The Hospitallers of St. Martin

Tactical Retreat December 2017 at Pax Christi, Brenham, TX

Brother Jeff Stevenson, HoSM, teaches about moral injury in veterans.

Lynn Smith-Henry, David Peters, and John Moock at the 2017 Veterans Conference on Moral Injury

CUSTOMARY OF THE HOSPITALLERS OF ST. MARTIN

(August 2017)

“Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.” The Gospel of St. Luke Chapter 9

Each member may wear the appointed habit when participating in liturgy, preaching, hearing confession, counseling, teaching, or any other time they deem appropriate. The Hospitaller may wear a white tunic or alb and the blue hood and scapular. A cincture is optional, but if worn, the color shall be Blue. Additionally, a black monastic belt may be worn. The Hospitaller may wear a rosary or some other form of prayer rope on the cincture on the left side.

The Episcopal Church Service Cross shall be worn either inside or outside the habit. Black shoes or sandals are appropriate footwear for the habit. At masses the principal celebrant shall wear whatever is the custom of the house; assisting priests and deacons shall wear the stole appropriate to their order. The customs of the local parish, related to any habit, should take precedence when a member ministers there.

Novices shall wear only the alb and blue cincture for all ministries and liturgies. Full members, professed for three years or life shall wear the hood and scapular.

Life professed members’ rope cincture will include three knots reflecting the three vows. In addition life professed members may wear a black skull cap (Zuchetto). The Cincture is optional at all times.

Full members of the Hospitallers of St. Martin may, on occasions deemed appropriate by the Prior, wear the “Brother’s Collar.” When such a collar is worn, it is appropriate for the Episcopal Church Service Cross to be worn prominently.

When serving together or resident in the same parish members should strive to wear habits of matching character. Members of the Community who are canons, bishops, archdeacons, deans, etc. may follow the clothing customs of their respective office, particularly when functioning within their jurisdiction or on behalf of their jurisdiction.


stained glass On March 5th, 2016, eight veterans took vows to become novices in the Hospitallers of St. Martin.

hospitallers1hospitallers2hospitallers3tactical retreat2group at tactical retreatservice cross

 The Rule of Life

Piety

  • We will participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on Sundays (and on major feasts and other days as our circumstances permit).
We will pray at least one office, either morning or evening offices daily, and audibly (out loud). We will seek to pray the Compline office with others as we are able.
  • We intend to participate in the Church’s continual offering of praise, thanksgiving and intercession, and, by structuring our lives around the daily office, affirm that all our lives belong to God.
  • We will practice regular Sabbath as a means of renewal so that we can lovingly serve God and neighbor.
  • We will remind ourselves of our prayer lives by wearing the Episcopal Church Service Cross at all times.
  • We will fast from food once a week (either a full or partial fast).

Hospitality

  • Just as St. Martin cut his cape in half to clothe someone in need, we explore how we will follow his example by giving half of something we possess to veterans, their family, and those who have been affected by war, poverty, and violence.
  • We will be hospitable to veterans by attending veteran focused events and going to places where veterans and all those who have been affected by war, poverty, and violence are present.
  • We will seek to build community among veterans and the communities that sent them to war.
  • We will be hospitable to our Parish Church through financial support and participation in worship, fellowship, and mission.
  • We will serve God and our neighbors out of gratitude for the love of God by visiting veterans who are terminally ill or dying, and those who have been affected by war, poverty and violence.
  • We will identify and refer veterans to appropriate health care services.
  • We will attend a retreat with our Community at least once per year.

Reconciliation

  • Regular examination of our obedience to Christ is necessary. To be reconcilers, we must first be deeply reconciled to God. We practice daily self-examination and regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • We report regularly to the Community on the keeping of our Rule. We have Spiritual Directors whom we see a minimum of twice a year.
  • We will seek opportunities to offer reconciliation to veterans, their families, and all those who are affected by war through Episcopal Veterans Fellowship moral injury groups
  • We will seek to serve in missional activities to veterans and those who have been affected by the trauma of war, poverty, and violence.
  • We will continually raise awareness of issues such as veteran suicide, healthcare, and family relationships to the local and national level.
  • We will share the redeeming, healing, creative love of God in word, deed and presence as an invitation to others to experience the transforming love of God.
  • We will provide Liturgical Resources to veterans and all those who have been affected by the trauma of war, poverty, and violence.

