The Spiritual Family The Work
Press Release of 25 July 2023
Definitive Approval of the Constitutions
The Spiritual Family The Work was approved as a new form of consecrated life of Pontifical right (according to can. 605 of Canon Law) in 2001. As is usual, the Constitutions, with their legal norms concerning the nature and the purpose of the community, as well as the governance, life, incorporation and formation of the members, were initially approved for 10 years. Accordingly, in 2011 the Constitutions were reviewed by the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and approved, without any requests that any changes be made to them, for a further 10 years.
In 2013, the community was subject to a Papal Visitation, on account of allegations made by some former members of the Community. Following this, a revision of the Constitutions was undertaken by a theological and a canonical working group, whose proposed modifications were adopted by the Family Assembly (General Chapter) in 2019, prior to their being submitted to the Holy See for approval.
On 25 July 2023, the Feast of the Apostle James, the Dicastery gave its definitive approval to the Constitutions. The Spiritual Family The Work, founded by Mother Julia Verhaeghe (1910 – 1997), consists of a Community of Consecrated Men and a Community of Consecrated Women, and of members in a wider sense of various states of life. Other members of the faithful are associated in a spiritual way (cf. Constitutions 2023 I,1). It is one of the first communities of this kind whose Constitutions have received definitive approbation by the Church.
Bregenz - Rome, 25 July 2023
Fr. Thomas Felder FSO
Mother Margarete Binder FSO