the sisterhood is carried out by the
parish priest with the blessing of the diocesan bishop, by
resolution of a meeting of the General Assembly of the sisterhood
especially convoked for that purpose and which is attended
by two- thirds of the actual membership of the sisterhood.
15. In case of disbanding, all the property of the sisterhood
is transferred to the parish to which the sisterhood belonged.
IV. ALTERATION AND AMENDMENT OF THIS STATUTE.
16. If local conditions require, alterations and amendments
of this statute may be made at the General Assembly of the
sisterhood by resolution of a two-thirds majority vote of
those present at the Assembly. No less then two-thirds of
the actual membership of the sisterhood should be present
at such an Assembly. The proposed text of alterations or amendments
should be cited in full in notices distributed two weeks prior
to the General Assembly.
17. Alterations and amendments of this statute which are accepted
at the General Assembly of the sisterhood take effect only
after they are confirmed by the diocesan bishop.