Prayer for those discerning a call to the Hospitallers

Look with favor, Almighty God, upon these your servants N., who, in response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, desire to commit themselves to you in a life of special vocation, and are undertaking to embrace the Rule of Life of the Hospitallers of St. Martin. Grant them the strength of your grace to persevere in their endeavor, and the guidance of the Spirit to find their true vocation. If it be your will that they continue in this way, reveal this to them, we pray, and bring them in due time to the taking of solemn vows; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Constitution

Article I: The Name

The community shall be known as The Hospitallers of St. Martin of Tours, Veteran (or The Hospitallers of St. Martin).

Article II: Purpose

The Hospitallers of St. Martin is a new monastic Christian Community as defined by the Canon Law of The Episcopal Church that focuses on Prayer, Hospitality, and Reconciliation for veterans and all those who have been affected by war, poverty, and violence.

Article III: Obedience

The Hospitallers of St. Martin observes the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church as the supreme authority under which it functions in obedience. The doctrine and worship of The Episcopal Church is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer, and authorized additions and supplements thereto. The discipline of the Episcopal Church is set forth in its Constitution and Canons.

Article IV: Governing Documents

  1. The three documents by which the members of the Hospitallers of St. Martin shall be governed are the Rule of Life, the Constitution, and Bylaws. 


  1. The amendment of the Rule of Life or the Constitution shall require the following majorities of the Council held at the Annual Meeting:
    1. The Rule requires a seven-eighths majority for amendment. 

    2. The Constitution requires a three-fourths majority for amendment except for those clauses requiring a greater majority for action; in which cases the same majority required for action shall be required for amendment. This exception itself may only be amended by the largest such majority required in any clause of the Constitution.
    3. Proposed amendments of the Rule of Life or the Constitution must be submitted to the Secretary, in writing, no less than 45 days prior to the beginning of the annual Community Meeting.
    4. All amendments to the Rule of Life or the Constitution and actions of Annual Meeting become effective immediately upon the adjournment of the meeting at which they are adopted, unless an alternative effective date is specified in the enabling resolution. 


  1. The Bylaws will provide working level procedures and remain as a “living document” that provides enough flexibility to address the needs of a growing community.
    1. The Bylaws shall be the responsibility of the Secretary.
    2. Changes to the bylaws requires a simple majority to of the active membership.
    3. Voting on changes to the bylaws can be done in person, by Email, other electronic methods, or other methods deemed appropriate by the Leadership committee.

Article V: Governing structure

  1. Leadership Committee: The Leadership committee will consist of the Prior, Community Treasurer, Community Secretary, Cellarer, each of the Brothers/Sisters Provincial, Director of Vocations, and Director of Education; and the Bishop Visitor.

  1. Bishop Visitor: The Visitor is the guardian of the Constitution of the community, and is the guarantor to the church at large of the community’s sound administration, stability, and right to confidence.
    1. The Visitor is the final court of appeal, for the issues of its discipline
    2. Though lead by the Prior, the Visitor shall act as an advisor to the leadership Committee

    3. The Prior will report to the Visitor annually on the work of the community. 

    4. The Community and its leaders may seek the advice, guidance, and counsel of the Visitor. 

    5. Upon the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of Visitor, the Prior shall invite members of the community to nominate bishops determined by the nominators to be willing to serve as Visitor.
    6. Council shall elect a Visitor from among the nominees presented.

  1. Prior: The Prior shall guide the Hospitallers of St. Martin with love and affection, with patience, quietude, humility and justice, and being mindful of the selfless service of St. Martin to his flock.
    1. A Prior must be an active life professed sister or brother, an Episcopalian, and a veteran.  He/she shall be elected to a term of six (6) years by a three-fourths majority vote of Membership. A Prior so elected may serve unlimited successive terms. The election of a Prior shall take place at the Annual Meeting of the membership at or following which a vacancy in the office occurs
    2. If at any time any official desires to resign their office for any reason, they must notify Committee in writing and grant
    3. The Prior, when present, shall serve as chair to the annual membership meetings, any meeting of the Leadership Committee.  He/she may appoint a professed member of the community to act as chair.
    4. When acting as chair the Prior may vote to break or make a tie. The Prior has veto power over any action of Committee, but that veto may be overridden by a two-thirds majority vote of the respective body.

  1. Brother/Sister Provincial: When a region has three (3) or more active members a Brother/Sister Provincial may be elected. The Brother/Sister Provincial will be elected to a term of five (5) years by a majority vote of Membership of that province. A Brother/Sister Provincial so elected may serve unlimited successive terms. The Brother/Sister Provincial shall guide and represent his/her province with love and affection, with patience, being mindful of the selfless service of St. Martin to his flock. The Brother/Sister Provincial will reside in the province for which they are responsible. The duties of the Cellarer fall to the Brother/Sister Provincial of the Province in which the Annual Meeting is being held. This can be done by the Brother/Sister Provincial or he/she can assign it to another active member or committee within their province; however, the responsibility is ultimately the responsibility of the Province.

  1. Community Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be elected by a majority vote at the Annual Meeting for a term of four (4) years, where a quorum has been reached. A Treasure can be elected to unlimited successive terms.   The office can be filled by any active member. The Treasurer will be the custodian of all funds to include establishing and maintaining a bank account in the name of the community Chapter.  He/she will ensure that income and expenses are maintained and recorded according the Bylaws. The treasure will provide a complete financial report thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Meeting according to the Bylaws.  He/she will designate a person or committee to audit the financial records sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting in which the office of Treasure will be elected.

  1. Community Secretary: The Secretary shall be elected by a majority vote at the Annual Meeting for a term of four (4) years, where a quorum has been reached.  A Secretary can be elected to unlimited successive terms. The office can be filled by any active member. The secretary will be the custodian of the Rule of Life, Constitution, and Bylaws for the community.  He/she will ensure that all documents are maintained according the Bylaws. The Secretary will provide any proposed updates that required a vote at the Annual Meeting (30) days prior to that meeting according to the Bylaws.  The Secretary will appoint individuals or committees to sections of the Bylaws.

  1. Director of Vocations: The Director of Vocation will be elected to a term of three (3) years by a majority vote of the quorum at Annual Meeting. A Director of Vocations can be elected to unlimited successive terms. The Director of Vocations is responsible for the maintenance of the procedures by which applicants come into contact with the community. They Director of Vocation is responsible for defining and managing the membership process as defined in the bylaws.  The Director of Vocation will shepherd individuals through process, assuring both procedural and spiritual needs are being addressed. He/she is responsible for working with the Secretary to assure that the sections of the Bylaws that affect membership are maintained.

  1. The Director of Education: The Director of Education will be elected to a term of three (3) years by a majority vote of the quorum at Annual Meeting. A Director of Education can be elected to unlimited successive terms. The Director of Education is responsible for the education programs that affect all members of the community. The Director of Education shall appoint an education committee and head its activities in the
development of the educational program of the community. The Education Committee meets to plan the tactical retreat and workshops for succeeding annual membership meeting.

  1. The Cellarer: The Cellarer will be elected for a term of three (3) years by a majority vote of the quorum at Annual Meeting. The Cellarer can be elected to unlimited successive terms. The Cellarer is responsible for the provisioning of for meetings, retreats, and other gatherings of the community. The Cellarer will make every effort to address the needs of those attending event being planned (e.g. healthy food choices, non-alcoholic beverages). The Cellarer will create and maintain the section of the bylaws that address planning and administration of events.

  1. Other Offices: other offices not named in this Article may be created and appointed by the Committee, to assist in the operation of the community, and for well-being of the membership.
    1. If an office or position is created, a description of roles and responsibilities will be written and made available to the membership.
    2. If the office or position is to last more than two years, the roles and responsibilities will be added to the bylaws.

Article VI: Provinces

  1. Province: Council may establish provinces of the community. All provinces will approximate (as nearly as possible) the Provincial lines of the Episcopal Church or churches in communion with it, and shall be referred to by the same designation as used by the church.

    1. A minimum of four active professed members resident in a province of the church is required for designation as a province of the community.
    2. Members resident in provinces of the church which do not have the sufficient number for the formation of a province of the community are assigned as extra-Provincial members of the nearest or most convenient province of the Hospitallers of St. Martin, as determined by Council.
    3. Should the number of members in a province fall below four, Council may decide to dissolve the province, relieving the Brother/Sister Provincial of the province of his or her duties and authorities.  If dissolved the assign the members of the former province as extra-Provincial members in accordance with the foregoing.

  1. Provincial Leadership:
    1. Brother/Sister Provincial shall be active professed members elected by the voting members in the applicable province, with the consent of committee. The Brother/Sister Provincial will lead the province for which he is elected in consultation with the Prior and the Bishop Visitor. The Brother/Sister Provincial shall make an annual report to the committee on the activities of their individual provinces as described in the bylaws
    2. Provincial Chaplains shall be deacons, priests, or bishops of the Episcopal Church or church in communion with it who may be appointed by the Provincial to serve as confessors and counselors to the members in that province.
    3. Other positions can be created as needed in consultation with the Prior.  Positions may include a structure that mirrors the Leadership committee.

Article VII. Of Rules of Order and the Conduct of Meetings

  1. The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, except as superseded by the Constitution or duly modified, shall be the rules of order governing conduct of meetings. 

  2. In the absence of the Prior or the Prior’s designee. The senior professed member shall chair the meeting or appoint an active professed member as chair. The appointed chair may vote to break or make a tie. 

  3. A quorum shall consist of two-thirds of the active members, either present, or voting in absentia
.
  4. Majorities are to be determined based upon the number of votes cast in a given ballot. 

  5. In all decisions, absent brothers/sisters may vote by telephone, letter, or other electronic methods. 

  6. All elections are to be by secret ballot. 


Article VIII: Membership

  1. Membership: Any adult communicant in good standing of the with a church community, may apply for membership in the Hospitallers of St. Martin They must be at least eighteen years of age and has the conviction that they is called to the religious life as practiced by the Hospitallers of St. Martin. The right to admit candidates to postulancy belongs to Committee. The character and maturity of applicants should be tested, expert advice may be sought. All applicants are required to submit, along with their application, payment and authorization as necessary for the execution of background checks in accordance with the policy established by the House of Bishops Standing Committee on Religious Communities. Applicants are expected to cover their own travel expenses for their initial interview, and the Community will offer “scholarship” assistance if needed, and cover housing and meals.
    1. Postulancy: Postulancy is a period of probation, defined in the Bylaws, in which newly admitted members begin their training
in the religious life of the community. It is during this period that they may more deeply consider their vocation from God, and especially to the community, and that they may test their own resolve and fitness.
    2. Novitiate A postulant shall be received as a novice by community at an Annual Meeting. Special regard shall be paid to the opinions of the Brother/Sister Provincial of the candidate’s province, the Director of Postulants and Novices, and the Director of Education. The Novice will spend a period of time as defined in the Bylaws in discernment, exploring his/her vocation as it relates to the community. The novice should be led by the community to the cultivation of human and Christian virtues; guided on the path of perfection through humility of heart; formed in the application of the principles of the interior life; instructed to contemplate the mystery of salvation and to read and meditate upon Sacred Scripture; educated in a program of life consecrated to God and to humanity in Christ by means of the vows; taught the nature, purpose, spirituality, discipline and history of the community; and exercised in the style of life proper to the community.
    3. Professed Brother/Sister: The annual vows of profession shall be in force for three years at a time, and are to be renewed at the end of that period. Council may alter the term of annual vows. The profession of vows of novices to become a full member of the community will done in 1 to 3 year increments as defined in the bylaws.
    4. Life Profession: A member is eligible for life profession of vows when he/she has completed a term of six years in annual vows, and membership feels that they are prepared for this commitment. Following upon a process of engagement and discernment, the Brother/Sister Provincial may nominate the member for life profession at the Annual Meeting.

  2. Dismissal of Members: Council may initiate proceedings for the termination of a professed member’s membership in the community for cause, not limited to persistent disobedience, or refusal to accept the obligations of the community embodied in the Rule or having been the culpable cause of imminent and very grave or exterior scandal, or of harm to the community. Council must follow procedure in order to effect dismissal as described in the Bylaws.

  3. Membership Status: Members who are able to participate fully in the common life of the community regardless of temporary dispensation are “active” for all purposes set forth in this Constitution and Rule. 
Members who become unable at the determination of Council to participate substantially, if at all, without grave difficulty in the common life of the community due to physical or mental disability shall not be subject to dismissal solely on account of this inability to participate. In accordance with guidelines established from time to time by it, Council may designate such members as “inactive” in order that such members might remain lovingly and meaningfully a part of the Hospitaller community for the rest of their natural lives. 

    1. Use of the adjective “active” in this Constitution and Rule shall necessarily exclude from its meaning “inactive” members.
    2. An inactive member may attend Council with voice but no vote. Nor shall an inactive member vote in Provincial elections or any other decisions, though they shall retain a voice when permitted to attend meetings. 

  4. Form of address: All novices and professed members, lay and ordained, are appropriately addressed as “Sister” or “Brother.” A postulant may sign their name, __________, p/HoSM. They shall not be formally addressed as, “Sister” or “Brother.”  A novice may be formally addressed as, “Sister” or “Brother,” and sign their name, Br./Sr. __________, n/HoSM.
A professed member may sign their name, Br./Sr. __________, HoSM.

  5. Associate Members: Associate Members are those who non-professed members who wish to participate in the mission of Hospitallers.